Bloom Energy has developed an energy server which operates on renewable hydrogen and delivers always-on, 100% renewable electric power with zero emissions.
Renewable hydrogen is produced by breaking down water into hydrogen and oxygen by using electrolysis and renewable power.
The ability to operate on renewable hydrogen means Bloom Energy servers installed today to run on natural gas can be readily upgraded to use renewable hydrogen in the future.
A typical 250kW energy server produces enough electricity to power a big box store in an area about the size of a parking space.
“The production, storage and dispatch of hydrogen from excess power is the most scalable, affordable and efficient solution to the problem of balancing renewable power supply and demand,” said Jack Brouwer, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Director of the National Fuel Cell Research Centre (NFCRC) at the University of California, Irvine.
“Today, fuel cells, wind and solar power reduce CO2 emissions largely independently of one another. Going forward, those same technologies will work symbolically to balance supply and demand,” said KR Sridhar, Found and CEO of Bloom Energy.
The upgraded servers have the ability to operate solely on renewable hydrogen, or on a combination of hydrogen and natural gas.
As the availability of renewable hydrogen increases, it could also be blended into the natural gas pipeline network.