March 24, 2010
Fuel Cell Technology
Earth, don't you fear,
Fuel cells are here
To create clean power,
Day by day, hour by hour!
"Power Plant in a Box"
Fuel Cells are devices that electrochemically combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity with only water and heat as byproducts. Since the process does not involve combustion, fuel cells are clean, quiet, and highly efficient. A company called Bloom Energy is actually testing a residential solid oxide fuel cell called the Bloom Box, a "power plant in a box" that has the potential to transform the world.
- Originally, aerospace engineer K.R. Sridhar invented the Bloom Box so that NASA could produce oxygen on Mars.
- The Bloom Box consists of multiple flat fuel cells that act as skinny batteries. Each fuel cell is constructed by baking sand into a diskette and painting it's opposite sides with specially formulated green and black inks.
- Each fuel cell in the Bloom Box has the ability to power a single light bulb. A stack of about 64 fuel cells could power a small business like a Starbucks.
- Future goals for the Bloom Box are that it will cost $2,000 per box and be placed in every American home within ten years, thus eliminating the need for the power grid.
60 Minutes featured a great news story on the Bloom Box.
Bloom Energy details the process of the Bloom Box's fuel cell technology.