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Bloom Energy

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About Bloom Energy

There're startups, and then there's Bloom Energy. The company invented the first power generator that uses solid-oxide fuel cells, which convert natural gas or renewable fuels such as biogas into electricity without any pollution-causing combustion. The Bloom Energy Server, known as the Bloom Box, contains ceramic wafers made of a "sand-like powder" instead – more... of more expensive materials like acid or molten carbonate. Each Bloom Box is about the size of a parking spot, weighs about 20,000 pounds, and costs $800,000. The servers provide 200kW of power, enough for a 30,000-sq.-ft. office building. Bloom Energy launched the Bloom Box in 2010. It produces power for such major customers as Wal-Mart, Google, and eBay.

To add more clients to its customer base, 2012 Bloom Energy announced plans to go bi-coastal through the opening of a manufacturing facility in Delaware. The plant's construction is scheduled to be completed by mid-2013.

When the Bloom Box was launched, customers received a 30% tax credit from the federal government, and California companies received an additional $2,500-per-kW state subsidy, which dropped the price to $310,000 for one box. Without any incentives, Bloom Boxes are substantially more expensive than using electricity supplied from the traditional power grid. 

The first Bloom Boxes were used as backup generators in lieu of the traditional diesel-burning backup generators. Ideally, the company aims to market a smaller generator to residential customers for about $3,000, but that technology could take as long as 10 years to develop. The current-size Bloom Boxes can power about 150 homes, but no municipal customers have signed on yet.

Bloom Energy didn't invent solid-oxide fuel cells -- the technology traces its roots back to the 1930s from research by two Swiss scientists. Siemens Energy and the DOE have been major researchers and developers of solid-oxide fuel-cell technology over the years. Bloom Energy came about in 2001, when KR Sridhar, a NASA scientist, set up shop at the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley to develop a marketable product. Initially called Ion America, the company secured funding from Kleiner Perkins and spent about $400 million to develop the Bloom Box. – less

Bloom Energy Employer Reviews

Process Technician (Current Employee), Newark, DEJune 26, 2014
procudtion floor worker (Former Employee), Sunnyvale CaMay 24, 2014
Process Metallurgist (Current Employee), Rosario, 04AApril 22, 2014
Mechanical Design Engineer (Current Employee), Sunnyvale, CAMarch 30, 2014
Assembly Technician (Current Employee), Newark, DEMarch 20, 2014

Working at Bloom Energy

  • I am a 5 month old employee of Bloom Energy, Mumbai, who was forcefully asked to resign yesterday. I was hired as an Engineer at Bloom Energy in Nov. 2011. In 5 months I wa...
  • What do you think - will Bloom Energy grow fast? Are they expanding their staff? How does Bloom Energy stack up against the competition?
  • What are the average starting salaries, bonuses, benefits and travel requirements like at Bloom Energy? What do you like best about working at Bloom Energy? Are there any...
  • It's always hard to know what to expect when going in for that interview -- and preparation can make all the difference. What is the interview process like at Bloom Energy...
  • Every business has its own style. What is the office environment and culture like at Bloom Energy? Are people dressed in business casual, jeans and t-shirts, or full-on s...