Energy solutions company Power Innovations has successfully powered a full data centre sever load for 48 continuous hours with hydrogen fuel cells, doubling its previous record of 24 hours achieved last year.
The Utah-based company set out with an aim to prove that hydrogen power is a viable, long duration, pollution-free solution to data centres’ primary and back up power needs, which kickstarted the trial.
The result, a new record for hydrogen-generated computer backup power by running multiple automotive fuel cells in parallel to generate more than 10,560 kWh of pollution-free electricity in 48 hours.
“This new benchmark demonstrates the emerging superiority of hydrogen fuel cells for widespread use not only in data centres, but anywhere organisations need zero-carbon, reliable, grid-free power,” said Robert Mount, President and CEO of Power Innovations.
“Hydrogen fuel cells produce zero carbon emissions regardless of how long they are run. That means they can be safely used indoor or outdoor – a major advantage to current solutions.”
In the US alone, data centres consume 90 billion kw-hours of electricity every year, as much as is produced in 34 giant 500-megawatt coal-powered plants. At a global level, roughly 416 terawatts of electricity, roughly 3% of all the electricity produced on the plant, it required to power data centres globally.
Taking the above data into consideration, Power Innovations clearly saw the need for a new power solution, and therefore investigated the great potential of hydrogen fuel cells as a clear alternative to diesel generators.
“We have always focused on critical power and power independence to solve our customers’ most difficult challenges. This test is truly an industry first. It isn’t like plugging in a new battery.”
“To take automotive hydrogen fuel cell engines, integrate them via a completely automated power management system, and run it for 48 hours. That’s simply something that has never been done before.”