Bloom Box: a practical, clean energy solution for homes?

Photo via CNET.

Like many people, I just started hearing about the Bloom Box from Bloom Energy. It isn’t the first time that 60 Minutes has come up with a story about some type of miraculous energy source that seems too good to be true.

Indeed, free energy scams are as old as energy itself!

But here’s why the Bloom Box isn’t actually a scam. It doesn’t ever claim to be a device that creates free energy. It’s just a fuel cell device that makes ultra efficient use of methane or natural gas to generate electricity cheaper and cleaner than buying it from the grid.

And look who is actually using these devices right now:

Wal-Mart, Bank of America, Google, Staples, Ebay, FedEx and others. These are real companies, using a real, functioning device.

Makes you wonder things like, how well would it run on propane? Could you power an entire house off the grid? And how long would the propane last?

Would it be cheaper and/or cleaner if you have a natural gas hookup at your home to use a Bloom Box to generate your electricity instead of getting it from the grid?

How much will they cost for one suitable for a house? What will the payback time be in years?

Want to learn more about the Bloom Box?

The Bloom Energy official web site is starting to offer more details about the device, now that they are actively seeking out media coverage.

CBS 60 Minutes had a segment about the Bloom Box.

CNET has also been covering the Bloom Box, and even live blogged one of their media events.

Readers, do you have anything interesting to say about the Bloom Box?