The Bloom Box fuel cell system is a much better and more reliable, alternative to solar power as a green energy source.a Bloom Box for the residential market could be out in 5 to 10 years for under $3,000. That’s a big improvement from the $800,000 box of today, but only time will tell if Sridhar is being overly optimistic. And in the coming years, big name competitors will probably catch up to Bloom with cost efficient boxes of their own.
The main idea of the Bloom Box is to convert fossil fuels or hydrocarbons into electricity by clean electrochemical processes a lot like everyday batteries. Usually, this kind of process was done by the means of combustion. There is only a difference between the Bloom Box and battery, which is the Bloom Box keeps running for up to 10 years plus, it could be reloaded with fuel and act as a battery anytime iin the sense that it could store electricity.
The Bloom Box is actually an oxygen generator from a NASA Mars program that’s been converted with more than $400 million in private funding, into a fuel cell. The box consists of two cells which actually are two inexpensive ceramic disks painted with a secret green “ink” on one side and a black “ink” on the other.
Bloom Box reportedly proved twice as efficient as traditional power sources and produced 60% fewer emissions.According to the Guardian, Sridhar’s work draws on his research on generating oxygen for Nasa’s missions to Mars. Oxygen is drawn into one side of the cell, while a fuel, such as a natural gas or bio-fuel, is drawn into the other side. The two combine within the cell and produce a chemical reaction that creates energy without any burning or combustion.
A 100kW Bloom Box fuel cell currently costs between $700,000 to $800,000 with a reported three-to-five-year payback. Bloom Energy hopes to mass produce home-sized units of the fuel cell product and sell each for under $3000. Company CEO K.R. Sridhar told The New York Times that when using natural gas, his devices are making cheaper electricity at 8–10 cents/kWh, which is lower than current electricity rates in some parts of the country, such as California.
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