Bloom -- the Martian invention that could revolutionize Earth

A Silicon Valley firm has unveiled a device that it says could revolutionize the way that we produce and consume electricity.

The Bloom Energy Server, publicly shown for the first time on February 24, mixes gas and air to produce electricity via a clean chemical reaction. Originally developed to provide power on Mars, the invention could soon be powering our homes, dramatically reducing our reliance on the fossil-fuel powered electricity grid for energy.

Bloom Energy, the company behind the invention, unveiled the mini power plant for corporate customers on February 24, assisted by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former US Secretary of State Colin Powell. Each box produces 100 kilowatts (kW) of power, enough to meet the needs of approximately 100 average U.S. homes or a small office building. Uniquely, it does not connect to the electricity grid, providing electricity creation and storage independently.

The scientists behind the project hope that a pint sized version of the Bloom Energy Server could soon make its way into the home. At its launch, Bloom Energy boss Dr. KR Sridhar showed a brick sized device that he claimed could power a house. The firm reportedly aims to make these available for less than $3,000 (€2213), although Sridhar warned that domestic applications such as powering electric vehicles and mixing with solar energy could take another ten years.

"Bloom Energy is dedicated to making clean, reliable energy affordable for everyone in the world," said Sridhar. "We believe that we can have the same kind of impact on energy that the mobile phone had on communications. Just as cell phones circumvented landlines to proliferate telephony, Bloom Energy will enable the adoption of distributed power as a smarter, localized energy source."

The new technology represents a significant evolution from existing fuel cell applications, which have traditionally been expensive to produce and difficult to run. It uses low cost components and can run on a wide range of fuel, including both natural gas and biogas produced from landfill waste. When running on fossil fuel, the system is approximately 67% cleaner than a typical coal-fired power plant. Running on biofuel, Bloom's solution is emission free.

Bloom says that the boxes it has been trialling with customers - including Coca Cola, eBay; Google and Walmart - have already produced more than 11 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, with CO2 reductions estimated at 14 million pounds. This is, according to the company, the equivalent of powering approximately 1,000 American homes for a year and planting one million trees.

Website: http://www.bloomenergy.com

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...

Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Engineer

£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

Recruitment Genius: Developer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future