Fuel Cells- Its Role in Data Centers

Everybody is talking about it. There is no escaping it. If you step out of the house these days, you’ll run into at least five people in one day who want to discuss it. What are we talking about? Tom Cruise’s latest movie? NO! Energy efficient data centers! Organizations are investing capital by the truckloads to get their data center off the power grid and running independently. The data centers draw so much power that they are starting to seem like power sucking black holes. Data center efficiency is one of the important factors to save the money and lot of  DC’s are working  towards the goal.

Companies are bringing back obsolete technology and re-engineering them. After thoroughly exhausting solar, wind and thermal options, scientists are now directing their attention to fuel cells. Fuel cell makers now believe that they can be used as a primary source to power the data center; grid power assisting the data center only as a backup supply. Fuel cells are modular by nature; thus, one can connect any number of cells as per data center requirement.

Fuel cells are devices that convert chemical energy into electrical energy through a chemical reaction. They generally use biogas or natural gas as their input; here is your answer to eco-friendly energy generation, minimizing any data center’s carbon footprint value. Since the fuel cells can be located on- site, power generated to power received ratio is quite high. Also, the power is clean; harmonics are either completely eliminated or minimized.

Although the initial investment for a fuel cell can be quite high, data centers can most certainly benefit from it in the long run. In cities where the cost of buying electricity per annum is very high, they are ideal as they contribute to faster return in investment. That, added with government incentives for the data centers that reduce their carbon footprint and energy consumption, and free publicity for going green, one cannot help but wonder why data centers all over the world are not looking into this prospective gold mine.

DCT believes that every small step taken to modernize data centers results in a revolution that saves the world millions of dollars in terms of energy.

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