Hydrogen – For Data Center Power Backup

Hydrogen – an alternative source of energy for data center backup power

Data centers have traditionally used batteries and diesel generators as a backup power supply systems. In the world, alternative energy sources that can be used as backup power sources are already developing. One way to obtain “clean” energy is hydrogen.

Technology of production of electricity using hydrogen can be used in data centers to ensure environmentally friendly backup power supply, but also in data centers where it is very difficult to use heavy batteries and diesel generator sets.

In some industries this technology has been used, but most experts in the data center believe that the technology of hydrogen fuel cells is not yet ready for implementation in data centers.

Cost solutions to the hydrogen source at this point is several times more expensive than conventional uninterrupted power supply (UPS) with batteries. There is also a risk of explosion in case of an uncontrolled leakage of hydrogen from the tanks. Therefore, a lot of data center owners are afraid to store hydrogen, though almost universally in data centers and dedicated server rooms use gas fire suppression and even in this area, they have significant experience.

It should be noted that there are certain advantages of hydrogen technology in energy production. It can reduce the total cost of ownership of the data center: as the technology requires less space to install and is cheaper to maintain and operate.

Manufacturers continue to refine the technology and reduce its cost.

The system works on hydrogen:

Hydrogen reacts with oxygen. It splits the hydrogen molecule into electrons and protons inside the fuel cell. It generates energy electrons passing through the circuit. The protons pass through a special membrane made of a polymer electrolyte.

The advantages of using hydrogen as an alternative source:

The most important advantage of hydrogen fuel systems is that, it is totally a clean fuel and its resource is inexhaustible. In addition to the environmental component noted the following positive factors.

Fuel Systems Hydrogen lighter diesel generators and batteries generate power at the same time. Therefore, they can be installed there, where it will be quite easy to install.

When you install the diesel generator set, you must take noise and air pollution emissions into account. Diesels are usually installed outside.

Period of operation of the hydrogen system in comparison with the traditional system of uninterrupted power supply with batteries according to experts twice.

Restricting the use of hydrogen in the data center

We note several limitations of the technology used:

  • Initial investments in the technology according to experts is three times higher
  • Hydrogen fuel, like almost any fuel, explosive;
  • Installation and maintenance must be performed by specially trained personnel.

Conclusions on alternative source of the hydrogen in the data center

Uninterrupted power supply data center using hydrogen has not yet reached the stage of maturity, but it has good potential. The green data center requires innovative new solutions.


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