The Bloom Box

I’ve been experimenting with a few next tweaks to my theme none of which are ready to go yet so a bit more of a random blog post today.

One of the many things that I have a passing interest in is next generation energy. Not I hasten to add because I particularly subscribe the whole global warming theory, rather the current energy model feels woefully inefficient to me. The whole idea of having to dig something out of the ground in order to burn it in order to get electricity sounds (and is rather alarmingly becoming) expensive. Given the huge sources of energy surrounding us everyday there must be a better way.

For me I’ve always thought that solar energy is the future. The amount of solar energy that hits the earth surface is truly astonishing all we need is a way to trap this energy and convert it to electricity in an efficient cost effective manner. Solar panels are coming a long way and their efficiency increases all the time, manufacturing costs just need to come down to make them a viable alternative energy source. I said a few years ago if I had money to invest it would be in solar, but I don’t so nevermind.

Anyway yesterday I came across a video from CBS’ 60 minute show describing a new fuel cell tecnology from a company called Bloom Energy. This technology will be formally presented to the world tomorrow and after watching the video its hard not to be impressed, skeptical and hopeful all at the same time. How does it works? Well I’d love to be able to tell you but I don’t fully understand it, well not at a deep enough level anyway! In a nutshell (and by my understanding which may be incorrect) a ceramic disk is coated on two sides with two different compounds, when oxygen passes over one side and methane (or another fuel source) passes over the other side it is converted into hydrogen and carbon monoxide which are all then combined into water/heat.

This technology is already in production use by some big players and it has some impressive financial backing so hopefully its not just another technology that will never come to be ala Tomorrow’s World stylee. For me there are still many unanswered questions surrounding the technology, but ultimately if it improves efficiency and in the long run reduces the cost of energy its got to be a good thing?

Or is it all too good to be true?

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