Anonymous group develop revolutionary and inexpensive energy source
A mysterious group of scientists previously from the US defence and space programmes claim to have developed a new type of fuel cell that breaks the bonds in water molecules, producing electricity and hydrogen that can be used in the home in place of natural gas.
Following two years of work by around 400 people from science, technology and engineering backgrounds, the organisation, known as Genesis World Energy, says that they have developed an energy system that can be installed in homes or businesses. The Edison Device is about the same size as an outdoor air conditioning unit, and, they say, requires only the attachment of three wires to existing electrical service connections, a link to the household gas system, and a water supply.
The unit has been being secretly tested for a year, Nejhla Shaw, President of World Energy, the licensing organisation for Genesis, told edie. It uses less water than a domestic ice maker, using only 30 gallons, of any type of water from salt to rain, over its 20-year lifespan.
The device produces from 30 to 100KW electricity, as well as hydrogen, which can be used in place of natural gas supplies. It uses a minimal amount of water, produces no noise or emissions, and has a life span of at least 20 years, according to its developers.
Those involved in the development of the technology state that they wish to remain anonymous due to the protection of their intellectual property assets.
“We had anticipated a level of scepticism,” a spokesperson for the group told edie, but they had not expected the level of enthusiasm from the public. Within the first few days of the launch the group had already received 150 applications for licences to build the device.
Genesis World Energy is concerned that the distribution of the device should be equitable, with no one country becoming rich from its manufacture. For this reason the group wants the device to be manufactured in every country it is used, and will not permit any import or export. The group has also calculated that each domestic Edison Device could be sold for US$3,000. However, the relatively low price has its drawbacks, says Shaw. “Because of the low price people think it’s not going to work,” she said.
The Edison Device consists of a gCell process – separating oxygen and hydrogen from water molecules – and an eCell process – electricity generation using fuel cell-type technology.
The first process occurs in the Genesis gCell, and is achieved by creating a series of molecular level reactions that excite the oxygen and hydrogen and separate them using a thermo electro-catalytic reaction. A small amount of the oxygen and hydrogen are permitted to reattach to each other, producing additional electrical current to subsidise the overall process.
The second phase – the eCell process – in which electricity is produced, involves fuel cell technology, but shares very little in common with any other type of fuel cell in existence, says the consortium. The differences include a low manufacturing cost, substantially higher electrical generation yields, and catalysts that are not subject to normal degradation, according to the group.
In this process, the water and hydrogen molecules are excited and returned to each other, recreating water and producing electricity and heat.
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