Bloom Energy on 60 Minutes

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wrote:

CBS and 60 Minutes have major credibility deficits. 60 Minutes is famous for editing it's product to depict what they wish to depict. And CBS too FAR too long to dump Rather.
--
Jim Yanik
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wrote:

Just think of the credibility deficits you have strung together here over the years!
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A little more data is leaking out here: http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_14461347
Key paragraphs follow - note the last sentence:
There are about six main types of fuel cells in various stages of commercial viability, and experts often break the field into "low temperature" fuel cells that rely on hydrogen and "high temperature" solid oxide fuel cells that can use other fuels like methane or natural gas.
Solid oxide fuel cells operate at red-hot temperatures usually about 1,000 degrees Celsius.
"Because they operate at high temperatures, they can accept other fuels like natural gas and methane, and that's an enormous advantage," said Michael Tucker of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "The disadvantage is that they can shatter as they are heating or cooling."
Solid oxide fuel cells are not new: since 1999, the Department of Energy, researchers and leading companies have been collaborating on efforts to accelerate the commercial readiness of "SOFCs."
"Solid oxide has always been the holy grail of fuel cells, and there are a lot of companies working on it," said Mike Brown, vice president of UTC Power in Connecticut, a division of United Technologies and a leading fuel-cell maker. "The issue is durability and cost. Fuel cells have to be as durable as utilities, and operate for at least 10 years."
Earlier this month, UTC Power announced that the new Whole Foods Market grocery store currently under construction in South San Jose will use a UTC Power fuel cell system to generate 90 percent of the store's electricity needs; since a byproduct of fuel cells is heat, the thermal energy will be captured and used for the store's heating, cooling and refrigeration.
Bloom's secret technology apparently lies in the proprietary green ink that act as the anode and the black ink that acts as the cathode. Bloom executives would not disclose the composition of the ink. Small cells are then stacked to make a larger device. A key question for Bloom is "stack life": How long are the stacks going to last? What warranties are they providing their customers?
"What has to be proven by any fuel cell manufacturer is that their technology can operate reliably for years, ideally 10 years, with the 'four nines' 99.99 percent reliability, or very little outages," said Scott Samuelsen, director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center at the University of California-Irvine and a professor of mechanical, aerospace, and environmental engineering. "At this point, Bloom has excellent potential, but they have yet to demonstrate that they've met the bars of reliability."
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Robert Neville wrote:

4 9's is about 52.5 minutes outage/year.
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True. But that's far more reliable than the grid around here. -- Doug
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wrote:

if they burn hydrocarbon fuels,where does the carbon go?
Answer;CO2,a greenhouse gas.
from Wiki,on natural gas; Before natural gas can be used as a fuel, it must undergo extensive processing to remove almost all materials other than methane. The by- products of that processing include ethane, propane, butanes, pentanes and higher molecular weight hydrocarbons, elemental sulfur, carbon dioxide, water vapor and sometimes helium and nitrogen.
seems like this isn't so "green".
--
Jim Yanik
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I guess it depends on what you compare it to. Beats the socks off of coal. -- Doug
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wrote:

I agree,but it loses to nuclear. IMO,we should find a way to use nuclear power to convert our coal into auto fuels.
AFTER we drill ANWR and the offshore fields.
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Jim Yanik
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I think that is being a bit overly negative. They have passed a lot more scrutiny than some company hyping diet pills, which typically has NO scrutiny at all. Kleiner-Perkins is a well known venture capital company that has backed some of the most successful startups in history. Those include Sun, Amazon and Google. Before they hand over $100mil, and knowing it's going to take another $300mil more, I can assure you that they have done their due diligence. And with their access to the best and brightest scientists and engineers, I would be comfortable that it's a lot sounder than a diet pill scam.
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote: ...

...
The subject of these is nothing at all related to H fuel cells....that's the whole point.
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Now you are just being dopey.
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Did you read the San Jose Mercury article posted here?
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wrote:

Yes.
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Then you will have noted that low temp hydrogen fuel cells are not what's being discussed in this thread.
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wrote:

It didn't say that in the article. It also pointed out that there are many types of fuel cells and all are related.
Were you aware that the Bloom fuel cells can run on a wider variety of fuels, as well as the ones the low temp cells are limited to?
Do you have these mental problems every time someone comes out with a new car model? Claim it's all hype, and BS, despite the fact that there are millions of cars already on the road?
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

No. But I do have an engineering degree and have been a practicing aerospace engineer for over 20 years. I'm also reasonably well educated and capable of discerning thought. There are basic thermodynamic laws involved here and my BS detector starts flashing bright red when a company looking for investors to bail out the venture capitalists conveniently glosses over what I know to be serious engineering problems that companies like GE and Siemens have failed to overcome, despite investments of billions of dollars.
The icing of the cake for me is when the lead VC for Bloom happens to be the company that hyped "it" as being the invention of the century and wouldn't release any details for months. You remember "it" don't you? Or maybe I should use its official name - the Segway.
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Doesn't sound like the venture capitalists are looking for relief; "According to Green Chip Stocks, John Doerr the billionaire venture capitalist that is currently backing Bloom Energys invention says there arent any plans in the immediate future for an IPO. They report:
Doerr said itll be nine years before they think about an IPO, even though it has substantial revenues and orders. According to Doerr, there is simply more capital required to grow a great green company. "

Yeah-- the loser. He even thought Netscape, Google and Amazon could amount to something. He's even snowed Forbes Magazine into putting him on their Midas List. They probably just watch too much network TV.
Healthy skepticism is good. But you're way over the top on negativity here. Is it just because of 60 Minutes?
Jim
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wrote:

So, yes, you do have some sort of irrational mental block.
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I don't really expect a 60 minutes story to be the equivalent of a presentation at a technical conference. Bloom Energy is the assignee on 52 patent applications: http://tinyurl.com/BloomPatents
There is a lot of detail in them. Some of the patents seem to be peripheral to the main ideas, but that is what you would expect.
My take on them is probably the same as most people around here: They are serious, they are real, and it is a long hard road from here to where they need to be. -- Doug
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wrote:

I'm as skeptical as the next guy, and also have the background to do my own time/value/cost analysis of a device. Even with good math helping someone, the more you dig into any complex system, the less reliable is the result. Even when you have a black box with a NG/Propane pipe running in, an inverter on the side and an AC line run to the home's meter, the number of variables and assumptions in particular are astounding. For instance, what do you assume the payment for power fed back to the grid will be over the life of the unit? What's the life of the unit? What will it cost to repair the unit when it (expectedly) breaks down? What will the replacement unit cost? What will the grid SELL power for over the cost of the unit? What will the cost of NG or Propane be over the life of the unit? What will be the ratio or loan to equity when acquiring the unit? What will be the interest cost of borrowing and the amortization period? What will be the LOST interest that could have been generated by the equity and also the amortized portion of the loan? What will labor cost to repair the unit over its life?
These are only a smattering of the assumptions that must be made to analyze the cost effectiveness of the unit. OTOH, we live with assumptions every day and ranges of probability can be assigned to each one. In a nutshell, it's usually a crap shoot and if you are selling them or have bought one, you'll pick assumptions favorable to you. OTOH, if you're a competitor, you'll pick variables and assumptions that tell your tale better. Now, it's a biased crap shoot.
However, there can be other factors involved that are not directly related to cost/reward, such as distribution of our power generating ability, ability to meet peak demands, use of existing infrastructure and social good in reduced emissions. There are also downsides, including the increased cost to regulate the new devices, how can taxes foisted on utilities be supplemented or reallocated with the new devices online and even minor things like a device being improperly installed and backfeeding a line thought to be dead.
It's a great thought to have distributed power generation like this and I'm sure that if the concept and pronouncements prove correct, that the loose ends will get worked out.
--
Nonny

Luxury cars now offer a Republican seating option. These are
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