Bloom Energy Talks Big Fuel Cell Power

ET: What is the same or different about Bloom Energy’s oxide fuel cell technology compared to hydrogen fuel cells?

Aaron: Bloom Energy’s particular type of fuel cell technology is different than legacy “hydrogen” fuel cells in four main ways:

  • Low cost materials – Bloom Energy cells use a sand-like powder instead of precious metals like platinum or corrosive materials like acids.
  • High electrical efficiency – Bloom Energy fuel cells can convert fuel into electricity at nearly twice the rate of some legacy technologies.  That means Bloom can produce twice the electricity and half the carbon for the same amount of fuel.
  • Fuel flexibility – Bloom’s systems are capable of using either renewable or fossil fuels, allowing customers to optimize their solution for cost, carbon reduction, or both
  • Easy– Bloom’s technology is a simple all-electric generator that is easy to install and easy to maintain.  Legacy fuel cells typically require combined heat and power (CHP) schemes to make their economics work which adds cost, complexity, and reliability issues.

image via Bloom Energy

ET: What’s next on the horizon for Bloom Energy?

Aaron: While Bloom’s vision includes producing units to support residential customers as well as rural areas of the developing world, the initial focus is on serving commercial and industrial customers. The technology is there today, but Bloom feels it is important to focus initially on the markets where it makes the most business sense and where Bloom can continue to mature the technology, service and support capabilities, and drive down costs. Bloom’s goal is to first reach their executional goals and become a profitable business and satisfy stakeholders before pursuing aspirational goals.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.


  • Reply December 8, 2010

    Dennis Byrne

    I am very interested in being a customer (Beta or otherwise) for the home server when available.

    Thank you,
    Dennis Byrne

  • Reply December 20, 2010

    Jamie bejune

    wonderful machine and technology… the global applications are almost unlimited

  • Reply December 23, 2010

    Loretta Rentschler

    I am very interested in purchasing a Bloom Box for my home when residential units are available. Do you have a projection as to when that will be?

    Loretta Rentschler

  • Reply December 29, 2010

    francois david

    Good evening.

    I red many articles and sciences texts about this new bloomenergy technology. Suprisingly I’ve been astonished by the potential of such technology. Decentralized electricity production, cleaner energy. those only two points make it a very interesting technology for both resilience in energy distribution and for the planet. I’m looking forward the day when it will be available for sale for home use.
    Hope it’ll take less than three decades.

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