Bloom Energy Announces Commercial Availability of Hydrogen-Powered Fuel Cells

Source: 9/29/2021, Location: North America

Bloom Energy announced the commercial availability of its Hydrogen Energy Servers — 100 percent hydrogen-powered fuel cells that deliver on-site, 24/7, zero-carbon electricity — all in a simple, modular, and flexible design.

Orders are being accepted with commercial shipments expected to begin in 2022.

Dozens of countries across the globe have committed to net-zero emissions goals by 2050, and more than 30 countries have hydrogen-specific strategies that are being activated. Hydrogen is well-suited for an array of applications, including transportation, and unlocks a net-zero emissions future for hard-to-decarbonize heavy industries.

Electricity production is the second largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, with 62 percent of electricity produced through the combustion of fossil fuels. Hydrogen technologies, like hydrogen-powered fuel cells, significantly reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity production and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.

As the hydrogen economy grows, the need for hydrogen for energy storage and power generation will accelerate. For power generation, as production of hydrogen becomes ubiquitous, Bloom Energy’s Hydrogen Energy Servers will be another option in moving to net zero emissions.

“Bloom Energy has a complementary suite of solutions and strong partner ecosystem supporting both ends of the hydrogen economy — clean hydrogen production and efficient hydrogen utilization,” said Deia Bayoumi, vice president of product management, Bloom Energy. “With these offerings and collaborative solutions, our technology can be applied for today’s needs and in the future as the hydrogen economy becomes more robust.”

Renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, are critical to clean power generation. However, these sources are also inherently intermittent, with periods of excess energy production that generate more electricity than transmission lines can carry. Curtailment is therefore needed to balance generation with consumption. By pairing renewables with the Bloom Electrolyzer, curtailment can be avoided; hydrogen can be produced at scale, compressed and stored for long duration during periods of excess renewable production.

The addition of hydrogen-powered fuel cells allows the stored hydrogen to be converted into 24/7, zero-carbon electricity that can be used when energy is needed. This also enables for islanded or remote communities with renewable resources to self-generate fuel for reliable electricity, without needing to import fuel to their local community.

“Our technology is distinctively suited to help hydrogen adopters thrive in the hydrogen economy,” said Venkat Venkataraman, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Bloom Energy. “Bloom Energy’s hydrogen-powered fuel cells are built on the company’s solid-oxide platform that has higher efficiencies compared to other fuel cell technologies, generating more electricity from less hydrogen, and provides reliable power helping organizations reach to meet their zero-carbon objectives.”

Bloom Energy’s solid-oxide platform is positioned to address both the realities of today’s energy infrastructure, and aspirations for the future energy ecosystem. Bloom Energy Microgrids demonstrate that needed modular and redundant power is possible today and they provide a cleaner replacement to back-up diesel generators. Looking ahead, the fuel flexibility of Bloom Energy Servers enables an accelerated transition to the hydrogen economy with the use of natural gas, biogas, hydrogen, or a blending of these fuels.

Bloom Energy’s Hydrogen Energy Servers have undergone testing as part of a pilot project with SK ecoplant in Ulsan, South Korea for the last five months with successful results. Throughout operation, the hydrogen-powered fuel cells provided 24/7, zero-carbon electricity at efficiency levels exceeding expectations.

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