Source : https://dofollownet.com
The first time I heard about Bloom Energy was in October 2008, when the New York Times published an article about investments made by the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers speculative fund in the fuel cell technology.
Usually, Kleiner Perkins never speak of their projects until the product is ready to hit the market, but the NYC article pushed them to communicate a little more, and they explained that they had invested in a fuel cell project known as Bloom Energy and lead by KR Sridhar, a former professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Arizona.
Since 2001, K. R. Sridhar had been working in his garage in Tucson on the concept of a fuel cell having the size of a (big) fridge and able to power a home or a building.
I remember having read about similar projects back in 1995, and was expecting to see fuel cell powered cars as soon as 2007 or 2008, but guess what? I've been very disappointed, none of these projects having eventually emerged.
But with his Bloom Box concept, it looks like Dr K. R. Sridhar has actually come with something that may change the way we think about energy.
The fuel cell has been around for more than 150 years, and works on a very simple chemical reaction: oxydation. The most known oxydation reaction is mixing oxygen and hydrogen to produce water and energy. The problem is that hydrogen is a very explosive gas and storing large quantities of it is extremely dangerous, and that danger has prevented the use of hydrogen as an energy source on a large scale. None really wants to be driving a bomb.
Several solutions have been tested to solve the hydrogen storage problem or to use a different "fuel" for the reaction, like hydrocarbons or alcohols.
According to K. R. Sridhar, the "Bloom Box" should be able to work with any fuel. But it may take another 10 years before this product becomes available for the average home at a reasonable price.
- The Bloom Box: a power plant for the home (video)
- The Bloom Box: An Energy Breakthrough?