How do Bloom boxes get their fuel cell energy? And what types of emissions do Bloom Energy Servers give off?
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
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
The server infrastructure MCSE certification tests an IT pro's expertise in storage, networking and other key areas.continue reading
Our business is migrating from an on-premises server to Office 365. What third-party monitoring tools can we use to make sure it is running at ...continue reading
How do you determine whether storage is causing network performance issues on an ESXi server?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.