Ceres Power Holdings has announced its key development role in a recently selected US Department of Energy (“DOE”) programme awarded to Cummins Inc which will focus on the development of fuel cells for use in data centres.

The company will benefit from up to US$2.6m of the total US$4.9m project, which includes contributions from Cummins, US DOE and other parties, subject to final contract.
Ceres Power
The companies will develop a novel 5kW Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (“SOFC”) modular system targeting high electrical efficiency (60 per cent) and scalable to meet multiple distributed power applications up to 100kW.

The initial target application will be the data centre market; however, wider applicability to other markets such as commercial combined heat and power will also be considered. Ceres Power’s unique Steel Cell offers greatly enhanced robustness to real-world operating conditions at a lower cost than conventional SOFC designs, as well as being fuel flexible, highly efficient and with lower emissions. 

If successfully implemented, the Steel Cell will enable data centre operators to cut current overall costs by more than 20 per cent and reduce their carbon footprint by up to 49 per cent.

It has the potential to reduce world energy use significantly as data centres currently consume nearly two per cent of the world’s electrical power.

The award is under the US DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0001469 titled “Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Innovative Concepts and Core Technology.” Ceres Power and Cummins will work closely with its consortium partners, University of Connecticut (“UConn”) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (“PNNL”), one of the US DOE’s national laboratories, to test the system to validate its feasibility in the target applications.