Bloom Energy on 60 Minutes talks about Bloom Box

Bloom Energy uses fuel-cell technology

Bloom Energy, 60 Minutes

Bloom Energy's bright idea has formed into a box that can provide electricity with clean energy. Image from Flickr.

“It is real. It works,” said K.R. Sridhar on “60 Minutes.”

He is talking about Bloom Energy’s invention, the Bloom Box, which creates power using fuel cells. Sridhar hopes that every home in the U.S. has a Bloom Box. The invention can provide electricity at a lower cost than a regular utility bill, and it’s better for the environment.

How does Bloom Energy work?

Sridhar, the scientist who developed the fuel-cell-powered Bloom Box and is co-founder of Bloom Energy, spoke about Bloom Energy recently on “60 Minutes.” Luckily, he didn’t have to take out personal loans to start his company. He got several hundred million dollars in capital investments from capital firm Kleiner Perkins, which also helped fund Google, Amazon and Netscape.

According to New York Daily News, the Bloom Box “generates its power wirelessly through a combination of oxygen and a fossil fuel – natural gas, bio-gas, etc.” Sridhar said on “60 Minutes” that the fuel cells in the Bloom Box use sand baked into a ceramic and coated with proprietary inks. Bloom Energy’s Bloom Box will officially be unveiled Wednesday in San Jose.

Testing and commentary

Kleiner Perkins reports that if a home uses Bloom Energy instead of going through a utility company, its carbon emissions will be reduced by about half, and it costs less. Of course, there are still some people who won’t believe it until they see it, including Michael Kanellos, editor-in-chief of GreenTech Media.

“I’m hopeful, but I’m skeptical,” Kanellos said. “People have tried fuel cells since the 1830s.”

However, Bloom Energy fuel cell technology is good enough for Google. The company’s headquarters in California has gotten its power from a Bloom Box for the past 18 months. “We have a 400-kilowatt installation on Google’s main campus that delivers clean and affordable power,” said Google spokesman Jamie Yood. Wal-Mart, FedEx and eBay have also used the Bloom Box. Keep your eye on for the official public unveiling.