Low carbon kid cretinism

It plans to invest an unspecified amount in solar generation capacity sourced from SunPower Corp, plus solid oxide fuel cell technology from Bloom Energy.

The fuel cells will supply stored power generated from the sun, when it isn\’t shining, and use a ceramic powder instead of platinum to produce electricity with greater efficiently than traditional fuel cells.

They operate at extremely high temperatures, typically above 800°C, which improves their electrical efficiency.

Bloom Energy uses scandia stabilised zirconia, one advantage of which is that it operates at lower temperatures than alternative materials.

8 thoughts on “Low carbon kid cretinism”

  1. But he’s right: solid-oxide fuel cells do operate at a much higher temperature that conventional fuel cells. He’s not comparing one make of SOFC with another, he’s comparing SOFCs with other designs, proton-exchange membrane fuel cells for example.

    It’s true that scandia-stabilized zirconia facilitates the use of lower temperatures than yttria-stabilized zirconia, but that’s something like 800C instead of 1000C, whereas PEMFCs operate below 100C.

    (I think he is somewhat wrong to say that the ceramic replaces platinum: platinum in a fuel cell is a catalyst built into the electrodes, rather than the electrode material itself.)

  2. From the LCK

    “Data centres contain thousands of computers that store and manage the world’s rapidly growing accumulation of data for consumption at a moment’s notice. They consume a tremendous amount of electricity and are responsible for around 2% of global GHG emissions.”

    Is there any justification for this unlikely figure? He is saying data centres, not the world’s total data processing need.

  3. Just posted a [polite 🙂 ] query of the figure on his site. Be interesting to see if it survives moderation.

  4. The 2% figure comes from Gartner: Green IT, The New Industry Shockwave Apr 2007 which stated that it comes from the whole ICT sector. That’s every single telephone, desktop, server, datacentre, all the old style VDUs and new style LCDs, possibly even TV broadcast equipment, and all broadband routers and gateways. Have I forgotten anything?

  5. “Have I forgotten anything?” Likely the manufacturing usage, knowing the people producing the figures.
    My initial reaction was he was several orders of magnitude adrift.
    Well, at least it sets a benchmark for how one assesses the rest of his blitherings.

  6. So Much For Subtlety

    They operate at extremely high temperatures, typically above 800°C, which improves their electrical efficiency.

    Am I the only one who finds that sudden use of the word “electrical” suspicious? Sure, if they operate at high temperatures they may be more efficient electrically. But what about the energy required to keep them at 8ooC? They will leak energy to the environment like, well a pile of hot rocks, and will cool. Especially if they are being used to store power at night. Now there is no end of things you can do about that, but I would not like to have to maintain a pile of rocks at 800C in a thoroughly insulated room.

  7. Yes, how much energy is required to reach and maintain a temperature of 800 degrees? Do they do this at night on economy 7?

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