Many countries and countless companies have put together sustainability plans to tackle the problem of global warming and join the global effort to reach Net Zero emissions by 2050. This Global decarbonization campaign has started an energy transformation to change the way we produce energy which involves moving away from traditional combustion technologies toward cleaner energy sources like renewables and fuel cells that do not produce harmful greenhouse gases. This energy transition also includes moving toward cleaner energy fuel sources like natural gas, which produces 50% less C02/MMBtu than coal. Currently natural gas makes up more than 38% of fossil fuel usage today in the United States (24% Globally)1and serves as a great transition fuel, as the world transitions to carbon free fuel sources.
Bloom’s entire portfolio of products were developed and designed around leading and complimenting the global energy transformation and reducing carbon emissions. One of Bloom’s core products, the Energy Server, has the largest installed base of any solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) manufacturer, and this installed base operates primarily on readily available natural gas. The engineers and product teams at Bloom Energy have developed the Energy Server to be fuel flexible and future proof to handle the needs of the energy sector as they transition to even cleaner fuels. The Energy Server was designed to integrate and operate alongside the energy transformation movement and not become a stranded asset for customers.
One of the fuels that will take a front seat in the next stage of the fuel transition strategy for the energy sector, is hydrogen gas (H2). In recent years, the energy sector has been talking more about hydrogen, which has zero carbon content. H2 comes with its own set of challenges for storage, transport and safe usage but it is naturally formed in many things, easily extracted with no negative impact on the atmosphere. As the energy sector evaluates H2 as the next big move toward decarbonization, the industry will undertake a potential long and expensive upgrade process to change existing infrastructure and equipment to be able to safely make, store, distribute and use hydrogen.
Although Bloom Energy has Energy Servers installed today that were optimized to run on 100% H2 gas, at the time of this Technical note, most of the installed base of Energy Servers were optimized for natural gas, since that is what is most commonly available.
As the market for H2 grows, customers often ask Bloom if they can blend H2 gas with the incoming natural gas that is feeding Bloom’s Energy Servers today. This technical note will address the question of H2 blending in existing Energy Servers as well as provide customers with guidance, tradeoffs, recommendations, and upgrade information to get the most out of the Energy Server today as well as plan for the Energy Server of tomorrow. The good news is, Bloom Energy has a product roadmap that is built around the energy transformation. One that is fuel flexible and upgradable. As the planet’s energy transformation matures, Bloom will bemthere to serve their installed base as well as offer the latest innovative Energy Servers for the future.