Alternative Energy redox

Published on August 26th, 2013 | by Jo Borrás

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New Fuel Cell Generator Tech from Redox Dramatically Reduces Cost per Kilowatt

redox

Capable of generating electricity from diesel, natural gas, ethanol, and even biomass, this new “Cube” generator from University of Maryland startup Redox promises uninterrupted, low-emissions energy from renewable fuel sources. The best part is that Redox claims their Cube can effectively generate power at a fraction of the operating costs of existing alternatives like the Bloom Energy Saver, which made waves as a scalable power system back in 2012.

How much cheaper is the Cube? Redox’ electricity comes in at a cost of just $800 per kilowatt – which is a staggering $9,200 per kilowatt discount on Bloom’s system … assuming, of course, that it works at all.

At the moment, the Cube is a concept – but it’s a concept that is backed by more than $5 million, not including the 25 years of R&D by Eric Wachsman, the scientist whose low-temperature fuel cell research underlies the Redox’s patented technology.

Despite the heavy-hitting science behind the Redox cube project, though, the devices that have appeared on spec sheets and in photographs given out by the company are mock-ups, not working generators. To answer the doubters, Redox plans to turn on its first prototype 25-kilowatt working Cube in December, according to Redox CEO Warren Citrin. “That’s what we’re doing instead of a PowerPoint presentation,” he said. “We’re going to actually show the machine, and overcome all the skeptics.”

Once built, the Redox Cube will be available as a single, small-sized cube (visible in the photos, below, for scale). Larger installations can use several Cubes, installed in stacks or formations like Legos, to meet the power demands of a given area, village, hospital, or office building. It’s hoped that inexpensive, yet highly-efficient generators like the Cube will allow people and communities to break free from the dirty coal, oil, and unicorn-powered “dirty plants” that they’re basically forced to buy energy from today.

We’ll check back in December, then, and see how things go for Redox’ generators. Until then, you can check out some of the science behind the Cube here (PDF file). Enjoy!

 

Sources | Photos: GreenTech Media, PowerSERG, Treehugger.




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About the Author

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.



  • Wiggletoes

    Further proof beyond patented liquid catalyst that fuel cell technology development is excessively outpacing battery tech and coupled with new hydrogen from agricultural waste (corn cobs) could make a major reduction in carbon emissions. Think of India and China where the labor is readily available to move the agricultural waste but US has the capital to make it happen as a replacement for more Utility peaking plants.

  • Fred Miller

    “At the moment, the Cube is a concept….” Please, don’t waste my time with concepts. Report on real commercialized technology that someone can buy. Stay out of the hype machine.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      If only there was some other website you could go to for non-concept related news! Sadly, we *are* the only site on the entire world wide web – as such, we value your criticism, and will endeavor to report only on those things which you find interesting.

      Please accept my sincerest apologies, and enjoy this kitten.

      • AaronD12

        Cute cat!

        To: Fred Miller

        The article states, “To answer the doubters, Redox plans to turn on its first prototype 25-kilowatt working Cube in December, according to Redox CEO Warren Citrin. “That’s what we’re doing instead of a PowerPoint presentation,” he said. “We’re going to actually show the machine, and overcome all the skeptics.”

        Rather than doubt it, wait until December. THEN you can voice your doubt if the machine fails to come to fruition.

        • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

          Seriously, though: how much do you love that cat!??

  • UKGary

    Assuming they can get it working and that efficiencies are as expected for a high quality fuel cell, they are very well sized for small business CHP / Trigen applications – using mains gas in homes and businesses to deliver not only electricity, but space heating, hot water, steam for cooking in ready meal preparation, and via an absorption cycle chilling at very much lower CO2 intensity than electricity from the grid.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      Exactly right – but think of the off-grid potential for small towns, campgrounds, etc. that will have access to efficient power without the need for power lines, underground pipes, etc. to be put in place.

    • T Adkins

      At just over 1 cubic meter in size and with a 60% efficiency rate, I can see these being used to replace the diesel/electric drive systems in freight trains but still use diesel fuel, similarly with certain heavy earth moving equipment. Makes me also wonder about uses in the trucking industry.

  • Yeah right!

    they are years away to get it working… thus anyone can claim any cost at this stage. I am telling you right now, I am building a Tesla equivalent and will sell it for under $1000

  • Yeah right!

    Please write something about my car!!

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