Fuel cells as a reliable source of energy for the data center?





Bloom Energy fuel cells in the new data center CenturyLink

Fuel cells, according to some companies - is one of the best options for vehicles or energy infrastructure. One of the companies whose management agrees with this point of view, is CenturyLink. This company is gradually expanding their data centers, and this requires energy. CenturyLink agreed with Bloom Energy to purchase 500 kW power plant, allowing to generate energy on site.

The treaty was announced back in 2013, and now the deal is closed: data center expanded, and fuel cell power station owned by CenturyLink, providing new electricity capacity. The total capacity of the new data center is 2 MW, while the fuel cell supply about a quarter of all this energy.

Bloom Energy - what kind of company?

Bloom Energy is not a newcomer to the energy market. This company works for a long time, and during his career leadership has made a number of successes as purely technological, and financial. Thus, the energy of the system based on fuel cells supplied partners for several years. The total capacity of power systems sold is 150 MW.




Clients of the company and provided Bloom fuel cell power plant

Clients of the company, except for Century Link, are FedEx, AT & T, Wal-Mart, Google, NASA, Verizon, Ikea, Staples and Coca-Cola. Quite significant customers. Why is now growing interest in fuel cells?




This may be due to bring the technical documentation E-Bay , where fuel cells are recognized as more reliable, more efficient and less environmentally damaging energy source than the standard. Perhaps it is really true, it's not in vain, Apple launched a 10 MW power system for fuel cells in its data center in North Carolina, USA.




According to specialists, the use of natural gas for energy may be the most inexpensive option. For example, in the US the cost of natural gas is $ 3- $ 4, while the price received per kilowatt-hour of energy is 2-4 cents. It is much cheaper than a kilowatt-hour of energy from traditional sources (12, 1 cent and above).

CenturyLink and data center energy infrastructure of a new type

Management believes that CenturyLink, the company can save considerable money if fuel cells will use in their work. As stated above in the same, natural gas is much cheaper than all other energy sources, so the long-term operation of this kind of sources allows significant savings. This is even more important due to the fact that in the state for fuel cells - preferential tax.

Now the new power station has been part of a pilot project. At CenturyLink over 50 colocation data centers around the world. If the project proves successful, the company will acquire additional units with fuel cells from Bloom.

Not so long ago, eBay was able to demonstrate additional benefits from the use of fuel cells. For example, in one of the data centers, the company created a new type of energy infrastructure. There is practically no UPS, generators and doubles the existing system. Power systems have proved very reliable source of energy, so in eBay decided to experiment and abandon most costly elements of the energy infrastructure mentioned above.

Bloom trust not only eBay and other tehnokorporatsii. The company recently received $ 50 million from the Superannuation Fund. Among the company's investors - KPCB, NEA, Advanced Equities, Goldman Sachs, DAG, GSV Capital, Apex Venture Partners, Mobius Venture Capital, Madrone Capital and SunBridge Partners. Fuel cells for the future?

Source: habrahabr.ru/company/kingservers/blog/255675/

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