Sunday, May 19, 2013
All the latest news from R&D to the commercialization of the Stationary Fuel Cell Market.
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How Bloom's technology works
A fuel cell is a device that can take the chemical energy contained within molecules and convert it directly into electricity through a chemical reaction -- the battery in your cellphone, for example, is a sort of fuel cell.
In the case of Bloom Energy's cells -- a type known as a solid oxide fuel cell -- the process begins when natural gas, or some other type of fuel and steam, is pumped at high temperatures over stacks and stacks of flat three-layered "cells."
These cells -- about the shape and size of an oversized playing card -- are coated with special materials that are naturally inclined to react with the chemicals in the fuel.
That reaction breaks the molecules in the fuel down into their constituent parts -- eventually producing electrically charged oxygen particles.
The charged particles are funneled off and used as electricity.
Byproducts include steam/water and some carbon dioxide -- but not nearly as much as a typical plant producing electricity from fuel.
As long as there is fuel, air and heat, the process continues within the cell, producing a continuous flow of electricity.
Each "Bloom Box" provides 100 kilowatts of power, enough to meet the baseload needs of 100 average homes or a small office building -- day and night -- in roughly the footprint of a standard parking space.
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