Gallery: Bloom Box “Miracle” Micro Power Plant Officially Unveiled

 
Source: CNET

It's sand! "Sand is both plentiful and cheap and Sridhar explained that they would be bake it using a process called "powder to power."

Members of the media gathered at eBay’s San Jose headquarters just a few hours ago (in fact, they are still there as we write this) to see Bloom Energy founder K.R. Sridhar officially unveil the Bloom Box. Other notable speakers are venture capitalist John Doerr, who currently sits on President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, former Secretary of State and current Bloom Energy board member Colin Powell, as well as a surprise visit from a “prominent California government official”… Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Sridhar started off his talk by pointing out that his goal was not only to make clean energy better, but to make it cheaper and accessible to everyone. “Without energy these people don’t have a passport to economic growth,” he said. “The geopolitical and social impact on this, is a very big part of world politics and policy. We saw this as a call to our generation. A call to make an impact. To do good, and make good. World needs accessible energy that is sustainable.”

“We felt it was our calling to make this technology.” And then he uncovered the plentiful, cheap substance that lies at the Bloom Box’s core…

…sand!

Sridhar explained that the sand could be baked in a process he calls “powder to power” to form fuel cells without having to use corrosive metals. The idea would be to take a stack of the resulting fuel cells and stack them to form modules and systems that could power things with amazing efficiency. (The stack that Sridhar is holding in the first image in the slideshow can supposedly power a house).

So how will this change the world? Sridhar explained that Bloom Box technology will be “twice as efficient as U.S. grid. Need half the fuel of grid. Half traditional fuels.” In terms of the amount of space we could save using the Bloom Box, he said “Think of the stack as a chip. Take a bunch of the stacks, put together in a box, about the size of a refrigerator and its about the size of powering a small coffee shop.”

Now, as we mentioned when we wrote about the Bloom Box, saying that it can change the world is quite a big claim to live up to. However, this unveiling gives us a more concrete picture of how the Bloom Box operates, and the fact that companies like Wal-Mart and eBay (who both have representatives participating in the panel discussion immediately following Sridhar’s presentation is a good sign. Stay tuned for more updates about this fascinating breakthrough.

+ Bloom Energy

Via CNET and Earth2Tech

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5 Comments

  1. eBay to Launch Reusable... September 8, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    […] ‘green’ development that eBay has launched – the auction giant also adopted a Bloom Energy fuel cell earlier this year and opened a green data […]

  2. GTom February 27, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    I can see the power companies working to keep the cost of this technology high so only they will be able to purchase large banks of boxes for the purpose of selling the electricity back to the community. It would be nice to envision three or four of these in every home providing the power, or at least supplementing it for heating/cooling and appliance use, but something always seems to come up that prevents such hopeful scenarios from coming to fruition to protect big business.

  3. wrenchmonkey February 26, 2010 at 1:31 am

    @uiteoi
    Who says it’s not a renewable energy option? Whoever told you that, didn’t know what they were talking about. It will run off of Hydrogen, and Methane–both of which are completely renewable. But we really don’t even need to worry about renewing any time soon, as we’ve already got an abundant supply of Methane (natural gas) in the ground, and being created by our landfills, on a daily basis.

    Not to mention bio fuels, and other options.

    Is this “THE answer”? No. Is there a “THE answer”? No.

    It’s AN answer, which will become part of an overall solution.

  4. uiteoi February 25, 2010 at 10:21 am

    This is an improved diesel generator, less pollution, more efficient, but needs to run at near-constant load to operate at peak efficiency because of the requirement for high-temperature steam.

    There are many application for this technology but this is not a renewable energy solution. Certainly good for data centers that require constant and available power.

  5. thinksketch February 24, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    I am very interested in how the power grid and energy market will adapt to new technologies like the Bloom Box. Here is an op-ed piece I have written about it:

    Why technologies like the Bloom Box will trigger Google Energy to move from non-profit into big business:

    http://www.thinksketchdesign.com/2010/02/22/design/green-design-design/why-technologies-like-the-bloom-box-will-trigger-google-energy-to-move-from-non-profit-into-big-business

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