March 02 2009 / by Garry Golden
Category: Energy Year: General Rating: 3
VIASPACE's fuel cell subsidiary Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Corporation (DMFCC) will deliver disposable methanol fuel cartridges to Samsung for integration into portable electronics like notebook computers, mobile phones and small portable power stations.
The agreement is an early indicator of a new category for the energy sector based on a simple, but disruptive alternative to 'plugging in' - Refillable Packets sold over retail shelves that offer a real cost and performance alternative to the grid.
The Disruptive Power of High Density Storage
Electron Economy via 'Streams vs Packets'
In the years ahead, we could see the emergence of a new form of 'packet' based energy distribution that could undercut the grid's last mile, and the notion of 'plugging in' objects to a wall socket connected to a 'stream' of electricity.
The future of electricity depends on chemical storage. Batteries require us to 'plug in' and recharge. Fuel cells keep the 'fuel' (e.g. hydrogen/methanol) and oxidant separate offering a 'refill' platform. One is a storage device dependent on the wall socket, the other is its own 'power plant' that requires businesses to supply 'fuel' rather than direct access to the grid.
Instead of massive market populations around the world waiting for the electrical grid to arrive via a wall socket, why not sell them power packs next to bars of soap at the retail level. Imagine disposable batteries on steroids.
It is a simple but disruptive idea to the notion of end point grid access. What if Walmart could sell you a 20-pack of energy cartridges to fuel all of your home appliances and gadgets? Or electric vehicles (via solid hydrogen bricks)?
Why push for energy Packets?
Learn from 'Streams' of Water vs 'Packets' of Bottled Water
Why break the electricity 'stream'? To make money and expand access to electron energy.
Does it sound like a silly idea?
Think of 'streams' of tap water connected to faucets vs portable bottled water!
How did that billion dollar 'packet' industry emerge when faucets are so ubiquitous and its produce so cheap?!!!
Well, the opportunity for portable energy is even bigger!
The business model makes a lot of sense when you think about the future demands of portable energy in an world of ubiquitous gadgets. Especially when those gadgets lead the market penetration of your ideal consumers. They have the device, and will need refills.
Plug in vs Refill doesn't sound disruptive!
It sounds like a 'non event' for retail consumers today because we're still married to cords.
But the practical market applications for selling high density packerts are significant in global energy marketplace expected to double by 2030.
Ramping up our blog posts on Personal Energy Systems
Personal Energy 'packets' could change everything from product design to global access to electricity.
I have spoken about the age of 'personal energy' for several years, but the technology seems to be entering a new phase of development as micro fuel cells and chemical storage technology platforms evolve.
It is time to write more about this new energy marketplace of personal power.
Batteries are not the future, but still have a future.
I am just betting that the growth will be fuel cartridges and fuel cells and that is where the money will follow.
We have options for distributing electrons outside the 'stream' of electricity delivered through wall sockets.
But mostly, I am interested in disrupting the notion of the 'last mile' of the energy grid - and opening up global markets to packets of power!