In this day and age, there’s more of a need for data centers and cloud computing than ever before. They’re actually one of the fastest growing businesses out there right now. While they are essential, they’re also a drain on the planet. Powering these centers can take up to 50% of their operating costs, and rely on fossil fuels to keep the lights on.
However, there is another way. Fuel cells have proven that they are a sustainable alternative for data centers, so here’s what you need to know about them.
Meeting Power Demands Sustainably
You’ll be aware that there’s real pressure to switch to sustainable power options, no matter what industry you’re in. There are regulations coming into place in many regions, requiring you to find alternatives to fossil fuels. This is something you want to do as soon as possible.
The problem is, when data centers take up so much power, it’s hard to see just how sustainable options can keep up. Fossil fuels are seen as the only way to reliably power a data center and keep it running, day to day.
That’s where fuel cells come in. Hydrogen PEM (polymer electrolyte membrane) fuel cells are able to store large amounts of power, without damaging air quality, offering uninterrupted power, and ensuring that they meet sustainability needs. Many data center managers have already made the switch to fuel cells, and seen a real difference in their costs and sustainability.
Hydrogen Fuel Cells Vs. Battery Backups
Sounds good so far, but how can a fuel cell really compare against a battery backup? Are they always the better option?
Lifespan. When it comes to lifespan, fuel cells have the upper hand. A battery will last about one to four hours before you need to recharge them. A fuel cell, on the other hand, can be refueled while still in operation. Essentially, that means that they can run non-stop.
Space Requirements. A battery needs a large footprint in your data center, which is always problematic when space is at a premium. That’s even more so if you’re running a center in an urban area, where real estate costs are at an all-time high. Fuel cells have the advantage, as they have a much smaller footprint.
Sustainability. Sustainability is always going to be a concern when it comes to power. A regular battery backup is never going to be able to offer environmentally sound power, like a fuel cell can. Producing lithium batteries is energy intensive too, while fuel cells cost much less. Plus, it’s difficult to dispose of batteries sustainably, while a fuel cell can be recycled and so has much less impact on the planet.
Cost. Cost is another major concern, especially as data centers use so much power. Batteries on average cost a lot more than fuel cells, so it’s going to cost more to keep that data center online.
As such, fuel cells are offering much more in terms of sustainability, cost, and efficiency than batteries. You can see why so many businesses are starting to make the switch.
Why Switch to Fuel Cells?
There are so many advantages to making the switch to fuel cells for your data center. The biggest advantage is that you’ll be meeting environmental requirements in your area, which helps you stay in line with legal guidelines.
As well as this, you’re going to save a huge amount of money on power day in and day out. With these savings, you’ll be able to run the center on a much smaller budget. That’s something that a lot of managers are taking advantage of right now, as costs are always high when it comes to power.
Plus, fuel cells are incredibly efficient. They can go from standby to 100% in the space of 30 seconds, and they offer 50% to 60% efficiency at part power. They don’t consume any hydrogen when in standby mode, either.
There are lots of reasons why data centers are making the switch to fuel cells. They offer a much better way to power the system, and you’ll be able to be more sustainable and save money into the bargain. Now is the time to switch in your own data center, and save.