Bloom Energy has unveiled the previously announced Bloom Electrolyzer.
The electrolyzer will be built at the company’s Newark site.
The system uses the technology employed in the company’s electricity-producing fuel cells and can be fueled by multiple sources, including renewable energy and excess heat.
Bloom says that because the equipment operates at high temperatures, it requires less electricity to break up water molecules and produce hydrogen.
The elecrolyzer can use electricity and heat to produce hydrogen and reduce electricity use by as much as 45%.
“The launch of the Bloom Electrolyzer is a big leap forward in our mission to enable and empower the global hydrogen economy and a decarbonized society,” said KR Sridhar, CEO, Bloom Energy. “Hydrogen enables us to leverage abundant and inexpensive renewable energy to provide zero-carbon power, reliably—instead of intermittently. In addition, given its efficiency and input options to make hydrogen, Bloom Energy’s electrolyzer is expected to produce hydrogen at a lower price than any alternative on the market today.”
High-temperature electrolysis unlocks substantial value with heat-intensive processing applications in hard-to-decarbonize heavy industries, like steel, chemical, cement, and glass manufacturing.
By utilizing excess heat from these processes, hydrogen can be produced at a higher electrical efficiency. Also, the hydrogen required to power high-temperature furnaces at these factories can be produced on-site using Bloom Energy electrolyzers, eliminating transportation and distribution costs.
When the Bloom Electrolyzer is paired with intermittent renewable resources, such as wind and solar, the resulting green hydrogen provides an important storage mechanism. Hydrogen can be stored for long periods of time and transported over long distances. Alternatively, Bloom Energy’s fuel cells can convert this hydrogen to electricity, thereby providing continuous, reliable power.
Bloom Energy began manufacturing in the U.S. in 2001 and now supports more than 1,500 American clean energy jobs. Bloom Energy’s Sunnyvale, CA , and Newark manufacturing facilities can produce 500 megawatts of electrolyzer s today and a gigawatt within a year.
The Bloom Electrolyzer utilizes the same solid oxide platform as the company’s core fuel cell product. Those features could allow scaling up of hydrogen systems, the company noted.
Bloom Energy’s technology dates to the 1980s when the co-founders first developed electrolyzers to support the military and later NASA’s Mars exploration programs. In the early 2000s, 19 patents were awarded to Bloom Energy for its electrolyzer technology.
The Biden-Harris administration has been pushing alternate energy sources as a way to shift from fossil fuels. South Korea is focusing on hydrogen, with Bloom partnering on a project.
Additionally, a national laboratory will study whether Bloom electrolyzers can be used as a way for nuclear power plants to produce hydrogen at times when electricity demand is lower and plants would otherwise have to power down.