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Clear Edge Fuel Cell?

madmadscientist's picture

So I'm sure y'all have seen the adds for this Clearedge Fuel cell thing all over this site and the JLC site I even got an email from JLC specifically about them.

http://www.clearedgepower.com/

I've been all over the site like twice and havent found any useful 'hard' info?

Might be green snake oil, maybe, maybe not but a website that's all style and no substance makes me very suspicious...

The MadMadScientist

Restoring our second Victorian home this time in Alamdea CA.  Check out the blog http://www.chezneumansky.blogspot.com/ 

Oakland CA 

Crazy Homeowner-Victorian Restorer

Yeah ... I checked it out. I (post #181966, reply #1 of 4)

Yeah ... I checked it out. I responded with a hypothetical small commercial building and got a response implying that they didn't provide units that large. Then I sent another more residential size ... seemed like I got a similar response.

Fuel cells certainly are interesting, but they ain't the silver bullet for the most part ... unless you crack water w/ PV solar power, but that's expensive, too.

Fuel cells are subject to the same laws of thermo. Many of these are natural gas based electrical generators. You can do some math on them. But they can be better in terms of pollution, I suppose ... that's one aspect of these that I don't have an understanding of, yet.

There ain't NO free lunch. Not no how, not no where!

They're pretty vague as to (post #181966, reply #2 of 4)

They're pretty vague as to what this is.  Could be a true "fuel cell", could just be a thermoelectric generator.

Might be practical for people who have reliable natural gas but unreliable electricity, but that's probably a small intersection on the Venn diagram.

A major question is the lifetime of the unit -- many fuel cells become "poisoned" over time or otherwise wear out.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Fuel cells are not subject to the same laws of thermo-dynamics (post #181966, reply #3 of 4)

A fuel cell uses a electro-chemical method to generate electricity which is not limited by the Carnot efficiency limitations of thermo-dynamics which apply to when heat is converted to mechanical energy.  In theory, a fuel cell can be more efficient than burning the gas to heat a boiler or power a gas turbine.  Probably much more expensive at the scale of a power plant so they are not used that way.


Additionally, by recovering the waste heat from the electricity generation, the efficiency of the total package presumably could be much greater than that of a traditional power plant which throws the waste heat away.  The question would be, how well does the demand for electricity and heat match up.  Probably pretty good in winter when you need both hot water and space heating.  Probably not so much if you are running air conditioning and only need heat for hot water.


Obviously, I have strayed from the original question about the particular web site, and have considered only theory.

Some info here: (post #181966, reply #4 of 4)

Some info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro_combi...

But it doesn't discuss fuel cell setups.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville