Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bloom Box Energy

by Richard Crews
Bloom boxes are made from ceramic plates, painted with special paint, in a stack. They act as fuel cells, making energy through a chemical reaction between oxygen and a clean-energy fuel source such as natural gas or bio-fuels. Two brick-sized stacks of these cells will power a typical U.S. home.

So an individual house can be off the grid. (About half the energy produced at a utilities energy source is lost in transmission.)

Bloom boxes are currently sold as business-size units that cost $700,000 to $800,000. Several large companies including FedEx, Google, Walmart, and EBay, have been using refrigerator-sized Bloom Boxes with good results. eBay reports that it has saved $100,000 in energy costs since it started using five of the mega-Bloom Boxes nine months ago. Google has been Blooming for 18 months.

Eventually (over 5 to 10 years) the price for a brick-sized home unit is expected to come down to around $3,000.