Thanks for posting. I've been aware of this work for a few years, but I don't recall seeing mention of it here, or certainly not recently. Personally, I like the concept. I would like to see something like this used to make a residential scale micro grid to support photovoltaics in a grid-tie configuration. The fuel cell could provide a base load, then opportunity loading can be done while the PV array is generating. The heat from the fuel cell could be used for heating applications. The system needs natural gas, but this seems better than dealing with power lines, and it can be more efficient than the central power plant model if properly configured.
So it turns out that these Bloom Box are just regular generator running on natural gas and that they are less efficient than similar generators.
I like the idea of distributed power generation but these Bloom Box are not alternative energy.
It would be cool if they had a way to use the heat produced to heat homes or a greenhouse to grow veggies or a aquaponic system to grow tilapia.
Maybe I'm just not interpreting it correctly, but it seems to say that for 100 kw of electrical output, the bloom box uses about half the fuel input (6.61 instead of 12.8 therms/hr). This fits well with the 0 therms/hr heat output, which makes it all seem that bloom box is good. But then it says that this is more than compensated for because the waste heat should be used to heat the building, and, as it isn't, then there is a net increase in the use of fuel. And I really have no idea how they turn a 50% saving of fuel into a nearly 100% increase to replace the heat. Wouldn't that mean they are burning something seriously inefficient just to get the figures right?
And surely all this would only apply if you need to use the heat? During the summer, wouldn't this create a saving by not having to use air-conditioning? Something smells very fishy about those figures...
Edit to add - what is the deal with the fuel input in therms/hr being the same as the net site fuel use for the Bloom Box, but with the other system the fuel input drops miraculously from 12.8 to give a net site fuel use of 3.47 therms/hr? Seems that the 'fuel credit for using waste heat' figure is a bit, er, 'random'.
Older gas generators have a 30% efficiency
Newer combine cycle gas generators have a 60% efficiency
"Bloom Box Energy Server" have a 60% efficiency
With either the older or the newer gas generators you can recover the other 70% or 40% heat energy and use it for water+space heating.
Giving a unit that provide electricity and space/water heating "credits" make a lot more sense than calling a Bloom Box that runs on fossil fuel (natural gas) eco-friendly or alternative energy.
We might as well start calling coal plants green box because technically they could also burn trees.
I do respect the fact that they have marketed their product in such a way so as to get subsidies/etc
I watched that video on Sunday and then here it is on the forum this morning. They don't put much time into explaining the costs. When I read the comments, it was evident that many didn't realize that fuel is required. The other choices that pop up at the end are often the typical perpetual motion and water powered car type crap. For now, I'm done with fuel cells, but I'll be glad to get one should the price become attractive.
Do not set lab on fire. Or this tiny ad:
Wood Gasifier Builder's Bible, Ben Peterson --ebook