Tuesday, July 28, 2020

"Microsoft eyes hydrogen 'opportunity' after successful data centre pilot" (MSFT)

They also joined the Hydrogen Council, more on the Council coming up.
From BusinessGreen, July 28:
Microsoft has successfully used hydrogen technology to power a row of its data centre servers for two consecutive days, a test run designed to fast track the software giant's divorce from carbon-intensive fuels as it works to become carbon negative by 2030, it revealed yesterday.

The demonstration project, which saw a 250kW fuel cell system successfully power a section of a data centre in Utah, is part of Microsoft's ongoing efforts find a replacement technology for the diesel-powered backup generators installed at its data centres as a safety net against power cuts.

Mark Monroe, a principle infrastructure engineer on Microsoft's team for datacentre advanced development, claimed the proof-of-concept pilot marked a series of world firsts. "It is the largest computer backup power system that we know that is running on hydrogen and it has run the longest continuous test," he said. "We very much see ourselves as a catalyst in this whole hydrogen economy."

The team now plans to buy and test a larger hydrogen fuel system that matches the size of diesel-powered generators.

Microsoft uses its backup generators on average less than once a year, but it said hydrogen production facilities installed at data centres also had other potential uses. A data centre equipped with fuel cells, a hydrogen storage tank and an electrolyser could provide refuelling services to hydrogen-powered vehicles, it said. In addition, such systems could provide load balancing services to the power grid by storing excess electricity as hydrogen, which could then sent back to the grid during periods of high demand....