Bloom Energy is a Californian company; a pioneer in making eco-friendly fuel cells. Like many tech firms around the world waging war against COVID-19 pandemic, it is making sure that it’s not left behind.
According to the Los Angeles Times, there are around 170 repaired ventilators that Bloom Energy will deliver to the city government. As the legend goes, an engineer at the company downloaded the manual and taught himself how to dismantle and repair a ventilator in a day.
The broken ventilators had been in the storage since the H5N1 bird flu outbreak, in the mid-2000s. In a comment, Bloom says they are searching for other stockpiles of broken ventilators and other useful pieces of equipment.
Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, visited the manufacturing plant of the company on Saturday. He remarked: “We got a car and a truck and had [them] brought here to this facility at 08:00 this morning. And Monday, they’ll have those ventilators back into Los Angeles all fixed. That’s the spirit of California.”
The Governor said earlier that the company had asked for a month to repair 200 broken ventilators, which will assist patients in breathing caused by COVID-19 or some other disease. The governor challenged the company “to do more and to do better“.
In an interview with CNBC, CEO of Bloom Energy, Mr. Sridhar said: “We think we can do hundreds of ventilators – close to 1,000 ventilators – a week of refurbishment. This is the fastest way – we can take existing ventilators that are out there, get them working, get them back to the hospitals.”
The UK opted for the opposite strategy. It has approximately 8,000 ventilators and has ordered another 8,000 from manufacturers. On a worrying note, the manufacturers have said that they wouldn’t be able to meet demand if the pandemic escalates in the days to come.