Microsoft Plans to Run Data Center on Biogas

Starting in March 2013 Microsoft has planned to run its Cheyenne, Wyoming data centers from biogas. Biogas for the data centers will be created at local waste management plant.  This will be a testing plant with a small modular demonstration. Microsoft will use the test results from this plant and learn how to implement these on other large data centers; these results will also help company to become less reliant on power.

This plant

is created and maintained with a budget of $5.5 million, investment mainly coming from Microsoft and other financial sources. This plant is capable of creating power up to 300KW.  This plan will help the company to implement other alternative ways to power the rest of its data centers. This plant will use gas created with anaerobic digestion of dry waste water, this anaerobic gas will power 300KW fuel cell and this fuel cell intern generate power. This power cell will run for 18 months with a close participation from University of Wyoming.

This is how the plant works; Sewage treatment plant will collect all the dry and other waste from house, cattle farms and other sources. These waste will be collected in anaerobic digester, anaerobic digester might contains many biodegradable materials like manure, municipal waste, crops, green waste, biomass, sewage etc. These collected wastes will be treated with water and fermentation process starts. These wastes under goes anaerobic digestion and emits biogas. Biogas mainly contains Hydrogen Sulfide, carbon-di-oxide and Methane. This gas powers the power cells which intern powers the entire plant.

If this plan becomes a success, then this trend will attract all internet companies like Yahoo, Apple, Google, Microsoft, EBay and Google. Microsoft has plans to neutralize its carbon emission by summer 2012. In future Microsoft has plans to collect materials for its digester from wastewater treatment plants, fuel refineries, agricultural farms, landfills sites etc. This is an uneconomical plan to gather all waste and convert it to energy. With all these plans Microsoft hopes to reduce its carbon emission from their data center.

All companies with data centers are aiming to lower their carbon emission associated with it. If this alternate power plant woks well, Microsoft might plan to build micro data centers at other plants. Microsoft has plans to open up mini data centers near water treatment plants. Microsoft has plans to setup this plant within next spring and make it working.

Data Center Talk updates its resources everyday. Visit us to know of the latest technology and standards from the data center world.

Please leave your views and comments on DCT Forum