Bloom Box A Promising Leap for Green Energy?

It’s not unusual for Silicon Valley startups to run in “stealth mode” for a while, keeping their technology and developments to themselves and a few key partners while they work out the kinks and a business plan. But for Bloom Energy, the secrecy has been surprisingly effective, considering what they’re intent to spring on the world: small, clean, inexpensive, emission-free power plans that will enable homes and businesses to generate their own electricity and get off the electrical grid.

bloom box a promising leap for green energy founder k r  sridhar 60 minutes

Bloom Energy is set to announce its technology Wednesday, but founder K.R. Sridhar gave venerable CBS News program 60 Minutes an inside look at its technology. Although all the details haven’t been disclosed, the Bloom Box seems to operate using a solid-oxide fuel cell technology originally developed by scientist at NASA to power things like interplanetary probes. The idea is to push hydrocarbons into a series of plates stacked on top of each other in modules of various sizes, coated with still-mysterious green and black “inks”…and the result is reliable electrical output. The hydrocarbons themselves come from something like a natural gas line—wouldn’t it be cool if that came from a landfill?—and the boxes themselves don’t make any sound, emit any odors or exhaust, and don’t vibrate. Bloom envisions a world where everyday homes can be taken off the electrical grid and have all their electrical needs met with a box in their back yard the size of a small trash can.

Bloom’s claims might seem pie-in-the-sky, but the company has already been rolling out industrial-sized versions of its technology to major corporations like Wal-Mart, FedEx, Staples, Google, and eBay—and eBay will be hosting the unveiling event this week, which promises to offer more detail than the 60 Minutes piece.

Skeptics, consumer advocates, energy industry watchers, and every consumers are eager to take a close look at what Bloom has accomplished: a big consideration is whether the company will be able to drive down the cost of fuel cell technology enough to make small-sized Bloom Boxes a cost-effective means to take homes off the electrical grid, or perhaps to supplement utility substations to handle peak load times. Even if the technology is everything Bloom Energy seems to want us to believe it is, it will likely still be a decade or more before it becomes an inexpensive enough solution for homeowners—but that’s a lot more promising than most fuel-cell technologies on the horizon.

Here’s the 60 minutes video from CBS itself:

Watch CBS News Videos Online

bloom box a promising leap for green energy founder k r  sridhar 60 minutes
Emerging Tech

Global Good wants to rid the world of deadly diseases with lasers and A.I.

Global Good, a collaboration between Intellectual Ventures and Bill Gates, aims to eradicate diseases that kill children in developing nations. It tackles difficult problems with high-tech prototypes.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Smart Home

Lowe’s offers Presidents Day bargains on Samsung appliances, Nest, and Dyson

Anticipating the demand for DIY makeovers, Lowe's Presidents' Day sale has deals on popular products from Dyson, Nest, and Samsung. If you're shopping for a vacuum cleaner, a stainless steel fridge, or home security devices, head to Lowe's.

Is the 5G spectrum harmful to our health? Experts say, 'Don't freak out'

There's plenty of consumer anxiety about radiofrequency (RF) radiation, specifically around millimeter waves (mmWave) used on 5G networks, but is it based in reality? We asked the FDA to give us its official view on the subject.
Emerging Tech

Descending at an angle could be key to landing heavier craft on Mars

Landing on Mars is a challenge: The heavier the craft, the more difficult a safe landing becomes. Scientists propose using retropropulsion engines and angling the craft to create a pressure differential to land heavier crafts in the future.
Emerging Tech

Ant-inspired walking robot navigates without GPS by using polarized light

What do you get if you cross Boston Dynamics and Ant-Man? You get Antbot, a robot from the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) which uses ant-like navigation to move around without the aid of GPS.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

InSight’s heat probe will dig 16 feet beneath the surface of Mars

New images from NASA's InSight mission to Mars have confirmed that the lander succeeded in setting the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package instrument onto the surface, from where a self-hammering spike will burrow downwards.
Emerging Tech

White spots on Ceres are evidence of ancient ice volcanoes erupting

Scientists are pouring over data collected by NASA's Dawn mission to learn about the dwarf planet Ceres and the bright white spots observed at the bottom of impact craters. They believe that these spots are evidence of ice volcanoes.
Emerging Tech

NASA to launch SPHEREx mission to investigate the origins of our universe

NASA is launching an ambitious mission to map the entire sky to understand the origins of the universe. The Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) mission will launch in 2023.
Emerging Tech

Probes exploring Earth’s hazardous radiation belts enter final phase of life

The Van Allen probes have been exploring the radiation belts around Earth for seven years. Now the probes are moving into the final phase of their exploration, coming closer to Earth to gather more data before burning up in the atmosphere.
Emerging Tech

How can digital art created on obsolete platforms be preserved?

As the lines between art and technology continue to blur, digital art experiences become more commonplace. But these developments are raising an important question for art conservationists: How should digital artworks be preserved?
Emerging Tech

Statistician raises red flag about reliability of machine learning techniques

Machine learning is everywhere in science and technology. But how reliable are these techniques really? A statistician argues that questions of accuracy and reproducibility of machine learning have not been fully addressed.
Emerging Tech

Chandra X-ray telescope uncovers evidence of the universe’s missing matter

Where is all of the matter in the universe? NASA's Chandra telescope has uncovered evidence of hot gas strands in the vicinity of a quasar which could explain the missing third of matter which has puzzled astronomers for years.