The Bloom energy Website is now open and has information What still needs to be provided is some kind of white paper or research article that lays at a roadmap (that does not have to reveal secret sauce) about where they are and will be with bringing costs down and production volume up.
Reader MVetsel provides calculations –
Okay, so all of the critical information can now be gleaned from the data sheet. The efficiency is 52% excluding any heat produced and based on my generous assumptions (below), this would produce electricity at roughly $0.13/kwh if the excess heat is not recaptured.
193.7 kW h (kilowatt hours) [input to produce 100 kWh of output]
Nymex $/MMBtu $5.29
Yr cap cost $77,074
Up hours/yr: 8,322
Cap. Cost/kwh $0.093
Total cost/kwh $0.128
Powder to Power – How It Works
Founded in 2001, Bloom Energy can trace its roots to the NASA Mars space program. For NASA, Sridhar and his team were charged with building technology to help sustain life on Mars using solar energy and water to produce air to breath and fuel for transportation. They soon realized that their technology could have an even greater impact here on Earth and began work on what would become the Bloom Energy Server.
The Bloom Energy Server converts air and nearly any fuel source – ranging from natural gas to a wide range of biogases – into electricity via a clean electrochemical process, rather than dirty combustion. Even running on a fossil fuel, the systems are approximately 67% cleaner than a typical coal-fired power plant. When powered by a renewable fuel, they can be 100% cleaner. Each Energy Server consists of thousands of Bloom’s fuel cells – flat, solid ceramic squares made from a common sand-like “powder.”
So far the press conference is just talking about the generalities which are known. They have customers who are big companies. Politicians are talking about how they love green tech and how unclean energy is bad.
3 major value propositions: lower energy costs, clean power, and reliable power.
Sridhar: 3-5 year payback, with costs that are fixed for 10 years. Can reduce carbon footprint with renewable bio fuels
Nothing important was said and the press conference is over. There will be a press tour and at some point a press interview (questions and answers). Hopefully useful questions and answers will be asked and answered. The CBS 60 minutes questions and answers were relatively useless in terms of assessing the economics, potential and timeline of what will happen with Bloom Energy.
Bloom Energy Corporation, a Silicon Valley-based company committed to changing the way people generate and consume energy, announced today the availability of the Bloom Energy Server™, a patented solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology that provides a cleaner, more reliable, and more affordable alternative to both today’s electric grid as well as traditional renewable energy sources. The Bloom Energy Server provides distributed power generation, allowing customers to efficiently create their own electricity onsite. The company introduced its groundbreaking technology at an event hosted today at eBay Inc headquarters along with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, General Colin Powell, and several of its early customers.
Built using abundant and affordable materials, Bloom’s fuel cell technology is fundamentally different from the legacy “hydrogen” fuel cells most people are familiar with. The Bloom Energy Server is distinct in four primary ways: it uses lower cost materials, provides unmatched efficiency in converting fuel to electricity, has the ability to run on a wide range of renewable or traditional fuels, and is more easily deployed and maintained.
Each Bloom Energy Server provides 100 kilowatts (kW) of power in roughly the footprint of a parking space. Each system generates enough power to meet the needs of approximately 100 average U.S. homes or a small office building. For more power, customers simply deploy multiple Energy Servers side by side. The modular architecture allows customers to start small and “pay as they grow”.
Bloom’s customers have deployed the solution to lower and/or fix their energy costs, while significantly cutting their carbon footprint and enhancing their energy security by reducing their dependence on the grid. Customers who purchase Bloom’s systems can expect a 3-5 year payback on their capital investment from the energy cost savings. Depending on whether they are using a fossil or renewable fuel, they can also achieve a 40-100% reduction in their carbon footprint as compared with the U.S. grid.
Utilizing planar solid oxide fuel cell (pSOFC) technology first developed for NASA’s Mars program, the ES-5000 produces clean power at down-to-earth prices. Unlike other fuel cell technologies, Bloom’s SOFCs are well suited to high-volume, low-cost manufacturing.
The ES-5000 employs a modular architecture that enables the total installation size to be tailored to your base load electricity demand. Installations can scale from 100 kW – 1 MW or more.
The ES-5000’s superior electrical efficiency eliminates the need for complicated CHP systems, and expands the siting opportunities available to you. Your ES-5000 can be installed outdoors in hours rather than months or years.
The ES-5000 can run on natural gas, as well as, renewable fuels like biogas. You choose what works for you. Onsite fuels can provide added insurance for your critical loads, and the ES-5000 can switch between fuels on-the-fly.
Future generations of Bloom Energy’s Energy Servers will offer the unique capacity to operate as an energy storage device, thus creating a bridge to a 100% renewable energy future.
More details as they come in today (when announcements are to be made).
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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