Apple turns to Bloom Energy’s fuel cell technology

“When Apple’s new massive campus, dubbed the Spaceship, opens for thousands of its employees next year in Cupertino, Calif., a small part of it will be powered by rows of big silver boxes containing fuel cells that generate energy through a chemical reaction,” Katie Fehrenbacher reports for Fortune. “”

“The energy technology was developed and manufactured just a few miles away from Apple’s one-mile wide, still unfinished campus by the 15 year-old Silicon Valley company called Bloom Energy, Fortune has learned,” Fehrenbacher reports. “The substantial project, at 4 megawatts, is a big deal for Bloom Energy, a company that’s seen major hype, a bevvy of critics, and a steady list of customers. Apple’s adoption of the energy technology is also an important endorsement of fuel cell technology, which has slowly gained some traction with a handful of global brands as an alternative to companies simply plugging their buildings into the power grid.”

“During transmission and distribution, up to 15% of the electricity can be lost. Producing power on site, therefore, can be more efficient under the right circumstances,” Fehrenbacher reports. “Apple, after installing early versions of Bloom’s fuel cells at its data center in North Carolina several years ago, is now using Bloom Energy’s more efficient fuel cells at its soon-to-open space age campus. The new project is smaller—less than half the size of the one in North Carolina—but it will help Apple create a microgrid, and run on local power if it disconnects from the greater power grid.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Learn more about Apple and renewable energy here.

Why Apple is placing such a big emphasis on going green – April 16, 2015
Apple CEO Cook participates in Climate Week conference, calls new ‘spaceship’ HQ ‘the greenest building on the planet’ – September 22, 2014
Bloom Energy confirms they will supply fuel cells for Apple’s North Carolina data center – April 30, 2012
Apple buying 36,000 acres of private forestland to be sustainably harvested and used in Apple packaging – April 16, 2015
Tim Cook: Apple to build $850 million solar farm – February 10, 2015
New Apple solar farm approved in North Carolina – July 8, 2014
Greenpeace: Apple leading the way in creating a greener, more sustainable internet – April 2, 2014
Apple plans Nevada solar farm to generate clean power for data center – July 2, 2013
Apple now gets 75 percent of its total power needs from renewable energy – March 21, 2013
Apple’s NC and Oregon data centers to use 100 percent renewable energy – May 17, 2012
Bloom Energy confirms they will supply fuel cells for Apple’s North Carolina data center – April 30, 2012
New aerial images of Apple’s planned NC fuel cell, solar farms published – April 7, 2012
Apple’s massive fuel cell energy project to be largest in the U.S. – April 4, 2012
Apple plans USA’s largest private fuel cell energy project in North Carolina – April 1, 2012
How Apple took the lead on the environment – February 22, 2012
Apple patent application reveals next-gen fuel cell powered Macs and iOS devices – December 22, 2011
Apple’s Mothership campus solar roof will be among biggest in U.S. – December 7, 2011
Apple working with US company, Leaf Solar Power, on North Carolina solar farm – November 8, 2011
Apple patent app details highly-advanced hydrogen fuel cells to power portable devices – October 20, 2011
Apple building huge solar farm around its billion-dollar North Carolina data center – October 26, 2011


    1. You are NOT ‘Dum’. This is an EXCELLENT point!

      From the source article:

      In addition, fuel cells can emit fewer greenhouse gases compared to grid power. Bloom Energy’s fuel cells can use natural gas, which pollutes less than burning coal, along with even “biogas” which comes from collecting methane from decomposing organic matter like on a hog or cattle farm, a waste water treatment plant, or a landfill.

      This is called ‘Green Washing’ where bullshit methods are described as ‘green’ when they are NOT.

      The green goal: NO CARBON BURNING, I.E. no CO2 emissions. Even better: Have a system in place for sequestering CO2, such as growing trees. And yes, Apple is growing A LOT of trees for the Mother Ship.

      Where ‘Fuel Cells’ fit into ACTUAL green energy is when the fuel is NOT CARBON-BASED. Hydrogen fuel cells can be an excellent example, IF the hydrogen is generated without having to burn carbon fuels.

      For all we know at this point, Apple may well be planning using hydrogen fuel cells. Because tech journalism these days is so abominably bad, Fortune may have neglected to dig deep enough into the relationship with Bloom Energy and Apple to find out exactly what fuel cells are going to be used.

      Extra Credit:

      Hydrogen fuel cells are ‘green’ when they use hydrogen generated using green energy sources, such as WIND, SUN or WATER MOTION (dams, mill wheels, etc.) The classic system uses these renewable resources to generate electricity that is applied to water with H2 and O2 gas being generated. The H2 is collected into the fuel cell system for storage, to be used any time in the future.

      Think of hydrogen fuel cells as: Batteries. They store energy that can be utilized at a later time. They are a prime solution for solar and wind systems for periods when there is no sun or wind. Power is instead taken from the hydrogen fuel cells during these lulls in renewable energy input.

      As batteries, you can pull the hydrogen fuel cell units out of a system and replace them with others. This is why they continue to be hyped as a solution for green, renewable energy cars.

      Note that hydrogen fuel cells are NOT ‘green’ if their hydrogen has been generated by burning carbon fuels. Such a solution would be merely more ‘green washing’ bullshit.

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