Friday, 20 October 2017

Microsoft Seattle data center powered by fuel cells

Source: "Microsoft partners on world’s first gas-powered data center, in Seattle neighborhood", Microsoft, 27th September 2017, by Deborah Bach

Microsoft is partnering with two other companies, McKinstry and Cummins, to build the world’s first gas-powered data center.

Located in Seattle’s Sodo neighborhood, the Advanced Energy Lab has 20 racks of servers that are directly connected to natural gas pipes and fully powered by integrated fuel cells instead of traditional electrical gear. The project will radically simplify the process of powering servers and could almost double the energy efficiency of data centers — all while reducing costs and improving reliability.

“Right now, data centers are powered by the electrical grid, which flows from a power plant, through multiple substations and transmission lines, and then must be converted into the right voltage for a data center before we can use it,” write Christian Belady and Sean James,general manager and principal, respectively, for Microsoft Cloud Infrastructure and Operations.

“With fuel cells powered directly from the natural gas line, we cut out all those steps, and remove the energy losses that occur through this long transmission process.”

Head over to the Microsoft Green Blog to learn more.