eBay Inc. Adopts Fuel Cell Technology to Power Its Headquarters Campus
By: eBay Inc. Staff
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) and Bloom Energy unveiled a new, state-of-the-art technology at its PayPal campus in San Jose. It's called the Bloom Energy Server, and some are saying it will revolutionize the world.
The Energy Server is an SUV-sized box that corporations install outside their buildings to generate their own electricity from almost any fuel source. As part of the company's long-term commitment to sustainability and responsible energy use, these Bloom "Boxes" will benefit both eBay’s business as well the environment.
The majority of eBay’s environmental impact arises from the energy consumed by its data centers, operations that run 24/7/365 in order to support the more than $2,000 worth of goods that are transacted every second. Following the installation of a 650 kW solar array at its headquarters in San Jose, eBay was convinced that clean energy was a viable solution, but was looking for one that could provide always-on, 100 percent renewable power for this constant load. One of the best and most cost-effective solutions it found was Bloom Energy’s fuel cell systems.
The Bloom boxes take 15 percent of the campus’ energy needs off the grid completely.
Fuel cells are effectively skinny batteries that can run at all times. Bloom fuel cells work by feeding air and fuel—often natural gas or biogas, but even energy from solar panels—into its system, which converts the two into electricity that can be used by homes, offices or even cities.
These fuel cells have received so much acclaim for how inexpensive and efficient they can be. In fact, a stack of fuel cells the size of a brick would be good enough to power an average home, according to Bloom Energy.
Unlike other fuel cell types, Bloom’s technology takes ordinary beach sand, bakes it and compresses it into a ceramic disc about the size of a Polaroid image. Special inks are applied to either side of the disc where chemical reactions will take place that will ultimately create energy.
Hundreds upon hundreds of those mini, Polaroid image-sized discs get stacked and go into a box the size of an SUV. At eBay, five of these boxes were installed just behind the LEED-Gold certified San Jose North campus nearly nine months ago.
“eBay believes in the power of our business model to make a real difference in the world, and that includes how we embrace innovation to reduce our carbon footprint,” says eBay Inc. CEO, John Donahoe. “When Bloom came to us, it was an easy decision to become an early adopter of its cutting-edge new technology. As a result, we’re meeting financial and environmental goals with the project while fueling a more energy efficient global marketplace. That’s good for us, our customers and the planet.”
For more information, visit ebay.com/greenteam.