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Bloom Energy Box...Revolutionary New Fuel Cell Technology

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by brian eiland, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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  3. Grecko

    Grecko New Member

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    There's a whole lot more to fuel cells than just the stack. The 60 min article doesn't talk a bit about what else is going on in the box, but the real issue is cost. If they can make a unit that lasts for 20 years for less than $500/kw, then they may have something. Running for 18 months for $750k and they didn't tell you how many KW they were making for that outlay makes me wonder if it is economically viable.

    Having been involved in the design of a supercharged fuel cell I can tell you that there are lots of issues, but if you could make an inexpensive, reliable and robust stack you have gone a long way to finding a solution.

    The idea of cheap energy is very attractive. Remeber the stock price of Capstone shot up just after they went public to almost $100/share, now the share price is just over $1.00, oh, and they just came back to the well for another $38mill public offering.

    Ok, so now these guys are announcing that they have a product in pilot use, but if they had the cost issue under control they would be announcing the product at a reasonable price. Be very careful, VC guys are in it for the quick hit, the've sunk $400m into this and now they are going to want to cash out with a big payday. With a splash on 60 minutes can an IPO be very far off?
  4. ScotL

    ScotL Senior Member

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    I happen to be a big proponent of nuclear power, however, this could be a much better solution if viable. At least for electricity. But, what about those that use natural gas for heating, cooking, etc? Electricity is not the only problem.

    I understand what you are saying about the VC boys too. I also believe they will do anything they can to avoid another Segway debacle on their books.

    I guess the big question is, what did 60 minutes NOT tell us?
  5. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Edward R. Morrow rolled in his grave when CBS caved to big tobacco and hasn't stopped. This was puff news. Still it's interesting.
  6. ScotL

    ScotL Senior Member

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    I couldn't agree more. Interesting indeed.
  7. catmando

    catmando Senior Member

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    Nuclear energy belongs in stars, not on Earth. I break out in cold sweats every time I think about the Comanche Peak plant just southwest of Ft. Worth. If something happens, all 6,000,000 people in the DFW Metroplex would be in danger.

    Blowing up a nuclear plant is a terrorist's wet dream.
  8. ScotL

    ScotL Senior Member

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    While true, nuclear power has proven to be extremely safe. How many accidents beyond Chernobyl and 3 mile island can you or the average person name. Off hand I can't think of any.

    I know of plants that are "dirtier" than others, but nothing that poses a threat to anyone. I worked at a number of nuke plants in the mid nineties after I got out of the service.

    terrorists wet dream, yes. It is just not as easy as flying a plane into a cooling tower or other structure.

    But, has it happened? Anywhere? All a terrorist would need is a dirty bomb in Manhattan.
  9. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

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    Checking back with this thread, and Bloom in 12 months to see where they are.
    It will be interesting to see how this (and other) technology develops. Bloom's however does look quite promising if cost is acceptable to a general marketplace.
  10. Emerson

    Emerson New Member

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    Here is what noted skeptic Dr. Steven Novella has to say about it
  11. Emerson

    Emerson New Member

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    And Brian Dunning of Skeptoid on nuclear power
    Bullet point off that one is that we would need a Chernobyl every three weeks to hit our death toll from coal. This considering that Chernobyl was an extremely dangerous reactor type to begin with and most of the world refused to build and run them.
  12. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    There are two problems I have with nuclear power. First, the waste. We need to find a way to destroy it or render it impotent. Shipping it to someone else's state or country is not the answer because eventually everybody will develop NIMBY (not in my back yard) syndrome. The second thing is honesty. When Shoreham (the death knell to nuclear energy in this country) was being constructed the cost mushroomed completely out of control due to greed and corruption. State a price and a completion date and do it on time and on budget (no excuses and no more money). The real killer came with the evacuation zone though. They said there was a 10 mile evacuation zone needed. When it was pointed out that the evacuation routes off the island were within 7 miles of the plant the geniuses declared that only a 5 mile evacuation zone would be needed. Had they just said at the start that the island would be basically cut in half it could have been dealt with, but they showed they couldn't be believed or trusted.
  13. ScotL

    ScotL Senior Member

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    Well,, we are going to get at least one more as the U.S. Government just promised 8 billion (8,000,000,000) of our tax dollars to build one in Georgia I believe it is. It will be good for another 1500 jobs in 5 - 10 years.
  14. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Seems as you are now into nuclear powerstations and not the Bloom Box..?
  15. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Any bets on that $8B pricetag doubling or more (I believe SHoreham came in about 10x over budget without getting finished).
  16. ScotL

    ScotL Senior Member

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    Lars,

    It was meant as a reply to NYcap. I just got sidetracked a bit.

    I would prefer the Bloom Box. I think the potential benefit to the environment and the economies of the world, is far greater with the Box than nuclear power. I am hopeful it will be as good as the developer claims.

    NYCAP,

    I am with you. Nothing stays on budget when the government is involved.
  17. toolmaker

    toolmaker New Member

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    Bloom box

    Nuclear power plants can use Thorium which burns at higher temp than Plutonium or uranium and can incinerate both materials. Also Thorium cannot be used to create weapons. The intent of the first atomic plants was to use Thorium, but the wisest minds saw fit to use a material that could generate weapon grade materials for the atomic bomb programs.

    There is a promising technology developed by Hyperion power, it is a self contained small reactor the size of a small van. It is literally buried in a vault and sealed. The reactor will produce energy 25Mw electric or 75 Mw thermal for at least 7 years. Then it is shipped, recharged, and installed again. This is Ideal for remote areas, Mining operations, etc. There is still some proving out to do, but this is the template for future energy production; small portable high energy output systems.

    http://www.hyperionpowergeneration.com/product.html
  18. Grecko

    Grecko New Member

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    Yes absolutely, this is the same VC group that brought us the Segway, and that was supposed to be the "next big thing". These guys know their way around the media and know how to generate a buzz. Remember, Kamen was doing what became the Segway in secret and it had the press running around in circles for a few months and then they announced it.

    I'm thinking that at IPO isn't far off and this is just part of the game used to inflate the stock price so that they can cash out. As I said the Capstone market cap was over $300 million at their first offering, and these guys are probably looking to raise close to a billion if they do it right.

    If they announce a product and a sales plan that is viable and aren't looking for more capital, then it is more likely real. If they are going to raise more money it likely isn't.
  19. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    I don't know much about how Capstone financed their early venture but I have seen their products in operation and they have a large and growing installed base of units which in fact do precisely what the "box" purports to do. In fact, Capstone's units go one better in many applications as they utilize the waste heat for HVAC. Capstone's technology and its product is sound regardless of how anyone views the financing.

    Like most new applications of technology, quackery included, the technically illiterate either condemn it outright or jump in over their heads to defend it and it looks like this box thing might be an example of that reaction.
  20. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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