How do Bloom boxes get their fuel cell energy? And what types of emissions do Bloom Energy Servers give off?
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
Bloom Energy Servers such as the ES-5400 and ES-5700 can use either natural gas or directed biogas as fuel cell energy; both rely on methane as the fuel source. Although natural gas is a nonrenewable fossil fuel, it remains one of the least expensive and cleanest alternatives to combustion fuels such as coal or oil.
By comparison, biogas is a renewable, methane-rich gas produced from decay in swamps, marshes, landfills, sewage and, well, manure. Apple powers its Bloom servers with biogas from a landfill near its Maiden, N.C., data center.
Even though traditional combustion is not taking place, solid oxide fuel cell systems such as Bloom Energy Servers do produce emissions. Both Bloom units produce less than 0.01 pounds per megawatt hour (lb/mWh) of nitrogen oxide, 0.1 lb/mWh of carbon monoxide, and 0.02 lb/mWh of other volatile organic compounds. There is negligible sulfur oxide, but the units produce 773 lbs/mWh of carbon dioxide when using natural gas -- none when using biogas.
Data center operators considering fuel cell technologies such Bloom units should weigh the impact of these various carbon emissions on their total carbon footprint since it may factor into the calculation of carbon usage effectiveness or impact the determination of environmental carbon credits.
Dig Deeper on Data center design and facilities
Related Q&A from Stephen J. Bigelow
Our enterprise uses Amazon ElastiCache to create and manage caching engines. How can we track Amazon ElastiCache performance and costs?continue reading
There are a number of Microsoft tools that can monitor workload performance. But which tools can help gauge if my apps are ready to migrate to the ...continue reading
Amazon ElastiCache supports Redis and Memcached as in-memory caching engines. What are the main features of each and how do they differ?continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.