Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cheap Energy Watch

     The previous post highlighted the case of BlackLight Power of New Jersey and its promise to demonstrate a process of cheaply separating hydrogen from water through a proprietary catalyst to directly generate electricity -sometime in 2011. 
 In addition to BLP there are others claiming to be on the threshold major energy breakthroughs.  Over in Italy, a couple of researchers  at Bologna University claim they are ready to commercialize a cold fusion process generating low-cost energy. See Pesn Feb 8, 2011 paper on the possible connections between the fusion research being pursued by New Jersey's Mills and Italy's Rossi.

  MIT research on solar cells is likely to make first generation solar panels obsolete. Technology Review magazine features an article on what's next in solar energy. In a long assessment of current research, the editor of the magazine is not optimistic that solutions are imminent. However, MIT has spun-off Sun Catalytix Corporation to commercialize solar-powered hydrolysis research of Prof Daniel Nocera. This start-up has received ARPA-E research funding and a $9.5 million injection led by Tata Limited.

   In the face of rising oil consumption in China and India plus political turmoil in the Arab countries, the cost of oil will soon approach $200 a barrel. So, it doesn't matter if alarmists are right about the barrel being less than half empty, or our energy-wasting optimists are right about the barrel being more than half full of tar sands oil.  
  Within the lifetime of the oldest baby boomer, it is likely fossil-fueled electricity generation will be replaced by swift and disruptive transitions to Low Energy Nuclear Reactors and solar power. 


July 11, 2011 interview with Andrea Rossi
   Read introduction to Rossi's career here, and then read interview transcript.  
In this interview, Hank Mills (editor of Pure Energy Systems -News) obtains some credible-sounding information from the Italian engineer who has set up an operations base in Miami to produce reactor modules for one megawatt plants to be assembled in Greece for the European market  -commencing in October, 2011. 

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Cheap Energy ...Soon-to be-Reality or a Scam

  It has just been leaked that Saudi Arabia's oil reserves have been grossly overstated.  If so, we are on the threshold of declining oil, and Obama's plans for having one million electric cars on the roads in 10 years, and giving 80% of Americans access to high-speed trains over the next 25 years are indeed timely.
  Alberta's tar sands together with deep-sea drilling will help bridge the widening deficit in conventional oil production but, the recovery costs of the new oil are major. Cheaper sources for  heating and transportation fuel will have to be found. Hydrogen is the likeliest candidate since there is an inexhaustible source in water. The big obstacles are the high cost of using electricity in separating the hydrogen from the oxygen and expensive distribution.
  A company in Cranbury, New Jersey believes it has the solution to both these problems -and, within the next 10 months expects to make a public demonstration of its technology. Randell Mills, founder and CEO of Blacklight Power says he has a compact reactor that liberates energy from hydrogen in a totally new and inexpensive way.
 Back in January 2009, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in an article titled, "Loser: Hot or Not" analyzed BLP's efforts and threw cold water on their claims.  
 Two years later a pundit at the American Reporter took a much warmer position. He puts a lot of faith in the recent testing done by labs at nearby Rowan University. The article states, in part, "The company, funded by $70 million in investments by three large venture capital firms, says the technology allows an electric car the size of a Prius and costing about $9,000 to build, to travel more than 5,000 miles on a gallon of water." 
BLP claims electricity can be produced without large plants and steam generators. Their system apparently produces electricity directly from water. The units can be scaled from those for cars, to individual homes, factories and community utilities.

 Visit the Backlight Power website to monitor their updates -or check back here to learn if the promised demonstration materializes this year.