Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Piezo, the Bloom Box, and the future of energy

There are so many creative new ways of generating power that I just couldn't pick one.


This was mentioned in the comic. Piezoelectric power is power generated through pressure motion in a dielectric—something embedded in a floor tile, for instance. One idea that uses this phenomenon to its advantage is designer Alberto Villarreal's BrightWalk shoes. Whenever you take a step, you generate a minute amount of electricity that trickle charges devices that you are carrying around.

A few more:

  • The Sustainable Dance Club -- one much like the one created by EVOKE agents in Rio.
  • An article about Japan's railways installing piezoelectric flooring to power ticket gates.

The Bloom Box

Probably one of the most interesting things that I've come across recently. Bloom Energy has created Bloom Boxes, energy producing boxes that they say can power an entire house—or business. According to Engadget,

Bloom's design feeds oxygen into one side of a cell while fuel (natural gas, bio gas from landfill waste, solar, etc) is supplied to the other side to provide the chemical reaction required for power. The cells themselves are inexpensive ceramic disks painted with a secret green "ink" on one side and a black "ink" on the other. The disks are separated by a cheap metal alloy, instead of more precious metals like platinum, and stacked into a cube of varying capabilities -- a stack of 64 can power a small business like Starbucks.

While this still requires external fuel, it's a much more sustainable idea for locations all over the world. Fossil fuels are no longer needed and things like biofuel or alternative energy could provide the catalyst energy for these personal power plants. However, that's not the only good thing about the Bloom Box. It embodies EVOKE's breed of social innovation. You have what's basically a fuel cell that doesn't run at full efficiency. However, the wide range of input fuels, the cheap cost, cheaper innovative materials, and accessibility make it something that could really go somewhere.

A follow up on the Bloom Box

Thanks to Agent Eugene Robkin.



A choice quote regarding their "shadiness":

Probably what annoys me most about Bloom's press release is that they claim the box "provides a cleaner, more reliable, and more affordable alternative to both today’s electric grid as well as traditional renewable energy sources." Again, if it's not an outright lie, it's at least very misleading. The Bloom Box might be more reliable than both, but it isn't cheaper than the grid and it isn't cleaner than solar or wind. Marketing double-speak isn't good for anyone. If you take that sentence at face value, then you might as well cease all development of solar and wind and put 100% of the country's resources into Bloom Boxes.

Bloom Energy's technology is fantastic and exciting. It's much cleaner than our current electricity infrastructure and more practical than distributed solar. It's great, but there's no reason to make false claims when your product is this revolutionary

While I'd have to agree that they overpromised and overhyped, it still doesn't take away from what the boxes could do. Even though they still emit CO2, they do at a far lesser rate than most any energy generation platform we have today. It basically makes connecting to the grid an option, not a necessity.

Views: 3

Tags: LEARN3

Comment by Brian Ballsun-Stanton on March 18, 2010 at 2:31am
Has any new news dropped on these things since the big PR splurt? I'd like to see any kind of real evidence.
Comment by Nathaniel Fruchter on March 18, 2010 at 3:34am
Yeah they've actually got a data sheet out and they have corporate installations. However, I think the personal ones are still under development
Comment by Brian Ballsun-Stanton on March 18, 2010 at 6:41am
Yeah, the only thing that lends credence to the story are their corporate installs. Still, I take this stuff with a huuuge grain of salt.


You need to be a member of Urgent Evoke to add comments!

Join Urgent Evoke

Latest Activity

Profile IconErika Rhodeside, Eloise Goffart, Paige Cole and 23 more joined Urgent Evoke
Weldon Hunter Brandon posted blog posts
Feb 23
Profile IconFRANK KWABENA, Juliana Ferreira do Nascimento, Ximena Galvez and 8 more joined Urgent Evoke
Feb 21
Weldon Hunter Brandon posted blog posts
Feb 19
Marshall Haas posted blog posts
Feb 19
David Connors posted photos
Feb 19
Jeffrey Smeriglio posted blog posts
Feb 19
Matthew Doyle posted blog posts
Feb 19
Jeffrey Smeriglio posted a photo


This new type of ATM is a way to give randomly to people in need or entrepreneurs in your local area or around the world. There is a search that allows you to define what you are looking to give money to. This also is a way for those who are…
Feb 19
Ted Sieban posted a photo

New Bank Opening

This New Bank is located in Baghdad, Iraq. The World Bank has decided to form this bank in the government quarter in order for the new government to begin its work of rebuilding its economy. This bank prides itself on low interest loans for the…
Feb 18
Ted Sieban posted blog posts
Feb 18
James Robert Daniell III posted blog posts
Feb 18
Cody Ford posted blog posts
Feb 17
Alexander Ratliff posted blog posts
Feb 17
Jonathan Lubecky posted a blog post

Future of Currency

The experiment that I believe will have the greatest impact on the future is the concept of Micro-Loans. The largest purveyor of these loans is Kiva.org. The idea behind micro-loans is small loans, even as small as $25 to help fledgling businesses that can't get loans anywhere else either because of their location, business, the amount they want to borrow, or a host of other reasons. All businesses need loans for various reasons. Some just to buy more products to sell. This allows many…See More
Feb 17
Alexander Ratliff commented on Alexander Ratliff's blog post Dinner in 2020
"Alexander Ratliff"
Feb 17

Follow EVOKE on Twitter

Official EVOKE Facebook Page

EVOKE RSS Activity Feed

© 2015   Created by Alchemy.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service