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New fuel cell technology is introduced

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Feb. 25 (UPI) -- A U.S. energy company has unveiled a fuel cell that it says can transform the nation's current system of grid-distributed power into localized energy sources.

The Bloom Energy Corp. of Sunnyvale, Calif., says its "Bloom Energy Server" -- or "Bloom Box" -- is a solid oxide fuel cell that can use a variety of fuel sources to provide "a cleaner, more reliable and more affordable alternative to both today's electric grid, as well as traditional renewable energy sources."

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Bloom says its device generates enough power to meet the needs of approximately 100 average U.S. homes or a small office building in approximately the footprint of a parking space. For more power, multiple servers can be installed side by side.

"Customers who purchase Bloom's systems can expect a 3-5-year payback on their capital investment from the energy cost savings," the company said. "Depending on whether they are using a fossil or renewable fuel, they can also achieve a 40-100 percent reduction in their carbon footprint as compared with the U.S. grid."

Company co-founder and CEO K.R. Sridhar told a Wednesday news conference: "We believe that we can have the same kind of impact on energy that the mobile phone had on communications. Just as cell phones circumvented landlines to proliferate telephony, Bloom Energy will enable the adoption of distributed power as a smarter, localized energy source."

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