Equinix explores viability of hydrogen-powered DCs

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 10 October, 2023

Equinix explores viability of hydrogen-powered DCs

Equinix has completed a feasibility study exploring the viability of hydrogen for sustainable power generation for data centres.

The company collaborated with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Centre for Energy Research & Technology (CERT) under the College of Design and Engineering (CDE) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) on the study of green hydrogen fuel technology.

The research project aimed to analyse the viability of proton-exchange membrane fuel cells and other alternative generator technologies as environmentally viable backup power supply options for data centres as a solution to address the intermittent nature of weather-dependent renewable energy sources.

Proton-exchange membrane fuel cells are built out of membrane electrode assemblies and are designed to transform the chemical energy liberated during the electrochemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen to electrical energy.

Each system was evaluated based on technical parameters that include temperature limits, startup times, efficiency, fuel flexibility, the total cost of ownership and net present cost.

The second instalment of the report will explore the costs associated with larger-scale data centres or facilities with higher energy demands on continuous-use applications.

Equinix MD for South Asia Yee May Leong said the trial has led to insightful findings for alternate fuel sources.

“This also demonstrates the wealth of innovation and R&D talent available in Singapore. Representing a cumulative and concerted effort to drive meaningful impact in sustainability for the data centre industry, the results are also a promising development for Singapore’s hydrogen aspirations,” she said.

“We will continue to work with CDE to accelerate disruptive technologies that can reduce the carbon footprint of global data centres, particularly in tropical locations.”

Image credit: iStock.com/Photoenthusiast82

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