Were you impressed by the recently unveiled Bloom Energy “micro power plant”? Well the stationary fuel cell already some competition in the form of a methanol fuel cell device from a California-based startup called Oorja Protonics. Oorja’s soon-to-be-unveiled device is much cheaper and can generate 5 kw of energy — enough to power a home or small business.
The small device isn’t quite as powerful as Bloom Energy’s fuel cell — 20 Oorja devices could provide the same power as a single Bloom Energy Server. But while Bloom’s device costs between $700,000 and $800,000, Oorja’s fuel cell will cost less than $15,000, making it much more accessible to the home market. Another advantage: Bloom’s fuel cell provides minimal heat, while Oorja’s device generates both heat and power.
Of course, it’s slightly unfair to directly compare the two. Bloom’s fuel cell runs on a number of fuels, including methane and biogas. Oorja’s device, in comparison, runs on methanol. We’ll find out soon what potential buyers prefer — Oorja’s fuel cell will be released in a few months.
Via Greentech Media