Equinix, a global leader in digital infrastructure, has joined forces with the National University of Singapore (NUS) to explore a groundbreaking solution—hydrogen fuel cells as a green backup power source for data centers.
The collaboration between Equinix and NUS represents one of the world’s first research endeavors to investigate proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells and alternate generator technologies as environmentally viable backup power supplies for data centers. This ambitious study examined various alternative power sources, assessing their reliability, cost-effectiveness, operating conditions, and environmental impact. The aim? To identify feasible hydrogen-based energy solutions that operate on renewable sources.
One of the primary challenges facing data centers is the intermittent nature of weather-dependent renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power. When the sun sets or the wind calms, data centers can experience power fluctuations. This is where hydrogen fuel cells come into play. Hydrogen-based energy systems could serve as efficient backup power sources, ensuring data centers remain operational, regardless of dynamic weather conditions.
The significance of this research extends beyond data centers. By further developing hydrogen fuel cell technologies, we have the potential to create a robust energy security buffer. This buffer would significantly reduce the impact of unpredictable power interruptions and decrease our reliance on non-renewable backup fuel sources.