Microsoft turns to hydrogen fuel cells to power its data centers

Microsoft is one of the tech companies fighting climate change. Indeed, it plans to stop using diesel as a fuel for its emergency power systems by 2030. In order to carry out this project, the company tested a hydrogen fuel cell system powerful enough to replace a traditional diesel powered backup generator in a large data center.

Microsoft has taken another step in its plan to use cleaner energy in its data centers. However, these centers are not immune to power failure and in order for them to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the company must equip them with batteries to keep the machines running until standby generators are activated.

Additional details on the hydrogen fuel cell system

Hydrogen fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity and release heat and water instead of polluting the environment. They can power large batteries even if it only lasts a few hours. In any case, Microsoft is not giving up because hydrogen is the ideal substitute for diesel. The three megawatt hydrogen fuel cell system the company has designed has the power to power approximately 10,000 computer servers in these data centers.

Remember that this is not Microsoft’s first attempt to use fuel cells. 9 years ago he started to get interested in fuel cell technology except at that time he used natural gas.

There are many debates about hydrogen

It’s not just Microsoft that has turned to hydrogen. Joe Biden also has an $8 billion plan to build hydrogen production hubs in the United States. True, hydrogen fuel cells only produce heat and water, but the hydrogen fuel manufacturing process itself can be polluting.

So far, Microsoft has used blue hydrogen which is made with natural gas, a fossil fuel. But in the future he plans to use green which is made from renewable energy.



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