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The Mystery of Bloom Energy

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is from 2006. To see our take on Bloom Energy from a 2010 perspective, check out our new article
Bloom Energy: Should you Believe the european viagra Hype?
Since hearing that John Doerr and cheapest levitra the CEO of Bloom Energy are going to be appearing together on Charlie Rose, I've been putting some pieces together. First, KPCB, Doerr's venture capital firm, has been saying repeatedly, "we've been investing in some very interesting alternative energy opportunities."We know that they've funded Eestor, who makes the long-charge supercapacitors that will be powering the Zenn city travelers. But we also knew that that couldn't be all their investing in. KPCB is one of these multi-billion dollar venture capital firms, and they've been (very intelligently) focusing on clean technology recently.

After a bit of research, I'd like to offer some speculation about what Bloom Energy will be doing.

We already know about the technology the company is based on. In short, K. R. Sridhar created a kind of fuel cell that can combine water, oxygen and an energy source, like natural gas or ethanol, to produce power extremely efficiently.

My guess is that that the profitability of these devices lies in distributed power.

I think Bloom Energy is looking to install 100 Kilowatt power units in everyone's houses. These will be flex-fuel, but likely running mostly on natural gas. They will also probably produce heat, and cooling, as well as power, making the devices roughly 85% efficient (thus generating two times less greenhouse gas emissions than a power plant per unit of power used.)

I don't want to say that they will also be used to create hydrogen, but the technology allows for the fuel cell to easily produce hydrogen if 100% of it's power isn't needed. This could then be used to fill up your new Honda FCX. As a last piece of we recommend levitra online no prescription wild speculation, I will ask: If these units have such wonderful energy densities and efficiencies, could we put one in a car?

Bloom Energy's current website says absolutely nothing about anything. But, it does finish up with a pretty picture of the earth and the tagline "Be the Solution," which lends credence to everyone having their own super-efficient little power plant in their basement.
I can't wait to hear what K.R. Sridhar has to say for himself tonight on Charlie Rose.
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Comments (74)Add Comment
EcoGeek supporter
written by Nick Chang, January 10, 2007
I just finished watching the Charlie Rose special showcasing Bloom Energy. As expected, K.R. didn't promote this company but provided very good insight on our dependency on oil. I am very glad to see Venture Capitalists investing in these kinds of companies as I believe the more research and innovation is done in this area, there will be more adoption.
written by fernando, May 17, 2007
I think it’s the best publicity campaign ever, from a venture capital firm.
How many millions got to know KPC&B worldwide, fished from bloom energy?

written by JaiGopal, September 06, 2007
Congratulatins your compnay is in big news in Indian newspapers.
All the best
solid oxide fuel cells.
written by xo, October 13, 2007
ion america aka bloom energy is doing solid oxide fuel cells. you can see their patents on the uspto site.
Bloom Energy
written by Valaree, November 02, 2007
Where are they located? I the US?
written by Trevor Best, November 21, 2007
Don't we have patent laws? Silex Systems have the running on solid oxide fuel cells, and have partnered with General Electric in their enterprise. Their web site tells the story as far as IP security allows.
written by DM, November 24, 2007
Bloom has direct competition from American Resource Securities Corporation (ARSC). ARSC has an operating Hydrogen Fuel Cell that is scalable to power a residence or small commercial operation. In addition they have the technology to convert Hydrogen from Ammonia at the source at a cost of under $2.00 per gallon. ARSC has a beta unit in operation and will have production units out shortly.
Fuel cell uses fossil fuel
written by T-Rex, January 17, 2008
And fossil fuels are not renewable, and depleting at faster rate every year. Also fuel cell systems rely on distribution of its fuels.
written by t, January 29, 2008
we knew "that that"? please...
Whats the big Idea
written by A, June 09, 2008
They call me for a job interview and later and online us viagra immediately offer me a private consulting opportunity and when I ask them what size power units they are making then they call it a trader secret.
I work for Solid oxide fuel cell company and I proudly say we are building 1 MW stationary power plants.
We are at product design level and see the future of SOFC in year 2013...
to mr A
written by c, August 07, 2008
dear sir,

I got interview with the same people. Can i get a suggestions from you.

Technology we are not afraid to show
written by, March 26, 2009
The cogeneration Reinhardt Turbine piston turbine achieves these high efficiency rates, today.

The technology is on full display on the company website.
Bloom Energy The VC Co is all over me
written by Mike Berkowitz, April 20, 2009
Is this a scam? Is it real?
Bloom energy is more interested in making stuff in India, Low-rated comment [Show]
written by Ronald W. Garrison, December 05, 2009
In everything I've read so far about Bloom, they haven't said how efficient their fuel cell is. And be careful about claims of 70 % or 80 % which include cogeneration of cialis now online heat--that's fine if you really have a good use for the heat. If not, then you cannot turn the cialis for sale extra heat into some form of energy with any reasonable efficiency--the temperature difference is far too small.

The real show-stopper for hydrogen, and fuel cells, is the round-trip energy efficiency. Batteries and supercapacitors are much more efficient, and I just don't see that gap closing. The other problems may be solvable, but I just don't see a way around the efficiency deficit. And I have the feeling I'm probably being a lot more kind to the technology than it deserves.
Other Hyped Fuel cell companies
written by Juzer, December 27, 2009
Reminds me of Medis. Nasdaq MDTL. Same level of super secrecy, no mention of energy balances, price reality checks, etc. Just that it was going to revolutionize the portable power landscape. Final product was nothing spectacular. Doubt if they are still in business, but were able to raise and blow "hundreds of millions" too. Then there was MTI Micro. Final test is always the customer. Wait and see is best. Most of the hype is created by the VCs, but alas, Wall Street has no more oompf to pump up values on Hype. The criterion is performance. EPS, Dividends, Revenues. Basic rules of cialis discussionsdiscount priced cialis chemistry and buy viagra 100mg physics do not change, and the simplistic scenario painted by non technical news reporters simply doesn't add up in an energy balance equation. Wait and see, wait and see. smilies/smiley.gif
written by Rick Lehman, January 03, 2010
Mr. Garrison,(in comments section..),
I'd like to ask you a couple of Questions on this subject. OK by you?
Made in America
written by eric, February 20, 2010
If I understand correctly Bloom will be making these fuel cells in India. Why are we so excited when there already is a American company selling fuel cells for the home and small business. Clear Edge has been doing this already for sometime I think. I have nothing against India but I think Americans need to buy viagra china start working towards bringing some of those Miliions of jobs back to America. Then we wonder why our ecomnomy is in the Tank. Coperate America runs on the bottom line adn that is profit. If They have no incentive to keep jobs here in America then they won't.
Blame North Americans
written by Richard Lalancette, February 20, 2010
You should blame North Americains for been asleep for nearly 100 years. You should also blame black shelving and technology suppression, instead of blaming other countries that are coming with life saving technology.

While our kids are stuck in front of the computer or a video games, others are hard at work, trying to make a difference...

I am really looking forward to hear more about the Bloombox
home owner
written by Joan Dempsey, February 22, 2010
I just watched the 60 minutes show, Feb. 22, 2010. I am very impressed with this program and would like to discuss getting one for myself in my home. If you are looking for trial homes please contact me through my e-mail address above. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Joan
written by bob, February 22, 2010
Ill bet if this technology is viable it gets bought up by the nuclear industry or GE and never heard from again. Its been done before. Tesla, Stan Meyer are two that come to mind. The real reason you're fat lazy kids are 'playing video games instead of making a difference' is because that's where corporations via the only now levitra incredibly corrupt media and national education agenda want them. America is no longer the innovator it once was. The only 'innovations' we develop are those that further entrench the huge megacorps into your psyche like parasites.
written by Brian, February 22, 2010
When will Bloom Energy be introduced to the NYSE.
written by Don Burnap, February 22, 2010
Promotion and advertising may produce venture capital, but it is nonetheless all in the chemical cards and just try! generic cialis sale how they are played. There are countless possible arrangements of atoms and molecules in a fuel cell toward the maximum proportion of pfizer cialis 50mg electrons to click here best viagra price molecules of substrate, and finding one that is most cost effective includes some random trial and error. Good luck smilies/cheesy.gif
Blooms box!
written by Ray, February 22, 2010
For the most part I can see the inaccurate thinking of those of you who seem to think yourselves to be something, when in reality, your not. One man here said that we are behind the times, our kids sit in front of the boob tube and achieve nothing, or play games that lead to there furthering stupidity, and not to mention our shelving of tech. that would have kept us from disaster, alas....we have corp. america who did the shelving to further there own pocket lining, surley whatever would have helped the best price pharmcy tramadol consumer must have been so evil that corp. america saw there bottom lines disapearing, and God forbid that happening. As far as I am concerned, I hope that this box, as its called, will be sold here in the good ole U.S., will have such an impact on the consumers life, and have an even bigger impact on those who called themselves corp. america to the point of "corp america" getting the point that we the consumer control the flow of dollars, not the other way around. And last but not the least, if your seem yourself to wow look it overnight levitra generic be as smart as you think you are, next time you pay your electric bill....remember who your hard earned dollars are going to, it came from your toil and was demanded by the utility companies who will for sure go to the Gov. and demand to raise your bill once again to pay for there laziness in not getting to us before Bloom did. I hope this man is highly sucessful in his venture with this little box!
Just seen 60 minutes on bloom energy!
written by David Galindo, February 22, 2010
Bloom Energy showed that there power system is powering ebay, ups, and walmart. This is a proven design concept. It was initially designed for Mars to create oxygen. The inventor has done his homework. Interesting that the inventor is from India. Another example of we choice buy levitra online levitra our failure in America thru our failed education system! You don't belive that statement! Go download, for free, I might add, The deliberate dumbing of america. The book is about a thousand pages, that woman has done her homework! Sadily many americans have no clue to what has been going on in our failed education system! And we still think to viagra see what it does give the school districts more money! When you keep doing the same thing, with the same results! Insanity! Sound familiar? Americans will not wake up to why things are such in such dire straits!
written by Serena, February 22, 2010
Clear Edge uses old hydrogen cell technology, where the Bloom Energy cell is made of ceramic and uses flex fuel, solar, whatever. Big difference.
written by Alexis Coates, February 22, 2010
I find this technology very interesting for all Americans. I'm open to set up a distribution channel in the US> Feel free to contact me via email.
written by hljmesa, February 22, 2010
David Galindo
Check your sources, as this man has some American education:
65 % of Engineer in America are Immigrants
written by rod, February 22, 2010
Thats what some news I have read before, that
most of Engineers now in America are Foreign born.
While I see my nephews are playing video games all
day long and teachers in our public school are passing
this kids in math without even knowing how algebra
works, then I am sorry for our kids. They think just
by speaking English make them smart, is a sorry state.
I remember when I was an freshman Engineering student
in our country , we are 3000 strong and after the
first year we are down to a 1000. Thats how tough
the competition is, even people good in math is
not good enough, you must be excellent.
written by Dr.Jackpot, February 22, 2010
Lets face it. The only purpose that corporations see in American citizens is " Duuuhhhhhhhh, I want one, duhhhhhhh".
My radar is up
written by Ed, February 22, 2010
The technology sounds interesting and appears they have operational product in the field. However, to me, Mr. Sridhar comes off as a charlatan. Seems like there's always a story of the "eureka moment". In this case he turned the process around from creating oxygen to using oxygen (and fuel of course) to make electricity... Genius! Also, he is being disingenuous when he says it can run on solar. Perhaps solar could be used to make hydrogen then the hydrogen coud be used in the fuel cell, but fuel cells don't run on solar.
written by Doug G, February 22, 2010
Funny to see David Galindo talk about the dumbing of America while mis-spelling some pretty basic words. I wonder if he is too stupid to realize he is talking about himself ?
written by A. Cannara, February 22, 2010
Cc: John Doerr
Subject: 60 Minutes on "Bloom Box"

Leslie Stahl's interview of John Doerr & the head of the Bloom Box company here in Silicon Valley illustrates one of our main problems in dealing with our environmental problems -- lax media.

It takes how long to hear the words "fuel cell" in your long interview? It takes how long to hear that "fuel" like gas goes into those "magical" Bloom cells? It does actually take less long to hear "oxygen" as an input.

But what does that oxygen & gas combination do besides generate some electricity? Where did Leslie, or Doerr, or the CEO, mention emission of carbon dioxide & water vapor? Both are greenhouse gasses. Bloom boxes are perhaps more efficient than the ~30% of a typical combustion power plant, but they too produce GHGs and are not at all "carbon neutral". And, we can't do with just "carbon neutral". Surely you've read... (p53 is good).

If you wanted to serve your audience, you would have started there. Then it would have been clear why there will not be a Bloom Box in everyone's yard, even if it does end up saying GE on it.

As a long-time CBS viewer, I'm disappointed in your lack of preliminary research, so useful questions would be asked & answered or evaded. Kleiner Perkins is in the business of making $. Bloom is in the business of getting $ to try to get enough going to sell the company to make $. Do you not know that about our valley?
Dr. A. Cannara
Menlo Park, Calif.
written by Sebastian V. Kanakkanatt, February 22, 2010
Sounds like nuclear fusion in a beaker!
written by Mr. Green Jeans, February 22, 2010
Boy O boy!
Some real sour grapes on this new product.
The man is an educated engineer and is self motivated. Boo-hoo! He could have done this in any country but chose to do it here. Maybe not the only solution with fuel cells, but a good one nevertheless.

I hope he gets the Nobel Peace Prize.

It would take some smart marketing with new technology to challenge the grid and provide independence. It is happening. Looks like the right connections in D.C . have been made and this new box is not just a fad. It has some good backing and support to do what was inevitable in electrical demands and environmental considerations. It was bound to happen and the time is right.

I find the timing of the President and Bill Gates’ call for more nuclear plants an interesting thing: offer what people do not want and then offer what you want them to want. Does anybody really think either of those two did not know about this new rocket science? This thing is for real and will change the quality of life for everyone earth-bound. More nukes just did not sound like they filled a need smartly, but new designs are smarter, more efficient and can run on spent rod radiation; another way to clean up our radioactive act. We can make the bad stuff go away, and new nukes ARE truely green.

The grid will not go away over night and a consumer product will be secondary to industrial/commercial installation demands. Oversupply of power can spill back on to the grid and buffer demands. Now where is the competition in this picture? Who’s got a better solution? Time to pony-up and get that pig to market!

As for carbon emissions, consider the line loss of transmitted electricity that is pure waste. Don’t forget to include that inefficient resistive waste in the big picture of carbon emissions formulas. A shorter haul to the load from a generator is a factor of efficiency most do not consider. Not one minor or mega-watt plant out there can get around line loss. In fact, no present transmission line can avoid that loss. The poor efficiency of the grid transmission has not been solved. Localized power plants near the load are smart energy and are far less impacting on the environment, the eyeball and the bottom line.

Hooray for the Man who dared to change the world for the better!

Mr. G.E., tear down those ugly transmission lines!
written by Mr. Green Jeans, February 22, 2010
Oh yea, G.E. moved some of their plants overseas. Any idea of how much product they make here?

And,… look at the time frame of the Enron monopoly crash and this emerging technology. Congress had a special meeting to allow that event. Chainey was pushing for 1200 gas fired power plants and we only got a few- some went belly up and were bought for pennies on the dollar- I worked on one of those and it sits dormant after completion. Bush was pushing for a national grid upgrade. The post election crash was attributed to Cisco having a bad quarter when the big three were in D.C. with their hats in their hands. Now how about an electric car?

Big energy money is backing this and has been taking profits along the way. Anyone who challenges the grid either goes away or goes ahead. Like it or not, this new technology has the Green light, and the green backs.
Inventor of The Hull Effect fuel management system.
written by Robert, February 22, 2010
The Bloom Energy people were government funded by working for NASA to do the research.
Why are the american people not entitled to this information?
Already paid for with taxes....government jobs.
50% thermal efficiencies are 'good'
The Hull Effect is better.
Managing... normal internal combustion engines without 75% thermal efficiencies...or so.
written by Steven, February 22, 2010
Maybe methane could be used from a landfill to power bloom boxes
written by Peter John, February 22, 2010
I loved the show but if the box is so low maintance and lasts 30 yrs how can a company make money after the initial purchase of these units . How long before you go out of business because your too good? ( a tire company that makes a tire last 30yrs will have to eventually fire alot of employees). Is the basic problem with providing new renewable methods of energy generation (that eventually you can't charge for it because) it's abundance and reliability drives the price down too low?
Just a thought...
written by Adam Finnell, February 22, 2010
Just a thought... It seems to me that if this box can do everything they say, and it puts of less imissions... that because of it's size it could eventually end up in automobiles. If put into a vehicle with a storage cell in it then those vehicles could then be plug back up to the grid when not being driven and actually pay the consumer.
Another great device, but keep the advantages in perspective...
written by Candres, February 22, 2010
What Bloom Energy appears to do is to improve the efficiency and reliability of local electricity generation to a point that economically competes with centralized power plants. Instead of using fuel to make steam to turn the turbine in power plant generators, this process uses heat to cause a chemical reaction that results in electricity. The heat can be created by multiple means -- burning natural gas, oil, wood, nuclear decay, etc.

But if you are generating energy for local consumption, you no longer lose energy during transmission over power lines. This could be an efficiency win. However, if significant numbers of homes move off the grid, the relatively fixed transmission cost overhead will be shared (and rise) for the fewer grid-tied users.

Bloomboxes are not carbon-neutral, but better efficiency means less fuel is burned. From a carbon-neutral perspective, a nuclear power plant would be much better than a power-equivalent number of Bloomboxes. A concentrated solar generator using computerized mirrors is another centralized power plant that is carbon neutral, but too large and expensive for home use.

From an energy-independent and local energy cost viewpoint, Bloomboxes will be helpful. However, without a system to tax carbon-creating fuels, encouraging the use of carbon-neutral energy generation, we should not expect Bloomboxes to lower our national carbon footprint, even as it increases energy independence and reduces power line inefficiencies.
If it sounds too good too be true then...
written by David Artz, February 22, 2010
I'm American born electrical engineer (23 years and counting). While my expertise is not in the area of fuel cells I have enough of a basic understanding to know that what I heard from my elders applies here. That is, "If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is" Or, "there's no such thing as a free lunch"

In short, I think this is a bunch of hype intended to drive up the company value so investors and CEO KR Sridhar make lots of money fast. You don't think greed is limited to financial institutions do you?

Oh, and while my kids enjoy sitting in front of the TV playing video games, that only is allowed when their home work is completed. My oldest is a A student at UT pursuing a Biology degree, my next youngest will graduate from high school next year in the top of his class I am sure (he's all GT/AP advanced classes for many years now) - he wants to pursue something in Chemistry. And my daughter of 15 has NO grades less then a 98 in any of her course work for several years now. She wants to pursue something at colleges with respect to brain science and medicine (they lost their mom several years ago to mental health problems). So, my kids are at least 8th generation Americans. There is still hope in this country for "growing our own" engineers, scientists, and doctors.smilies/angry.gif
Energy Developer
written by Andrew Reil, February 22, 2010
This is all very interesting. We have all the natural gas in Texas alone to power these things across the nation.
written by George H, February 22, 2010
If you are interested in Bloom, take a look at Ceramic Fuel Cells, CFU.AX, an Aussie company that has 148 issued patents and is delivering gas-fired household units
written by inder sharma, February 22, 2010
Bloom Energy technology is slightly diffrent from existing patents in the field of oxi fuel cells. The viability of this technology depends upon mass production at affordable cost without product failure rate less than 1% and without some serious maintenace costs over the next 10 years for such boxes. I think, SRIDHAR + DOER formula might be the answer of success of this projcet. Capital behind this project and market size being so huge, make Bloom Energy Box a possible win-win for both enduser as well as investors.

Now they are out in open, pressure will be on the production and marketing the box at reasonable cost which provides the pay back of investment in less than 5 years or so.
Good luck MR Sridhar and John Doer.
written by Rick, February 22, 2010
I read the posts above and am quite disturbed. This is certainly not an advanced civilization even though it may be an financially advanced country.
Trust Americans to turn a topic on SOFC into a Racial discussion. Wake up! US has just 5% ofthe world's population. Like it or not, people from other countries are going to invent things!
written by Charly Lee, February 22, 2010
When do you go public?
Finally a large step forward for humans
written by Seren, February 22, 2010
This is a major step towards empowering the individual, rather than the (often)corrupt corporations and governments of the world.
It remains to be seen if the 15% that control and manipulate the media, newspapers, military energy and industrial complexes will allow it to proceed. They profit only by continually promoting violence, chaos, and 'secret operations' that weaken peaceful governments around the world. The last thing they want is for the individual to be empowered in any way, or for the world to not have to fight each other decade after decade for energy! OMG what an evolved concept.
I will wager that Advanced races are looking at this step in human evolution closely, to see if they have evolved enough to actually grasp the concept of sharing.
What humans spend in violent/weapons/protection endeavors for one day, could be used to feed, clothe, educate and house the entire planet for a year! Its so sad but perhaps there is a glimmer of hope even for the ultra violent race known as Humans ?
written by Mr. Scam finder, February 22, 2010
This is a flash in the pan, a joke. There have been a half dozen scams or semi-scams like this, the fact that (non)Do-err is investing means squat. VCs simply gamble, and they gamble on 1:1000 odds. (Though this one is more like 1:1,000,000)

written by Lou Sisbarro, February 23, 2010
I had the opprotunity to see sixty minutes and the
story relating to Bloom Energy Co. I was quite impressed. If the story ring true and we are on the
edge of a energy break threw, it's about time!
The first thing a said to my wife is "If true how long
will it take for a large Corporation to control this
company or worst this great possibility to start moving away from oil and coal.The U.S. government
CONGRESS!!!!! has done absolutely nothing on many
important issues reguarding our economy and countries
future. There is no question in any American citizens
that CONGRESS is NOT doing it's job! PARTY FIRST and
the COUNTRY and CITIZENS .....LAST....
written by Lou Sisbarro, February 23, 2010
I had the opprotunity to watch sixty minutes story.
I was impressed at what I saw, assuming this new way
of handling a major problem we in the United States and
world in general. Assuming the information that was
offered is true this could be the start of a new direction for us all to solve a very large looming problem we have. Of course my worry is that the large
energy Corporations that have a strangle hold on our
direction and our ability to address and solve the
energy problem, will come how get to control the
Bloom Energy Co., or worst get the patent for this
project and buried it in there files. Of course
They gereraly have a do nothing attitude PARTY RHETORIC,
CITIZEN LAST, IF AT ALL. We are in trouble, where is
the light at the end of the tunnel?
Equipment maintenance supervisor
written by Tim Drake, February 23, 2010
The world could change very quickly if the bloom box comes to be. It is hard to believe big power companies would allow this to get off the ground. This would probably put a quick stop to solar and wind electric generation. There are solar companies being built right now that I believe would quickly stop production. I would want one in my back yard but I also wanted to start a solar/wind electric company that I believe would quickly fail due to this technology if it is real. Why buy expensive solar and wind that takes up a huge amount of space when this technology would take up so little space an anyone's yard. Tim Drake
Great Invention Indo-American
written by Jim Bertuca, February 23, 2010
I love this technology and another great invention by an American born in India. It is going to change the life of humans. We dont need to worry about our future energy. Once its in the public it will be developed further to use it everywhere for every automobile and electronic product. So no 'Avatar'. We dont need to kill any race for energy. smilies/smiley.gif. Keep going Sridhar. You are the best.
Equipment maintenance supervisor
written by Tim Drake, February 23, 2010
Hearing about this technology gave me a slight fear of other technologies that may not try to advance due to cheap energy. Technologies that are trying to make devices more effiecient to use less power. I am constantly trying to think of simple ways myself to save money on my electric bill. I burn wood for heat, use the wood furnace to preheat my water before the electric water heater, trying to resize the elements in my existing heater and using a timer to shut off the water heater. All to reduce my electric bill. If I was not doing this, I would have more time to be with my family, could have more money to buy them computers of their own so they could be able to study and keep up with the rest of the world. This could help the economy due to money being spent on other items instead of high electric bills. I would probably heat with electric instead of wood and back up fuel oil. That should reduce the carbon foot print.
The Old Way
written by Lonnie, February 23, 2010
Have any of you notice that after ten years or more, what happens to you when working for corporate America. Corporate America breaks down your creative energy and spirit. Their way is the old way of doing things.
Let's Get It!!!
written by Engineer, February 23, 2010
I too want to invest, seems people who look for scams only find themselves struggling to make ends meet.
Where is the Heat Balance
written by Robert Benz, February 23, 2010
Without a heat balance the speculation about this device is just that. It is amazing that such hype can be generated about this product without any heat balance whatsoever, perhaps indicative of intellectual malaise rather than expertise of Bloom.
It is all about energy return on energy invested...
written by Tim Wessels, February 23, 2010
Fuel cell technology has been around for decades. Bloom Energy has possibly advanced the technology in ways that will make it more practical to use fuel cells for on-site electrical power generation.

Since electricity can be generated from wind, solar, coal, water (hydro-electricity) natural gas and uranium sources, it will be interesting to find out how much energy must be "invested" in the Bloom Energy fuel cell process compared with the energy output from it over its useful lifetime. In other words, what will the net energy ratio of a Bloom Box turn out to be?

We will be facing electricity shortages in 10-20 years and the assumed alternative sources are low net energy yielders. Solar and wind must be collected and stored and will be small contributors of electricity due to siting requirements. Coal supplies will be peaking around 2025 and there are severe environmental and health problems surrounding its use. Ditto for uranium, which is also in short supply and still lacks an operating permanent storage facility for spent uranium fuel. Our two largest energy sources for electricity generation (coal and uranium) will need to be replaced by other energy sources otherwise electricity shortages will occur.

Will the Bloom Box be a solution? We will find out when the technology utilized in the process is revealed in more detail, and when the net energy calculations of a Bloom Box can be performed by reputable third-party analysts.

Lets get it!!!
written by Engineer, February 23, 2010
I am glad to hear about this, and all who consider it a scam, keep saying that, they said that to Bill Gates also.smilies/grin.gif
written by Regina, February 24, 2010
I'm building a house and just now choosing the boiler for radiant heat. I will hold up to six months if this fuel cell can run off propane. I don't have an option for natural gas.
Limited efficiency boost
written by Sandy, February 24, 2010
It doesn't matter what is going on inside the box. Conservation of energy and high school physics and chemistry dictate its efficiency limits. For example, the Bloom box can't be a whole lot more efficient than CHP (combined heat and power) plants. At the very best the Bloom box can provide a small double-digit percentage improvement over a CHP plant, or less. And if you want just heat, my multistage gas furnace is about 98% efficient. The Bloom box can't beat that, regardless of what it does inside. No matter how "clever" you are, you can't produce more energy than there is in the difference between the chemical bonds in methane and the resulting water and carbon dioxide.
unfortunately perfect for america
written by eric walsh, February 24, 2010
I laugh that you people are excited about something that might provide a bit of an efficiency gain for a number of large expenses.
Firstly purchasing those fuel cells and the network of fuel to run them, (or would we truck it directly to a large tank also on the lawn several times a year)
Secondly our grid is what makes us have a chance to make solar and wind energies work. It is not robust enough right now to allow those green energies to handle 20% of the load. But as we dismantle the grid we lower that value.
Please do not vote for this initiative with your time or money, the tipping point for wind and solar (thermal) energies is so close at hand.
written by kinfer, February 24, 2010
This is a elaborate master plan to exploit money and as such the management as well as VC firm which is also ties up with Google now try to take materials out of the internet which is against this bloom energy and its predecessor ion America
Pros and Cons of Bloom
written by Bryan, February 24, 2010
I think Bloom is making a big step forward but like some many other energy solutions I am sure there are also many draw backs. I have started pros and cons list to compile these. please help me and share your thoughts
written by RickHuotari, February 25, 2010
I am disabled living in north east wisconsin the costs of electricity here are stagering so is the heat please someone help this company get a unit for home use to stop these conglomorite companies from running us broke A.S.A.P. I would be happy to do a trial in my home right NOW!
Will this change the world?
written by magnum, February 25, 2010
It was said that the device could be installed in homes, generating both electricity and heat, which would result in big efficiency gains. Commenters on Reddit point out that the real savings may lie in avoiding transmission and maintenance costs with a machine that’s much simpler to handle than a full fledged power plant. Although the boxes cost a lot (up to $800K), the amount of power they allegedly put out more than makes up for it.

Is this the future?
written by Wallace Brand, February 27, 2010
The Fuel Cell Energy of Danbury, CT Molten Carbonate fuel cell and Versa Power Systems of Littleton, CO Solid Oxide fuel cell appear to be far ahead of Bloom. Bloom also has a Solid Oxide fuel cell.

FCE targets loads from 300 kW to 3,000 kW. FCE has already cut its costs so that its largest model can now be manufactured so as to sell margin positive. It currently has 60 installations around the world. FCE owns 42% of Versa Power Systems. Versa Power does not yet market a commercial product but has already got the cost of its smaller fuel cell down to $700 per kW, participating in the billion dollar SECA cost reduction program. It expects its fuel cells to cost only $400 per kW in two years. Bloom claims its fuel cells will be commercial in about 10 years.

Neither FCE nor Versa use platinum catalysts and neither need to be fueled with hydrogen. These are advantages that Bloom implies are exclusive to its product. Most American houses have a peak load of 10 kW. The Versa Power Solid Oxide fuel cell is suitable for that use but can also be scaled up to 100,000 kW plants.

Bloom's 100 kW fuel cell weighs 100 tons according to its spec sheet. That is 2,000 lbs per kW. But the Versa Power fuel cell weighs only 200 lbs per kW, an order of magnitude lower. Versa Power has been cooperating with the US Airforce on developing power supply for military drones and with the US Navy on developing power supply for mobile underwater platforms. At 2,000 lbs per kW, Bloom fuel cells are far too heavy for this purpose.

FCE's stationary fuel cell has an efficiency of 47% after its DC output (efficiency 54%) undergoes losses due to its conversion to AC. Its efficiency in small sizes permits it to be located near its loads so it does not have to provide for losses over transmission and distribution lines. Conventional coal fired steam turbine generation must get up to sizes of some 500,000 to 600,000 kW to reach an efficiency of 38% (or 43% for supercritical units). Power from these giant units when adjusted for transmission line and distribution line losses to the customer's meter, may only have an efficiency of 29%.

FCE can also be used as a combined cycle or hybrid. When its exhaust is fed into a turbine, its electrical efficieny increases to 56%. It can be used at gas transmission pressure step down stations where it can develop efficiency of 60%. It claims that much larger units of 40,000 kW can achieve an electrical efficiency of 78%

It can also cogenerate because the units is on site, the heat will only have to travel a few yards. Heat energy can't travel for long distances. When there is a need for domestic hot water, space heating or air conditioning at the site of the electrical load, the fuel efficiencly can grow as high as 90%+ as it has at one installation in Germany.

FCE has partnered with POSCO Steel Co. of South Korea. It is one of its best customers. POSCO has built a factory to manufacture the mechanical and electrical portions of FCE's fuel cell leaving the stack elements to fCE. FCE is currently manufacturing at a rate of 30,000 kW per year and will be raising its capacity to 50,000 kW per year.
The value of Bloom Energy Servers beyond GHG reduction
written by Powell, March 07, 2010
There are many benefits to Bloom's solid oxide fuel cell technology if it succeeds. The distributed nature of the device could help foster adoption of electric vehicles since it could help offload some of the stress on the national grid.

Bloom's energy server can also help reduce the amount of fresh water used to generate electricity at centralized coal-fired plants especially for arid climates such as in the southwestern US.

I think it is important that we look at the big picture of the value of technologies such as this instead of just focusing on whether its claims of GHG reduction are accurate.
written by Engineer, March 12, 2010
Wake up! This thing runs primarily on 15psi natural gason a massive scale(a NON RENEWABLE RESOURCE).
15PSI natural gas requires a special service from a natural gas network.
It chugs NG. Your just moving from one grid to the other. The BOX is HUGE and cost more than Solar or Wind technologies. The Engineer holds up a small stack in his hand but when it is installed in the BOX it is as big as a pickup truck for just 25kw. Had to laugh when Colin Powell said it could power a village in Africa...and you will be powering it with what fuel in that small village???? Its a natural gas generator, not an "E" solution period.
Promising... how about biogas as the fuel source?
written by GreenMan, March 15, 2010
Here in the Smoky Mountains we still have small cow farms, for diary and/or meat production, and small scale feedlots. Needless to say, we get knee deep in cow manure while profitability is continuously decreasing. Sure would be nice if we could convert cow manure into biogas continuously, and then feed the biogas into a BloomBox to generate electric power and heat. Anybody out there working on that? Anybody want to work on that? Meet me at
written by blairw, March 26, 2010
Surely this is a step in the RIGHT DIRECTION?

Let us all start acting intelligently, as if there is a future worth inhabiting you guys!!!
written by Jimmy, April 03, 2010
The Bloom Box has to be powered by some fossil fuel.
If diamonds are infused with liquid O2 they will burn at 1500 degrees approximatly. Producing a co2 base, capturing and storing the intense heat would necessitate
enduring that heat to heat the water to for hydrogen.
A c.e.o fm India
written by Osai Chella, June 17, 2010
We were known as snakecharmers in the west. Thanks to the western media which acted like a heritage tourism promoter! Now they wake up and looking at the east for all their problems, material and spiritual. IF YOU LOOK BACK INTO THE HISTORY say 2000 yrs ago, no country was invaded like INDIA by so many outside forces... Alexander to British, Dutch,French, Portuguese ! So when westerners were Gypsies Indians and Chinese were great inventors. Only thing they didnt mastered like west is EXPLOITING OTHER RACES (of Africa and Asia). Now the wheel has turned 180 Degree !

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