Last night on 60 Minutes, K.R. Sridhar, the founder of Bloom Energy, unveiled the Bloom Box. It's a mysterious new kind of fuel cell design which Sridhar claims will make the current power grid as we know it totally irrelevant.
Sridhar is still somewhat guarded about the details of what makes the Bloom Box tick, but he does reveal that its design was derived from a scrapped NASA venture to build oxygen generators to make Mars inhabitable (seriously). With nearly half a billion dollars of private venture capital funding, it would appear the Bloom Box is raising more than a a few eyebrows.
Comprised of layers of ceramic discs coated with a mystery "ink" which helps facilitate the production of energy from oxygen and naturally-occurring fuels like natural gas and biofuels, the Bloom Box sounds too good to be true. And you'd be absolutely justified to be skeptical as all get-out.
But once we heard that companies like Google, eBay, Staples, and Walmart are already using trial iterations of the Bloom Box on their corporate campuses with great results, our skepticism quickly turned to awe. This could be the future of energy, not just on a corporate level, but all the way down to the consumer level, allowing people ditching the grid completely and putting one of these bad boys in their basements instead.
It's still definitely in its experimental stage, but the fact that the Bloom Box has gone beyond concept and has entered the realm of real world makes this mystery technology one to keep a particularly close eye on.