Vertiv partners with tech consortium to lead low-carbon fuel cell development for data centres

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Vertiv, a leading provider of continuity solutions and critical digital infrastructure, announced today that the Clean Hydrogen Partnership will provide 2.5 million EURO to provide funding to a project in order to develop low-carbon fuel cells to power data centers. It is hoped that this can minimize carbon emissions that are produced from operations by up to 100%. The EcoEdge PrimePower (E2P2) project is a new proof-of-concept initiative that aims to build and illustrate low environmental impact fuel cells that provide economical and flexible prime power solutions for the data center environment.

A conglomerate of seven organizations – Equinix, RISE, TEC4FUELS, InfraPrime, SolidPower, Snam, and Vertiv – is an innovative combination of solid-oxide fuel cells with uninterruptible power supply (UPS) technology and lithium-ion batteries to deliver flexible and clean primary power for data center deployments and other complicated infrastructure. Implementation of natural gas solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) as prime power application will be helpful in paving the way for use of green hydrogen for fuel cell applications for both backup and prime power systems.

“Digitalization and the data centre industry are growing at an increasing pace and thus it is even more vital to fast-track our journey towards an environmentally sustainable future” said Giordano Albertazzi, president for Vertiv in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. “This can only be made possible by developing clean, innovative technologies such as fuel-cell solutions to provide sustainable power for the digital world. Vertiv is proud to actively contribute to the E2P2 proof-of-concept initiative and looks forward to provide next-generation power solutions to its global customers.”

The E2P2 is the latest project in a series of initiatives that Vertiv has organized around sustainability and the wider environmental, social and governance (ESG) sector. Also, Vertiv is a part of the European Data Center Association (EUDCA) and Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance (SDIA) and contributes to the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact aimed at meeting the European Commission’s goal for climate-neutral data centers by 2030. The E2P2 project is part of the company’s effort to prioritize and support the development of sustainable, clean, and renewable energy solutions for application in the data center industry.

A greener future for the industry

Fuel cells are seen as clean and quiet power solution. It is recognized as something that can reduce demand on the urban electricity grid. They can be deployed on site in a data center campus, and operated using biogas, natural gas, LPG or green hydrogen, which can be transported and distributed over existing gas networks.

The E2P2 project is a great step towards prominent carbon reduction, while still meeting the needs for highly flexible critical power supplies to data centers. At the heart of this vision is a market-oriented approach that integrates stakeholder and innovation engagement to maximize opportunities for further adoption and acceptance of stationary fuel cells as reliable, efficient, and decentralized prime power sources for other industrial scale applications.

The association hopes to build an authoritative open standard for fuel cell applications to pave the way towards commercialization of fuel cell energy for data centers in Europe, reflecting the potential role of industry in achieving the EU’s carbon reduction targets.

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