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(Forbes)   Dishwasher-sized fuel cell is a potential game-changer   (forbes.com) divider line 75
    More: Interesting, fuel cells, oxidation, University of Maryland  
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5467 clicks; posted to Geek » on 18 Aug 2013 at 8:10 AM (48 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-18 08:19:23 AM
Natural gas for the fuel source, I wonder if propane would work as well?

My dream is buy a large plot of land well away from everything building a house on it and having a power source like this would be nice as a backup.
 
2013-08-18 08:20:17 AM
This is an advertisment disguised as an article.

There's almost no actual information in there. What's the cost, how much per kw, When is it available?

spoiler, it runs on natural gas.
 
2013-08-18 08:24:19 AM
Needs methane, notice how they mention ONLY the methane? Lol.

Problem is, 25kw of fuel cell generated power isn't that great, it has an inverter pack etc but they're talking the output of the cell itself.  After inversion you're looking at about 20kw.

NOT enough to run a small grocery store, sorry.  A house trailer's aircon, which isn't even a full refrigeration unit, pulls 15kw peak load and will burn out if the power isn't clean.

Enough to run a powered tent ER?  Yes, definitely.  Something strong enough to provide a basic work site for disaster recovery, run freezers for food, etc etc.  But with this company's track record.... a piece of shiat either way.  You CANNOT "turn it off" once you start it, it has to run constantly and maintain temp.
 
2013-08-18 08:24:48 AM
Running on natural gas is not off grid living. Maybe propane, but not NG.

Also 1/10 of x = ?
 
2013-08-18 08:30:42 AM
I'm not sure that immigrant sized fuel cells are the answer.
 
2013-08-18 08:41:41 AM
Also, that efficiency they're touting is "when used to provide both heat and power"... which really says nothing about its actual efficiency.
 
2013-08-18 08:43:13 AM

whipbambucket: Running on natural gas is not off grid living. Maybe propane, but not NG.

Also 1/10 of x = ?


I've read about people using tanks of compressed natural gas, but it's not feasible to liquefy it (even if it were essentially pure methane, which it isn't) so the capacity is low and the tanks large (and hence expensive). The boiling point of propane at atmospheric pressure is about 120C higher...
 
2013-08-18 08:44:38 AM

whipbambucket: Running on natural gas is not off grid living. Maybe propane, but not NG.

Also 1/10 of x = ?


What if you have your own gas well?  Or you could harvest the methane from your cow manure and compost.
 
2013-08-18 08:50:33 AM

AndreMA: whipbambucket: Running on natural gas is not off grid living. Maybe propane, but not NG.

Also 1/10 of x = ?

I've read about people using tanks of compressed natural gas, but it's not feasible to liquefy it (even if it were essentially pure methane, which it isn't) so the capacity is low and the tanks large (and hence expensive). The boiling point of propane at atmospheric pressure is about 120C higher...


I should know this because of my job, but isn't compressed natural gas in a liquid state?  Or is LPG, liquid propane gas different?  Come to think of it, the propane tank doesn't slosh around, and I don't know if the LPG containers are work do, as I don't work with them directly.  The LPG containers are far more robust and larger than your standard propane grill tank, so maybe it has to do with everyday consumer safety standards.  I deal with Slurry chemicals used for CMP in chip manufacturing, I like to leave the dangerous stuff to the other guys.
 
2013-08-18 09:11:28 AM
This will be perfect for the residents of Johnston, RI - the entire town is blanketed in methane from the landfill
 
2013-08-18 09:18:22 AM

sendtodave: I'm not sure that immigrant sized fuel cells are the answer.


But Mexicans are tiny!

/golfclap
 
2013-08-18 09:22:24 AM
We were pricing out a natural gas generator for the building after Hurricane Irene knocked out power on Long Island for several days (the gas was still on). After having a few bids, we decided it was too much hassle and expense to reengineer the building to accommodate one of them.

This would solve that problem.

We've since decided to move to cloud hosting for our email (and possibly our other inhouse servers) because we need the high availability.
 
2013-08-18 09:26:06 AM
Since it's not perfect right out of the gate, we should probably just shelve the whole idea, and go back to proven technologies, like whale oil.
 
2013-08-18 09:29:30 AM

bizzwire: Since it's not perfect right out of the gate, we should probably just shelve the whole idea, and go back to proven technologies, like whale oil.


What else are we going to use to power our lanterns?
 
2013-08-18 09:32:25 AM
someone will get it right, be it this guy or someone else.

when they do, katy bar the door.

goodbye power co.
 
2013-08-18 09:33:59 AM
the question becomes "is it more likely my gas supply will be damaged in an emergency or my electric supply?"

Cuz if my gas is out, this thing don't much work.
 
2013-08-18 09:37:44 AM

White_Scarf_Syndrome: AndreMA: whipbambucket: Running on natural gas is not off grid living. Maybe propane, but not NG.

Also 1/10 of x = ?

I've read about people using tanks of compressed natural gas, but it's not feasible to liquefy it (even if it were essentially pure methane, which it isn't) so the capacity is low and the tanks large (and hence expensive). The boiling point of propane at atmospheric pressure is about 120C higher...

I should know this because of my job, but isn't compressed natural gas in a liquid state?  Or is LPG, liquid propane gas different?  Come to think of it, the propane tank doesn't slosh around, and I don't know if the LPG containers are work do, as I don't work with them directly.  The LPG containers are far more robust and larger than your standard propane grill tank, so maybe it has to do with everyday consumer safety standards.  I deal with Slurry chemicals used for CMP in chip manufacturing, I like to leave the dangerous stuff to the other guys.


The Critical Temperature of Propane is 96 °C,so it can be stored as a liquid under pressure below that temperature. The Critical Temperature of Methane is -82.7 °C. Liquid Methane would have to be stored like liquid Nitrogen, with a relief valve to let off excess pressure as it boils off slowly. That's not very practical since the stuff is flammable.
 
2013-08-18 10:08:52 AM
according to the specs http://www.powerserg.com/redox-powerserg-technical-info.html

it can be powered by a variety of fuels
 
2013-08-18 10:13:06 AM

Slives: Natural gas for the fuel source, I wonder if propane would work as well?

My dream is buy a large plot of land well away from everything building a house on it and having a power source like this would be nice as a backup.


Got the land and house already and since I lose power 5-10 times a year, for up to five days, I'd love to have one of these. Of course, this is about the 100th time I've seen a 'game changer' in the news in 50 years. None of them made it to market.
 
2013-08-18 10:16:23 AM
White_Scarf_Syndrome:
I should know this because of my job, but isn't compressed natural gas in a liquid state?  Or is LPG, liquid propane gas different?  Come to think of it, the propane tank doesn't slosh around, and I don't know if the LPG containers are work do, as I don't work with them directly.  The LPG containers are far more robust and larger than your standard propane grill tank, so maybe it has to do with everyday consumer safety standards.  I deal with Slurry chemicals used for CMP in chip manufacturing, I like to leave the dangerous stuff to the other guys.

CNG is stored at very high pressure, but it's still a gas.  Hell, I'm not sure that you can liquefy it at all at normal temperatures.  That's why the tanks are so huge for the amount of BTUs stored.

Speaking for vehicle usage, the fuel tanks needed to store the equivalent energy of 16 gallons of gasoline are very large and very heavy.  And it's kinda fun knowing that there's a 3600psi pressure vessel a couple feet behind you when someone cuts you off with a semi tailgating you.
 
2013-08-18 10:18:09 AM
Don't worry fellow Farkers. This energy breakthrough you've been waiting for is just 5-10 years away.

/And it always will be.
 
2013-08-18 10:18:28 AM

Slives: Natural gas for the fuel source, I wonder if propane would work as well?

My dream is buy a large plot of land well away from everything building a house on it and having a power source like this would be nice as a backup.


No.  Methane is CH4 and the carbon-hydrogen bond is not too tough to break.  Propane is C3H8.  The carbon-carbon bond is a lot tougher to break.  It is not a total block (change catalyst and you can break that bond, too.  Of course, TFA does not have much information and natural gas at your house often has a couple of percent of C2 compounds (like ethane or ethylene) and it has a few ppm of mercaptan (essence of skunk) in it, too.  So if the cell can handle a trace of mercaptan, maybe it can handle straight propane, too.  Just don't count on it.
 
2013-08-18 10:20:47 AM

MarkEC: The Critical Temperature of Propane is 96 °C,so it can be stored as a liquid under pressure below that temperature. The Critical Temperature of Methane is -82.7 °C. Liquid Methane would have to be stored like liquid Nitrogen, with a relief valve to let off excess pressure as it boils off slowly. That's not very practical since the stuff is flammable.


I have to amend the above. Liquid Natural Gas would actually be practical in an off-the-grid power situation since using the gas continuously would keep the liquid cold enough to not need to have any vent to the atmosphere if the design was right.
 
2013-08-18 10:21:36 AM
It is quiet. You know what else is? Propane and natural gas generators and I bet they have half the cost this will.
 
2013-08-18 10:23:31 AM

acefox1: Don't worry fellow Farkers. This energy breakthrough you've been waiting for is just 5-10 years away.

/And it always will be.


Yes, sweetie. Things never progress. Of course you're right. Now go back to sleep, here's your bottle and blankie.
 
2013-08-18 10:23:34 AM
What's the estimated cost for installation? Estimated annual maintenance costs? Is the routine maintenance within the capabilities of your average thumb-fingered jackass with an adjustable wrench?

This may or may not be vaporware like so many previous companies' claims, but the lack of useful information makes it seem like vaporware.
 
2013-08-18 10:25:01 AM
That's 33 horsepower. I've seen similarly compact FC's running on H2 that could power semi tractors, but I have no idea what those were putting out.
 
2013-08-18 10:28:53 AM
That was a lot of adjectives with very few numbers. I'd rather see the actual report.
 
2013-08-18 10:30:11 AM
Wow, that thing looks nothing like the Redbox I got movies from last night. Also not sure that the kiosks really need to have their own power supply.
 
2013-08-18 10:38:08 AM

Mikey1969: Wow, that thing looks nothing like the Redbox I got movies from last night. Also not sure that the kiosks really need to have their own power supply.


Came here for this.
 
2013-08-18 10:52:04 AM
This article was remarkably devoid of any information.   Is Forbes, trying to become the new PR Newswire?
 
2013-08-18 10:56:21 AM
I would like to remind you that this fuel cell will never threaten to stab you and, in fact, cannot speak.
 
2013-08-18 10:56:51 AM

arcas: This article was remarkably devoid of any information.   Is Forbes, trying to become the new PR Newswire?


Here are the basic specs for the Cube...

www.powerserg.com

I didn't see any pricing info on their website, but will definitely watch how it develops.
 
2013-08-18 10:59:17 AM
 I was hoping for Shipstone.
 
2013-08-18 11:26:09 AM
I like the idea myself. And you could probably run them in series if you needed more power. I can see something like this running a house, and NG in Canada is dirt cheap (12 cents a m2). I'd buy one if it's away to get away form the grid. I'm in a subdivision so solar is probably my only alternative at this point, and wind (even a savonious) is out.
I'd rather see the good in this, then be outright negative.
 
2013-08-18 11:26:31 AM

snuffy: according to the specs http://www.powerserg.com/redox-powerserg-technical-info.html

it can be powered by a variety of fuels


That's not how we do it on FARK young man!!!!

You're just supposed to mindlessly whine about it not being perfect. How dare you interject facts into this discussion.
 
2013-08-18 11:34:00 AM
on-site and optionally off the grid
"The Cube," connects to your natural gas line

 When I think "off the grid", a natural gas line is not exactly what comes to mind.
 
2013-08-18 11:38:27 AM

Stone Meadow: arcas: This article was remarkably devoid of any information.   Is Forbes, trying to become the new PR Newswire?

Here are the basic specs for the Cube...

[www.powerserg.com image 850x396]

I didn't see any pricing info on their website, but will definitely watch how it develops.


Pretty promising so far, but yeah... the price is going to be key and we've seen none of that yet. Hopefully the price won't be crazy as it seems like pretty cool technology.


prjindigo: Needs methane, notice how they mention ONLY the methane? Lol.

Problem is, 25kw of fuel cell generated power isn't that great, it has an inverter pack etc but they're talking the output of the cell itself.  After inversion you're looking at about 20kw.

NOT enough to run a small grocery store, sorry.  A house trailer's aircon, which isn't even a full refrigeration unit, pulls 15kw peak load and will burn out if the power isn't clean.

Enough to run a powered tent ER?  Yes, definitely.  Something strong enough to provide a basic work site for disaster recovery, run freezers for food, etc etc.  But with this company's track record.... a piece of shiat either way.  You CANNOT "turn it off" once you start it, it has to run constantly and maintain temp.



These units are generating up to 1,920 kWh. The average American home uses about 1,000 kWh (can be a little higher or lower depending on where, like 20% or so). That's more than enough for the typical residential home. So I'm not sure what kind of tent you're talking about... Is it in underwater and does it have lasers or something?
 
2013-08-18 11:38:27 AM

CujoQuarrel: snuffy: according to the specs http://www.powerserg.com/redox-powerserg-technical-info.html

it can be powered by a variety of fuels

That's not how we do it on FARK young man!!!!

You're just supposed to mindlessly whine about it not being perfect. How dare you interject facts into this discussion.


/.5%er
 
2013-08-18 11:38:40 AM

Mikey1969: Wow, that thing looks nothing like the Redbox I got movies from last night. Also not sure that the kiosks really need to have their own power supply.


My house is powered by Netflix.
 
2013-08-18 11:43:35 AM

lilbjorn: on-site and optionally off the grid
"The Cube," connects to your natural gas line
 When I think "off the grid", a natural gas line is not exactly what comes to mind.



Very true. Though it apparently can run on a variety of fuels, so you could run it off of a propane tank like a lot of folks have out in the boonies. It would certainly be able to take my residential home in the suburbs off of the electrical grid though. Here in the DC area suburbs we can have some pretty long electrical outages, but the gas never stops flowing. With one of these hooked up to my gas line it would mean no derecho or thunderstorm would ever knock my house offline for a week ever again.

I don't see anything about running off of hydrogen though... If it could do that you could use some relatively small solar panels to crack water you collect, and use that hydrogen to power the unit. THAT would take you off the grid completely.
 
2013-08-18 11:47:42 AM
T

lilbjorn: on-site and optionally off the grid
"The Cube," connects to your natural gas line
 When I think "off the grid", a natural gas line is not exactly what comes to mind.


Think big tank
 
2013-08-18 11:48:27 AM

bizzwire: Since it's not perfect right out of the gate, we should probably just shelve the whole idea, and go back to proven technologies, like whale oil.


This article also belongs in the Business and Politics tabs. Look what happened to the whale oil industry when cheap and plentiful oil was discovered. Look at how oil has impacted our economy, the way we design our cities, and our relationships with other countries. Adoption of this Cube, or something like it, could bring different changes on a similar level.
 
2013-08-18 11:48:51 AM

mongbiohazard: Stone Meadow: arcas: This article was remarkably devoid of any information.   Is Forbes, trying to become the new PR Newswire?

Here are the basic specs for the Cube...

[www.powerserg.com image 850x396]

I didn't see any pricing info on their website, but will definitely watch how it develops.

Pretty promising so far, but yeah... the price is going to be key and we've seen none of that yet. Hopefully the price won't be crazy as it seems like pretty cool technology.


prjindigo: Needs methane, notice how they mention ONLY the methane? Lol.

Problem is, 25kw of fuel cell generated power isn't that great, it has an inverter pack etc but they're talking the output of the cell itself.  After inversion you're looking at about 20kw.

NOT enough to run a small grocery store, sorry.  A house trailer's aircon, which isn't even a full refrigeration unit, pulls 15kw peak load and will burn out if the power isn't clean.

Enough to run a powered tent ER?  Yes, definitely.  Something strong enough to provide a basic work site for disaster recovery, run freezers for food, etc etc.  But with this company's track record.... a piece of shiat either way.  You CANNOT "turn it off" once you start it, it has to run constantly and maintain temp.


These units are generating up to 1,920 kWh. The average American home uses about 1,000 kWh (can be a little higher or lower depending on where, like 20% or so). That's more than enough for the typical residential home. So I'm not sure what kind of tent you're talking about... Is it in underwater and does it have lasers or something?



The former middle school science teacher in me wants to slap you with a meter stick and scream at you to get your farking units straight.

Are you talking kW as in Kilowatts or in terms of kWh as in kilowatt-hours over some (secret) period of time?


========================================

indarwinsshadow: I like the idea myself. And you could probably run them in series if you needed more power. I can see something like this running a house, and NG in Canada is dirt cheap (12 cents a m2). I'd buy one if it's away to get away form the grid. I'm in a subdivision so solar is probably my only alternative at this point, and wind (even a savonious) is out.
I'd rather see the good in this, then be outright negative.



What's an M2?   Did you mean cubic meter (M3) or is it a unit used with natural gas that I haven't heard of.

/Yay! Finally an excuse to use the superscript button!

=======================

acefox1: Don't worry fellow Farkers. This energy breakthrough you've been waiting for is just 5-10 years away.

/And it always will be.


One of these days relatively soon, there really WILL be a breakthrough.

That or the vast majority of our children/grandchildren are going to die slow, horrible deaths.
 
2013-08-18 11:49:23 AM

mongbiohazard: Stone Meadow: arcas: This article was remarkably devoid of any information.   Is Forbes, trying to become the new PR Newswire?

Here are the basic specs for the Cube...

[www.powerserg.com image 850x396]

I didn't see any pricing info on their website, but will definitely watch how it develops.

Pretty promising so far, but yeah... the price is going to be key and we've seen none of that yet. Hopefully the price won't be crazy as it seems like pretty cool technology.


prjindigo: Needs methane, notice how they mention ONLY the methane? Lol.

Problem is, 25kw of fuel cell generated power isn't that great, it has an inverter pack etc but they're talking the output of the cell itself.  After inversion you're looking at about 20kw.

NOT enough to run a small grocery store, sorry.  A house trailer's aircon, which isn't even a full refrigeration unit, pulls 15kw peak load and will burn out if the power isn't clean.

Enough to run a powered tent ER?  Yes, definitely.  Something strong enough to provide a basic work site for disaster recovery, run freezers for food, etc etc.  But with this company's track record.... a piece of shiat either way.  You CANNOT "turn it off" once you start it, it has to run constantly and maintain temp.


These units are generating up to 1,920 kWh. The average American home uses about 1,000 kWh (can be a little higher or lower depending on where, like 20% or so). That's more than enough for the typical residential home. So I'm not sure what kind of tent you're talking about... Is it in underwater and does it have lasers or something?


It takes a lot to recharge the lasers on the mutated sea bass
 
2013-08-18 12:11:28 PM
Uh.... yeah, okay.

*adds to wishlist*
 
2013-08-18 12:16:11 PM

Slives: Natural gas for the fuel source, I wonder if propane would work as well?

My dream is buy a large plot of land well away from everything building a house on it and having a power source like this would be nice as a backup.


Yes and diesel http://www.powerserg.com/redox-powerserg-technical-info.html
 
2013-08-18 12:28:01 PM

whipbambucket: Also 1/10 of x = ?


There is a local company that sells fuel cells.  They are NOT ten times the size of this one, though they are bigger... and stackable.  They cost about $250,000 for a cell.
 
2013-08-18 12:35:43 PM

Stone Meadow: arcas: This article was remarkably devoid of any information.   Is Forbes, trying to become the new PR Newswire?

Here are the basic specs for the Cube...

[www.powerserg.com image 850x396]

I didn't see any pricing info on their website, but will definitely watch how it develops.


You getting ready to 3D print one, you big fat liar?
 
2013-08-18 12:36:39 PM
Sooo.. What's it cost?
 
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