Calif. energy company repairing hundreds of unused ventilators

FILE – In this March 28, 2020, file photo, David Yee, an NPI mechanical engineer, tests voltage of new batteries at Bloom Energy in Sunnyvale, Calif. The COVID-19 outbreak has prompted companies large and small to rethink how they do business. Bloom Energy makes hydrogen fuel cells. But recently, they have been refurbishing old ventilators so hospitals can use them to keep coronavirus patients alive. (Beth LaBerge/KQED via AP, Pool, File)

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UPDATED 9:51 AM PT — Thursday, April 2, 2020

A California-based energy company has joined the fight against the coronavirus by repairing broken ventilators by the hundreds. Recent reports detailed the efforts by San Jose-based fuel cell-maker Bloom Energy, which has shifted its efforts to fixing ventilators that would otherwise sit unused.

Company representatives said the state reached out to them by informing them that the machines have been sitting around since 2011 and are not fit to use in their current state. The company went from knowing nothing about ventilators to refurbishing hundreds to fit current specifications.

“We’re averaging about one hundred ventilators a day, being able to refurb, refresh, validate, run them on a durability test, pack them back up and send them to the hospital such that they’re ready for use right when they pull them out of the box,” explained Joe Tavi, Director of Manufacturing for Bloom Energy.

According to reports Bloom Energy has since fixed more than 400 ventilators with hundreds more on the way. Meanwhile, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has called for around 10,000 of the machines and has rounded up around 4,000 so far.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference at the Bloom Energy campus in Sunnyvale, Calif., Saturday, March 28, 2020. Bloom Energy is a fuel cell generator company that has switched over to refurbishing ventilators as an increasing number of patients experience respiratory issues as a result of COVID-19, caused by the new coronavirus. (Beth LaBerge/KQED via AP, Pool)

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