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  • Publication DateJan 2015
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Fuel cells: Providing combined cooling and power to data centres

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Fuel cells: Providing combined cooling and power to data centres

Back to 2015 Symposium Overview

Session 11 Paper 3, University College London, 16-17 April 2015

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Data centres are the fastest growing power demand amongst all building types. Secure power supply for the Centre’s servers and the provision of space conditioning are usually seen as two distinct requirements. Modern fuel cell technology offers the possibility of a more integrated approach with better overall energy efficiency and plant reliability. The different systems characteristics of modern fuel cell power supplies and data centre secure energy demands are discussed.

While fuel cells are currently expensive they offer a number of systems advantages when supplying power to data centres. A number of system configurations are explored. Detailed consideration is given to fuel cells with associated absorption refrigeration. While this configuration would not normally compete financially with adiabatic cooling systems, benefits are identified where the fuel cell’s advantages are attractive. An assessment is given of the future development of fuel cell technology and its application in IT infrastructure.