Fuel cell power for Microsoft data centre

A Microsoft data centre in Seattle, US is to run its servers on a fuel cell power system from Germany’s Solidpower.

Ten fuel cell generators are in the process of being installed above each server rack at the data centre, generating 24/7 power directly at the rack, Solidpower said.

According to the company, although fuel cell technology has been used as a power source for data centres, the Seattle installation is the first of its kind due to its installation at rack level. Generally, fuel cells are installed in a container outside the server rooms and connected to the building’s internal power network. à‚ 

Solidpower said the rack-level method improves power efficiency and reduces the need for additional investment in the building’s power systems.

The installation “marks a paradigm shift for the supply of electricity to data centres”, the firm said. à‚ 

Alberto Ravagni, Solidpower’s CEO, said the technology “will soon be deployed at a much larger scale. We will then use systems that are specifically designed for this purpose based on the reliable and highly efficient technology” of the firm’s micro-combined heat and power (CHP) system, which is on the market in Europe for residential and commercial use. à‚ 

The micro-CHP system supplies around 13 MWh per year, Solidpower said.à‚ 

Image credit:à‚ Coolcaesar/Wikimedia Commons

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