Vertiv and Ballard Power Systems have entered into a strategic technology partnership to develop hydrogen-powered backup solutions for data centers and critical infrastructures.

The partnership focuses on integrating Ballard’s fuel cell power modules with Vertiv’s Liebert EXL S1 uninterruptible power system (UPS). The goal is to create scalable solutions that can expand from 200kW to multiple megawatts (MWs). The proof-of-concept demonstration at Vertiv’s Ohio facility showcases the technical feasibility and customer benefits of hydrogen-powered fuel cell solutions.

The demonstration includes Vertiv’s Power Module H2, which integrates two Ballard PowerGen 200kW fuel cell cabinets. This system features a complete cooling subsystem, power conditioning equipment, and hydrogen storage infrastructure. Additionally, it is integrated with Vertiv’s HPL Lithium-Ion batteries, Liebert EXL S1 UPS system, and the Vertiv DynaFlex Energy Management Controller. These components form part of the 1 MW Vertiv Customer Experience Center microgrid solution, which also includes a 1MW AC Solar PV array and the Vertiv DynaFlex Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).

The soaring increase in data usage, driven by the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC), is pushing data centers to expand their capacity and manage electricity consumption more effectively. This partnership addresses the critical need for eco-friendly power solutions to meet net-zero targets. Compared to traditional diesel generators, hydrogen fuel cells offer zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a rapid dynamic power response, and low maintenance requirements.

Vertiv and Ballard’s collaboration places them in a competitive position within the hydrogen energy sector. Companies like Bloom Energy and FuelCell Energy also provide hydrogen-based solutions for backup power. Vertiv’s integration of Ballard’s fuel cell technology with its UPS systems offers a distinct advantage by combining hydrogen’s scalability with proven uninterruptible power solutions.

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