Microsoft shares how fuel cells powered by hydrogen are the future

Microsoft shares how fuel cells powered by hydrogen are the future

According to Microsoft, backup diesel generators in data centers are currently powered by machines with zero carbon emissions, which claims to have developed a zero-carbon alternative.

A “moon landing” moment for the data center business, Microsoft’s director of data center research, Sean James wrote in a blog post.

Sustainable data centers are essential from every angle. According to an IAEA study, modern cloud hosting accounts for less than one percent of global electricity demand and less than three percent of global CO2 emissions.


What’s the deal with that?


Two fuel cells were housed in two 40-foot-long shipping containers to power Microsoft’s backup generator.

The system may generate an estimated 3 megawatts of power. It could be used to power 1,800 households instead of a single diesel engine.

Using fuel cell technology since 2013, Microsoft has vowed to become carbon neutral by 2030.

As far as making data centers more environmentally friendly goes. It’s not just hydrogen that has the potential to do it.

With the help of Icelandic start-up Atmonia, Fujitsu is developing sustainable Amonnia, which may be burned to power data centers if the polluting Haber-Bosch process can be substituted.

Elon Musk recently described hydrogen power as “the dumbest thing I could ever imagine for energy storage.”  Despite Microsoft’s public support for the technology.

When asked about his enthusiasm for hydrogen, Microsoft’s director of data center research Sean James replied: “It has a tonne of potential to be a significant game changer. When most people think about renewable energy sources, wind turbines and solar panels come to mind. But hydrogen is a much more interesting option.”

“Certainly not me. That, I believe, will soon be the case”.

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