Bloom Energy confirms they will supply fuel cells for Apple’s North Carolina data center

“On the day Bloom Energy officially opened shop on the East Coast, the company’s CEO confirmed Bloom will supply fuel cells to Apple’s North Carolina data center,” Martin LaMonica reports for CNET. “Bloom Energy today is breaking ground on a factory in Newark, Delaware to build its Bloom Energy Servers, or Bloom Boxes, which produce electricity from natural gas or biogas.”

“The facility, which was a former Chrysler plant, will have the capacity to turn out 1,000 Bloom Boxes a year, Bloom Energy CEO K.R. Sridhar said in an interview with CNET. Each fuel cell, which is the size of few refrigerators, can generate 100 kilowatts of electric power,” LaMonica reports. “Sridhar also confirmed that Apple’s Maiden, North Carolina data center will use Bloom’s fuel cells. The data center, now under construction, will have 4.8 megawatts worth of fuel cells powered by biogas. It is expected to be the largest corporate fuel cell installation.”

LaMonica reports, “A fuel cell converts the energy in natural gas or biogas into electricity in a chemical reaction that gives off almost no air pollutants. Biogas contains methane from the decomposing organic matter. It can be captured from landfills and dairy or pig farms. Generating power from a natural gas fuel cell reduces carbon emissions by about 40 percent to 50 percent compared to the U.S. grid, according to Bloom. It converts about 60 percent of the fuel’s energy into electricity and no energy is lost over transmission lines as happens with the grid, Sridhar said.”

Read more in the full article here.

12 Comments

  1. These fuel cells are very impressive. It is great technology. I’m all for using alternative sources of energy to save money, but why biogas? What is biogas? Oh yeah, it’s combustible gas from organic matter (plants and animals). Why not use a much cheaper and abundant source like natural gas which also comes from organic matter. The only difference is that natural gas comes from organic matter that is millions of years old. The process taps into the same carbon cycle.

    1. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas (21x worse than carbon dioxide), that is given off in landfills around the world. For that reason, it should be easier to access, and it doesn’t use the world’s supply of Natural Gas, which will probably be very important as a transition fuel since we’ve already hit Peak Oil.

      1. Aaah…the old Peak Oil Myth. We may choose to stop drilling because of politics or rabid environment concerns but there’s plenty of oil left in the ground.

          1. ANWR would be real easy. And it would be easy to do with reasonable safety precautions too. The only reason why we don’t is political/environmental extremism.

    2. Because biogas is already there. Plenty of pig farms in the NC area. Waste byproducts from other industries are always cheaper. Use what is available first.

      1. If something good can be made from such waste, so much the better. I recall a major flood in the area a few years back that hit one of those major pig farms, spreading the waste and the smell far beyond the original farms.

    1. Apple’s a bit behind here though. If I remember correctly, Google was one of the original investors in the company, and has been using them for years.

  2. Is it me or does “Bloom Energy” sound like some front name for an evil corporation in a cheap spy movie or something.

    “I’ve traced the money to Bloom Energy. It’s a former front for KBG money laundering. After the wall fell they went ‘legit,’ importing oil and investing in renewable energy. Only thing is they have ties to terrorist operations in Damascus and anti-Israel money in Iran…”

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