Dezakin wrote:Combined cycle plants are well above 40%, they're often in the range of 55-60%. 40% and you're down in steam cycles.Realistically combined cycle nat gas generation is going to be around 40%, and the best ceramic fuel cells are around 60%. I dunno where this one is, but at the very least it's not impossible for it to be above what combined cycle nat gas plants are at.
Answering-the-Unanswered-QuestionsHow do the CO2 emissions compare to a conventional power plant?
According to NaturalGas.org, efficiencies for a utility scale gas fired power plant are on the order of 33% for a classic steam plant to about 55% for a combined heat and power plant. With transmission losses of about 7%, that gives net efficiencies of 26% to 48%. So the Bloom Box is at worst on a par with a conventional power plant, and at best twice as efficient.
Ick. When they claimed they were twice as efficient as natural gas they were talking about a classic steam plant not a combined cycle plant. The efficiency of this fuel cell is comparable to a combined cycle plant, slightly better if you factor in losses from transmission.
kub, that quote was from the skeptic! not the inventor! the inventor stated that the materials are plentiful!
Answering-the-Unanswered-QuestionsWhat are the Catalysts made from?
The Bloom technology is a solid oxide fuel cell. it does not need a catalyst to work. In a solid oxide cell a ceramic membrane, usually made from zirconium oxide, allows oxygen ions to travel through it, creating electricity in the process. If you put a fuel on one side and air on the other, the fuel will create an impetus for the oxygen in the air to move through the membrane, creating an ongoing reaction. Any fuel will work for this, so long as it has enough affinity for oxygen. The Platinum that Mr. Sridhar refers to as being needed is for temperature resistance. Ceramic membranes do not start to conduct oxygen until they get hot, usually more than 1300 degrees Fahrenheit. There are very few materials that will survive at those temperatures for long periods of time. Platinum is the safest choice for this.
The inks that Mr. Sridhar shows are for the electrodes that allow for collection of the current being produced as the oxygen travels through the membrane. These need to operate at high temperatures, collect all the electricity being generated AND allow oxygen to travel through them. It's understandable that these formulations are kept very secret.
I think that answers the catalyst question. I still think these things are expensive.