Equinix Tests Hydrogen Fuel Systems for Its Data Centers in the Tropics

Equinix data centers

Equinix is partnering with the Centre for Energy Research & Technology (CERT) under the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) College of Design and Engineering to explore technologies that enable the use of hydrogen as a green fuel source for mission-critical data center infrastructure. In order to employ them in Equinix’s global network of data centers, the cooperation is aimed at investigating and developing hydrogen fuel solutions for green data centers in tropical areas.

The first research project will be started by Equinix and CERT to examine the effectiveness of fuel-flexible linear generator and proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell technologies. While fuel-flexible linear generators allow operators to quickly switch between several clean fuel alternatives including hydrogen, biogas, and various renewable liquid fuels, PEM fuel cells are a major contender for hydrogen energy. By using these technologies, data centers may be able to handle the increased demand for data, colocation, and connectivity services while lowering their carbon footprints.

A comprehensive evaluation of these technologies’ suitability for tropical data centers will be conducted as part of the research partnership between Equinix and CERT, taking into account regional climatic conditions, site constraints, power demand, supply chain, fuel storage capabilities, as well as regional regulatory policies.

“Data centers serve as the conduit powering the digital economy, and greening their operations can drive the rise of sustainable business throughout the broader economic landscape,” said Yee May Leong, Managing Director, South Asia, Equinix. “Working with like-minded partners like the Centre for Energy Research & Technology at NUS empowers us with the combined experience and expertise to advance the growth of digital economies in line with environmental obligations, benefiting the data center industry, global economies, and the planet.”

Sustainability Data Centers

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Equinix and CERT was inked earlier this year and governs this research project. In accordance with the MOU, CERT will carry out a thorough investigation of the technologies chosen in partnership with Equinix to ascertain their scalability and operational feasibility.

Based on the study’s findings, Equinix plans to create proof-of-concept projects for its extensive worldwide network of data centers in order to facilitate inclusion in next data center designs and real-world testing. The cooperation between Equinix and CERT intends to expedite innovative solutions that might lessen the carbon impact of global data centers, especially in tropical areas, through fostering innovation in Singapore.

This collaboration is a component of Equinix’s Future First strategy, which highlights the company’s dedication to a greener digital economy. Data centers have been found to benefit from using green hydrogen as a sustainable energy source. Even while worldwide research and development is ongoing, hydrogen generation on an industrial scale would still be a few years away from becoming economically viable, making it essential to consider and embrace alternatives.

“Sustainability is a key pillar of the global economy. To complement the efforts made by the public sector, timely progress also requires collaboration with stakeholders in the private sector and academia,” said Associate Professor Lee Poh Seng, Director, Centre for Energy Research and Technology, NUS College of Design and Engineering. “We are keen to work with industry partners like Equinix, which is known for its sustainability efforts and provides us access to a global network of data centers that can serve as a testbed for a more accurate assessment of operational viability. Through this partnership, we look forward to playing a driving role for green data center innovations that can be applied in Singapore and globally.”