Microsoft imagines a future of hydrogen batteries in its data centers

Data centers, especially the huge facilities of large hyperscalars, contribute to climate change. And it is that although the energy of these centers comes largely from clean and renewable sources, their contingency plans (that is, the motors that start up when there is a cut in the electricity supply), are based on diesel generators highly polluting.

Microsoft however could have the solution to completely eliminate the use of fossil fuels in data centers. His proposal, which he detailed a few days ago in an extensive document, involves replacing these elements with hydrogen batteries.

The project starts in 2020 and after two years of testing, it is this week that the American multinational has announced that it has successfully completed the installation of a hydrogen battery system with a power of 3MW. The tests that have been carried out have included simulated power outages that have lasted for more than 10 hours.

From now on, it plans to install similar systems in other research and testing data centers to finish studying the feasibility of completely replacing these diesel generators for a clean energy source.

When will these new devices eventually arrive in production data centers? Microsoft has not yet ventured to give a specific date, but it has shown that the deployment of the new devices is linked to the construction of new facilities in which air quality regulations prohibit the use of old generators.

According to the American multinational, the tests that have been carried out so far are especially interesting if one takes into account that these three megawatts represent the same power of the generators used in most data centers.

Microsoft has committed to eliminating the use of diesel fuel as part of the company’s commitment to becoming a carbon-negative organization by 2030. To meet this ambitious goal, it has already tested alternative energy sources, including earlier experiments with hydrogen batteries.

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