Indian-American invents home power plant

BREAKTHROUGH: K.R. Sridhar, co-founder and CEO of Silicon Valley startup Bloom Energy, holds up a stack of fuel cells.

 In a breakthrough, an Indian-American rocket scientist has invented a mini electricity device, which could replace expensive power houses and transmission lines.

Christened the ‘Bloom Box,’ it would be unveiled by K.R. Sridhar in the Silicon Valley, a preview of which was given at the CBS’s popular show ‘60 Minutes’ last weekend.

“It is just like a laptop of the power sector,” the CBS reported.

Mr. Sridhar formed a company, Bloom Energy, which raised some $400 million from venture capitalists of the Silicon Valley at a time when it is tough to get money due to economic recession.

Among its board of directors is the former U.S. Secretary of State Collin Powell, who joined it last year.

Mr. Sridhar, who was a rocket scientist and served as adviser to NASA, says that in 10 years or so the ‘Bloom Box’ for residential areas would be available at $3,000 (less than Rs.1.5 lakh) to produce electricity in a small home round the clock.

Having earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Madras, earlier he was a Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering as well as Director of the Space Technologies Laboratory (STL) at the University of Arizona.

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