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
Photon OS optimizes VMware Photon platform deployment, not only in vSphere but in GCE, EC2 and more. Follow these steps to learn how to run Photon OS...continue reading
Performance problems can be caused by a number of things, including overprovisioning and poor vCPU selection and assignment to VMs. Use these ...continue reading
Think about what types of workloads are running on a VM before assigning compute resources, and consider using vCPUs from different cores for ...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.