Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Some Scams Just Keep Mutating

Some Scams Just Keep Mutating

Like this one. Not HHOHHU.COM, but The claim is that you can heat your home for pennies a day. Their heater works by using electricity to electrolyze water, then burns it back to water again, and the energy released warms your home.

There's a certain fixed amount of energy that you need to electrolyze water to hydrogen and oxygen. When you recombine them (either through a fuel cell, or combustion), you get that energy back--assuming that the electrolysis process was 100% efficient, and combustion was 100% efficient. In practice, neither process is 100% efficient. I find it hard to believe that the net result of this process is even as efficient as running that electricity through some resistance wire to make heat (which is how most space heaters work).

If you are running it hot enough to produce that cheery, cherry glow, well, that's not so efficient, because some of the electricity is being used to produce light, not heat. But as long as the heating element isn't glowing, nearly all the electricity is going to come out as infrared.

P.T. Barnum had it right: "There's a sucker born every minute." And saying that it is green, too, just adds to the charm!

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