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Fuel cells are not an energy source

Dear Scientifically-Challenged Journalists Of The World:

Please stop writing that fuel cell devices are an energy source. They are not. They do not generate energy. They need input from a conventional energy source to operate, be it natural gas, electricity produced by coal-fueled power plants, or magical pixie gas from your backyard compost pile. They may be damned efficient, and that’s great, but they’re basically fancy rechargeable batteries.

Thank you.

3 Comments

  1. Jon Hoyt wrote:

    Wouldn’t the bloombox be more akin to an electrical generator?

    The generator I can go to the store now and buy draws in oxygen and gasoline/diesel/natural gas and then uses combustion to drive an electrical generator. It then emits carbon dioxide/ other gases as waste.

    The bloombox sends air and fuel across these composite blocks (cells) which then output electricity. I’m not sure what the emissions are.

    Maybe I’m an idiot here, but that sounds like a closer comparison than to a rechargeable battery?

    Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 16:30 | Permalink
  2. pjk wrote:

    hehe, good point. from what I understand, its emissions will be lower than a generator, and it’ll probably be more efficient.

    Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 17:37 | Permalink
  3. Nikki wrote:

    “hey need input from a conventional energy source to operate, be it natural gas, electricity produced by coal-fueled power plants, or magical pixie gas from your backyard compost pile.”

    I’m one of the senior reps for Pixie Gas, Inc. We’re an LPG alternative fuel conversion company and we agree with you.

    Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 12:58 | Permalink

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