Samantha Masunaga, Los Angeles Times
Last week, Bloom Energy Chief Executive KR Sridhar realized his fuel-cell business could help alleviate the state’s critical shortage of ventilators.
The San Jose company repairs and refurbishes the fuel-cell power generators it sells to large companies and nonprofits, and Sridhar saw similarities with ventilators, which help patients breathe. After speaking with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office, Bloom Energy would embark on refurbishing the state’s supply of 200 older ventilators.
The ventilators are especially crucial now in treating cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, because critically ill patients often suffer severe respiratory symptoms.
And it’s not easy to ramp up production. It could take about three months for manufacturers to increase their capacity, and even longer for companies without prior experience making ventilators.