Bloom Energy Shifts Power via Fuel Cells

Breakthrough technology from a richly funded Silicon Valley startup could revolutionize the energy business, especially in the developing world.
Enter Bloom Energy, one of 26 companies named on Dec. 3 by the World Economic Forum as 2010 Tech Pioneers offering new technologies or business models that could advance the global economy and have a positive impact on people’s lives. Through its cutting-edge work with fuel cell technology, the Sunnyvale (Calif.) company aims to help homes and businesses generate their own electricity and fuel their own vehicles—bringing power and light to remote villages and even reducing dependence on today’s electricity grids in the developed world.
The Bloom Box
The project set Sridhar thinking. If he reversed the reaction—feeding oxygen and fuel (hydrogen) into the cell to generate electricity—he could change the way people generated and consumed energy. He developed the first of his so-called Bloom boxes to do just that, but took it a step further by making the process reversible. That way, when hooked up to a renewable power source such as a wind turbine or solar panel, the refrigerator-size unit makes and stores hydrogen and oxygen.