The Advanced Energy Lab in the McKinstry Innovation Centre in the Sodo neighborhood of Seattle will provide data and insights on how fuel cells can perform in data centres. Research suggests that the integration of fuel cells directly into the datacentre can nearly double the energy efficiency, while also reducing costs and bringing additional benefits to the grid at large.
By powering in-rack fuel cells directly from a natural gas line, or potentially a renewable power source on site, the design of the Lab significantly streamlines the process of energy transmission and reduces the energy loss that occurs along the way. “The Lab is our latest step towards our ongoing work to eventually eliminate the energy and resource impact of our datacentres; in other words, making our datacentres disappear,” said Suresh Kumar, Corporate Vice President of Cloud Infrastructure and Operations at Microsoft.
Cummins designs, manufactures, distributes and services diesel and natural gas engines and related technologies and provided additional funding for the project. “This project is another example of how we are committed to developing a wide variety of power technologies to bring our customers the choice and solutions that enable their success today and in the future,” said Jennifer Rumsey, Vice President and Chief Technical Officer at Cummins.
McKinstry provided the facilities, as well as the engineering and construction services for the pilot. “The type of collaboration and partnership demonstrated throughout this effort is exactly what the construction industry needs to design and build efficient and innovative buildings,” said Dean Allen, Chief Executive Officer, McKinstry.