So what's the big deal, since the Bloom Box still needs fuel – and why not use the fuel directly to product electricity as is traditionally done? Well, simply put, the Bloom Box produces more bang (electricity) for the buck (fuel). The precise numbers haven't been provided, but roughly, the Bloom Box is said to produce double the amount of electricity the same fuel can produce by traditional methods. Plus there is savings in terms of real estate and infrastructure.
According to eBay CEO John Donohoe, the company uses five Bloom Boxes that run on landfill waste-based bio-gas and generate more power than the company's 3,000 solar panels. A four-unit box, using natural gas, has been powering a Google data center for 18 months. Ball-park calculations indicate that a 30,000-square-foot office building would use four of these boxes, each costing between $ 700,000 to $ 800,000. The unknown factors include how much fuel it uses, wear and tear, and maintenance. " Unquote.