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Old 11-17-2017, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
1,995 posts, read 811,835 times
Reputation: 3536

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I saw this a number of years ago on 60 Minutes. If it really works and is used at, or at least was, used at a Google data center, why haven't we heard more about this. I was surprised I was able to find this article since it was from back in 2010.

Is anyone familiar with this and is it still in use, is it feasible?

https://newatlas.com/bloom-box-fuel-...er-home/14293/
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Old 11-18-2017, 04:01 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,769 posts, read 1,021,874 times
Reputation: 5927
The Second Law of Thermodynamics is essentially the law of physics that prove there's no such thing as a free lunch.

According to that article, this Bloom Box is novel in the way it converts heat into electricity, but the chemistry is still old stuff and is limited by the Second Law. Conventional generators burn some fuel like gas, kerosene, NG or nuclear to power the turning of an armature surrounded by magnets, thus inducing an electric current. Flowing water or wind can do the same thing mechanically.

This thing uses the heat from burning Hydrogen as fuel to force the electrons across ceramic electrodes producing current. The article fails to tell us where the hydrogen comes from, thus omitting the "energy cost" part of the equation.

The hydrogen for a fuel cell usually comes from water: 2 H2O + heat <--> 2 H2 + O2

When you run the equation from right to left, you get energy out of it, but to produce the H2 (running it left to right) , you must add energy. The 2nd Law says you always have to add more energy in to produce your fuel then you can get back out of it when you burn the fuel. [Fossil fuel has the same problem-- oil/coal stores the energy of million of yrs of sunlight and now we're using it up over the course of only a couple centuries--not very efficient.]

The article presents the case in a periphrastic way, suggesting it's really a boondoggle. They're trying to give us the impression that cell phone sized unit can power a house.
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Old 11-18-2017, 04:07 AM
 
Location: DC
6,496 posts, read 6,409,205 times
Reputation: 3095
Quote:
Originally Posted by Izzie1213 View Post
I saw this a number of years ago on 60 Minutes. If it really works and is used at, or at least was, used at a Google data center, why haven't we heard more about this. I was surprised I was able to find this article since it was from back in 2010.

Is anyone familiar with this and is it still in use, is it feasible?

https://newatlas.com/bloom-box-fuel-...er-home/14293/
The fact that nothings much has happened since 2010 seems to indicate that Bloom is still struggling with technical issues. I saw they are "proposing" pricing of $7-8/watt. That's going to be a difficult sale when PV modules are around 50¢/watt.

Last edited by DCforever; 11-18-2017 at 04:24 AM..
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Old 11-18-2017, 04:11 AM
Status: "It is the nature of grotesque things you can’t look away" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
17,886 posts, read 8,052,355 times
Reputation: 10365
I note the story is 7 years old.

I think if it worked as hoped, we'd have heard something about it by now.
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Old 11-19-2017, 08:20 AM
 
475 posts, read 131,664 times
Reputation: 1178
Default Bloom box works with Big Guys as of 2017

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
The fact that nothings much has happened since 2010 seems to indicate that Bloom is still struggling with technical issues. I saw they are "proposing" pricing of $7-8/watt. That's going to be a difficult sale when PV modules are around 50¢/watt.
Bloom box is still alive and seems to find its current niche in data centers in the areas with high costs of electricity and low natural gas prices.
They work with HD, Verizon,Google
The latest news here:
https://datacenterfrontier.com/bloom...of-fuel-cells/
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Old 11-19-2017, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
1,995 posts, read 811,835 times
Reputation: 3536
It is still around. Looks like larger companies are using it. Nothing for a individual use from what I can tell. There site shows a installation at a large company in August 2017.

Bloom Energy Server - Fuel Cell Energy Box | Bloom Energy

I only remember seeing the 60 Minutes show on this. I remember it sounded really impressive. I'm not technically inclined so I don't really understand it.
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Old 11-19-2017, 11:34 AM
 
Location: DC
6,496 posts, read 6,409,205 times
Reputation: 3095
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nik4me View Post
Bloom box is still alive and seems to find its current niche in data centers in the areas with high costs of electricity and low natural gas prices.
They work with HD, Verizon,Google
The latest news here:
https://datacenterfrontier.com/bloom...of-fuel-cells/
People are experimenting with it. Like all other fuel cell companies, they haven't been able to solve some of the technical hurdles. We don't know what subsidies the equinix unit came with.
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