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The Bloom Boxes are expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent, in comparison to the grid

AT&T has partnered with Bloom Energy Corporation to install Bloom Energy Servers, aka Bloom Boxes, throughout California in an effort to provide clean, affordable and reliable power via solid oxide fuel cell technology

The Bloom Boxes, which contain stacked fuel cells and convert air and natural gas into electricity through a electrochemical process, will help power 11 different sites in California. The Bloom Boxes will produce 7.5 megawatts of onsite power, and over 62 million kilowatt-hours of energy annually, which could power 5,600 homes per year. 

"Bloom Energy is excited to be working with AT&T in helping to achieve their corporate sustainability goals," said Bill Thayer, Executive Vice President of Sales and Service at Bloom Energy. "With a shared vision of reliability, environmental stewardship, and innovation, Bloom Energy and AT&T's collaborative efforts are sure to make an impact throughout their facilities in California."

The Bloom Boxes are expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent, in comparison to the traditional grid. It will eliminate harmful particulate emissions like nitrous oxides and sulfur oxides. 

"AT&T is committed to finding more sustainable ways to power our business operations as part of our efforts to incorporate alternative and renewable energy sources into our energy portfolio," said John Schinter, director of energy for AT&T. "Bloom Energy provided us with a solution that was not only cost comparable but also allows us to minimize environmental impact."

The sites that will receive Bloom Boxes in California will include Corona, Fontana, Pasadena, Redwood City, Hayward, San Ramon, Rialto, San Bernadino, San Jose and San Diego. The installations are to begin later this year, and will be completed by mid 2012.

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RE: When can I get off the grid
By haxxorboi on 7/12/2011 4:13:58 PM , Rating: 2
If one server can power 100 average US homes, then it may make sense to use one when building a new subdivision. I suppose retrofitting would also be viable, but designing the area around the server would probably be cheaper in the long run.

I think I recall Bloom having some issues scaling down the Boxes down to a household size, but I'm still hopeful.

RE: When can I get off the grid
By isayisay on 7/12/2011 6:19:54 PM , Rating: 2
I'm very hopeful (without any scientific reason) that this can be scaled down to home size.

RE: When can I get off the grid
By fic2 on 7/13/2011 12:24:33 PM , Rating: 2
It would be nice to at least get it down to small building size energy or block size. I live in a 47 unit building. It would be fantastic if we could get one of these to power the building (or 3 buildings on the block) and, hopefully, provide hot water. And the kicker - at a reasonable price. Now reasonable could be in the $50k-100k range depending on how expensive the operating cost is. I think we pay around $0.10/kW for current electricity. Also, the building itself pays about $50k/year in electricity and natural gas for common hot water. If we could reduce that to $40k/year for just natural gas or even keep it the same $50k/year but residents got free electricity that would be pretty huge - depending on how long the Bloom Box lasts.

RE: When can I get off the grid
By Calin on 7/13/2011 2:23:00 AM , Rating: 2
They are probably very expensive related to their total power output.
What makes them great is the fact that they can generate heat (we used to have big coal-firing power plants that supplied electricity and heat to both industry and city heating).
This the the place for home-sized "thermal and electricity" power plants - you start it when you need heat, and it generates electricity too (electricity which you can sell to the grid for hopefully more than it cost you to produce it, making the heat free).

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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