updated 01:50 pm EST, Wed February 24, 2010
Bloom Energy may help end centralized power
Bloom Energy today held the formal launch of its first technology, the Energy Server. A new approach to energy, it uses stacks of solid oxide fuel cells to convert air and most any other fuel source, including things as dirty as fossil fuels or as clean as biogas, into usable electricity. The process almost always produces less CO2 than traditional methods and, unlike solar power or similar methods, can run 24 hours a day without dependence on light or wind.
A typical Energy Server produces about 100kW of power in the surface area of a parking space and can link up with other servers as more power becomes needed. Bloom adds that smaller units would be enough to power single homes; in 10 years, a small module and a roof solar panel could potentially give a home its own power. On the large scale, most who buy the full servers should recoup the costs in about three to five years.
Some companies are already using Energy Servers; eBay uses it for about 15 percent of its entire campus power. Several major firms like Coca-Cola, Cox, FedEx, Google, Staples and Walmart have already lined up to use the new power option.