Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Bloom Box Debuts on 60 Minutes

theodp (442580) writes | more than 4 years ago

Science 1

theodp (442580) writes "Its official public launch is on Wednesday, but Bloom Energy CEO K.R. Sridhar just gave 60 Minutes viewers a sneak peek at the 'Bloom Box' (video clip), the company's potentially revolutionary fuel-cell system. The boxes combine oxygen and fuel in a combustion-less process to generate electricity off the grid. Bloom says each large box — which can power about 100 homes — currently sells for $700-800,000 (hefty 'green subsidies' are available). Initial customers include eBay, Google, FedEx, Staples and WalMart. A smaller home version is planned for about $3,000 a unit, but is still 5-10 years out. Even if Bloom can mass produce the boxes and sell them cheaply enough, 'The problem is then G.E. and Siemens and other conglomerates that can probably do the same thing,' said Michael Kanellos of GreenTech Media. 'They have fuel cell patents.' Bloom is backed by KPCB, which 60 Minutes notes brought the world Amazon, Google — and Segway."

cancel ×

1 comment

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Simpler alternatives (1)

Kanel (1105463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31228492)

Combustion-less is fine, but what the scientists really want to get away from is just the old combustion engine. You don't have to use a fuel cell to do that. The company Neo Power Technology in Norway, together with the university of Texas and Siemens, has developed an engine with no rotating parts.
Air and fuel is mixed in a chamber and explodes, but this only shifts an adjacent membrane by a few millimeters. A spring sets the system into a resonant motion at about 50Hz and together with a permanent magnet this creates electricity. There's a picture of the engine at: http://www.tu.no/motor/article231975.ece [www.tu.no]
This engine is already about 50% more efficient than traditional engines, runs on fuels from propane to hydrogen, with a process that runs a 100 times faster than in traditional engines.

In short, there's an impressive menagerie of engines and power sources out there. My bet is that the bloom box will be nothing but a novelty item. When they have to rely on the romantic idea of "living off the grid" to market this device, there's something fishy.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?