Friday, November 30, 2012

Solid Oxide Fuel Cell from Bloom Energy

Bloomenergy is a leader in the development and commercial application of solid oxide fuel cell. The  head office of the company is in Sunnyvale California. Bloomenergy was founded by Dr. K.R. Sridhar. It makes an environmentally friendly electrical generator called bloom box. The box is able to generate and supply electricity to houses and offices. Dr. K.R. Sridhar and his team spent around 400 million hours perfecting their technology before it could commercially be manufactured and sold to its current customers. The box uses natural gas or biogas as its fuel to produce electricity. Instead of burning it, bloom box uses direct electrochemical reaction.
Bloomenergy claims that their boxes can reach more than 60 percent electrical efficiency much better than the most efficient electrical power plant that uses coal as its fuel. If this claim is true, it will revolutionize the way we generate electricity and power. It means the era of diesel and gasoline engines will be over. The maximum efficiency of diesel engines is approximately 45%. They will be replaced by bloom box and electrical machines. Cars, ships and power plants will not need to use internal combustion engines. US companies such as Google, Ebay, Adobe, and Walmart have bought a lot of boxes of bloom energy servers to provide electricity for their offices. 
Originally Dr. K.R. Sridhar and his team worked for NASA to create a technology that could convert atmospheric gases in planet Mars to produce air for supporting life using electricity generated by solar panels. Later they realized that their device could be used to generate electricity on Earth. He hopes that in the near future his energy boxes will be more affordable to every house owner not only in the US but also in the world.
As a matter of fact, Bloomenergy is not the only company that has been developing fuel cell technology. There are several other companies that have done the same job. One of them is Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited (CFCL) from Australia. Their bluegen box that is similar to bloombox has been offered to businesses and homeowners in Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. While bloom box is more suitable to businesses, bluegen is specially manufactured for houses. The size of a bluegen box is equivalent to the size of a dishwasher or washing machine. It contains Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) that convert natural gas to electricity. The solid oxide fuel cells that are manufactured by Bloomenergy and CFCL are not fuel but electrical and heat generator. They can produce electricity with less fuel. Heat as their side product can be used to heat water that is needed by most of the modern households. The use of excess heat from bluegen box can significantly reduce the electricity bill that a family has to pay to a power company.  Businesses that use SOFCs can save more money and be more competitive. Families can save money too so that it can be spent for their children's education or other purposes. This fuel efficient device is what everybody needs in this modern world. by Charles Roring

1 comment:

go Yanks! said...

Bloom Energy's technology dumps 884 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere, far more than combined cycle natural gas (Source: study by Lindsay Leveen of Also, these boxes need government subsidies to defray the costs for the utility company, who passes along the excess to energy consumers like me. If this technology is so good, why can't they get anyone to pay full price for it? Because it doesn't work. The board members behind this nonsense also happen to be friends with the White House. See where this goes.