I’ve just recently bumped on the news about the bloom box, a fuel cell type contraption that allegedly produces electricity out of oxygen and some fuel (e.g. biofuel, methane, etc.). Considering that all it takes to power up a whole house is just a couple of cubes that can fit in the palms of my hands, I definitely want one at home.
What Is A Bloom Box?
(If you prefer, you can watch the video below).
A bloom box consists of a stack of thin ceramic plates (made out of sand) one side of which is painted with green ‘ink’ and the other black. One side of this plate is feed oxygen while the other is feed some fuel. The plate then magically outputs electricity out of these inputs. This technology is supposed to bring out the following advantages:
- On site power. This means we can eventually get rid of the messy grid of power lines and posts. And we can say goodbye to block-wide or city-wide power failure.
- Portable. It occupies the same space as the space occupied by a roll of tissue paper. So, a couple of cubes can be placed on any convenient place in the house, say on a shelf in the garage. Planning on a camping trip? Well, this time, you could probably bring your small fridge with you. Pretty soon, electric cars will be bloombox powered.
- Green. That is, it doesn’t contribute to atmospheric pollution as it is emission free. Actually, inasmuch as it uses fuel, there is still some emission but probably very minimal.
- Economical. A home-sized power installation is estimated to cost $3,000.00. If it’s true that EBay, one of the bloom box’s first big corporate users (Google was the first), has been using it and has declared a savings of $100,000.00 over a span of 9 months, this contraption must indeed be delivering to us the ideal energy source today.
So far, there are not much detailed information about the bloom box except for what has been declared and shown by Bloom Energy (the bloom box maker). In fact, the bloom box has supposedly been around for 8 years but Bloom Energy has always put it under wraps, probably until they have refined it to perfection. So, this means we still have no idea about possible miscellaneous expenses its maintenance might incur. Well, it’s probably possible to use household-produced methane gas so this is not much of an expense issue. What about oxygen? Do we just expose the box outside to make it work, or do we need to buy oxygen tanks? Or, do we need another contraption to extract oxygen from water?
All we have are some affirmations of agreement from the big guys (e.g. Ebay, Google). But then, considering who these guys are (oh, it’s just the google company, and yeah, ebay, coca cola, cox enterprises, wal-mart, sim center, staples, bank of america, fedex… ), and maybe I’m just the gullible type, I’m jumping and kicking to have one for my house.
What do you think of the bloombox guys?
YouTube Video of the BloomBox
[complete conference video]
[CBS News Interview with Bloom Box Inventor]
Also check out the BloomBox Buzz.