At first glance, Bloom Energy seems to be yet another hyperbolic Silicon Valley start-up claiming to have produced a miracle in a box, yet succeeding only in disappointing naive optimists. But, Bloom Energy is no ordinary start-up; its 'Bloom Box' is already powering Google, eBay and FedEx.
Bloom Energy's 'Bloom Box' is a fuel cell with a twist, the twist being that it requires fuel input of natural gas or methane (rather than more complicated and less available hydrogen). The cell’s design also does not require expensive exotic metals like platinum or palladium. Two Bloom Boxes--each the size of a toaster--can power an average American home (one for a European home). The cells, however, must be connected to a device the size of a large refrigerator for fuel supply and power distribution.
Bloom Energy's goal? To get one into every backyard and basement from New York to Nanjing.