After being in stealth mode for eight years, Bloom Energy unveiled its Bloom Box, a device which it believes will revolutionize the world, at a highly publicized media event on Wednesday.
The company unveiled its technology at a launch event at eBay's campus in Silicon Valley, attended by big names including former Secretary of State Colin Powell and the governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Bloom is 60 percent cleaner than coal, said Schwarzenegger.
Former NASA scientist and Bloom Energy Chief Executive K.R. Sridhar described the technology in a statement as potentially having “the same kind of impact on energy that the mobile phone had on communications.”
Bloom showed off its main product, the Bloom Energy Server, a generator based around a smart new fuel cell technology.
Fuel cells rely upon chemical reactions to generate energy rather than fossil fuels, and as such are considered cleaner, more affordable, and more reliable than the traditional energy sources.
The fuel cells promise to produce more power—with less environmental damage—than others on the market.
Fuel cell technology has been researched for decades, and was typically associated with hydrogen as the main fuel source. But Bloom’s flat ceramic squares, the size of a Polaroid photo and made with baked beach sand, are supposed to be more versatile, the company said.
According to Bloom Energy, each server represents a 40 percent to 100 percent carbon footprint reduction, depending on the type of fuel used through the thousands of fuel cells.
Even with fossil fuels, the electricity produced will be 67 percent cleaner than the power produced from a coal-fired plant, according to Bloom.
Several major companies, including eBay, FedEx, Google, Staples and Wal-Mart, have already begun testing the technology. The trial runs have so far produced more than 11 million kilowatt-hours of energy while cutting 14 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, Bloom said.
The company said it has already raised $400 million from investors, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Morgan Stanley.
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