Fujitsu America has announced that it is using a hydrogen fuel cell on its Sunnyvale campus. It will provide 50 percent of the power needed to cool the data center and labs, significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions, according to Fujitsu.
The move comes at a time when power consumption at data centers is receiving increased attention. According to the EPA, data centers across the U.S. consumed about 61 billion kilowatt-hours in 2006, roughly 1.5 percent of the total U.S. electricity consumption, and based on current trends, consumption is expected to double by 2011.
“Our real-world use of the hydrogen fuel cell is a clear demonstration of the ability of corporations to make a significant and financially responsible investment in reducing harmful impacts on the environment, with the ultimate goal of reversing global warming,” said Tetsuo Urano, head of American operations, Fujitsu America. “With a payback of about three and a half years and a lifespan of about 15 years, hydrogen power is an excellent investment for the company.”
The hydrogen fuel cell installed on the Fujitsu Sunnyvale campus is the UTC Power PureCell Model 200 system. It uses natural gas, but produces 35 percent less CO2 per megawatt-hour than the average fossil fuel-based power plant, and approximately 4,000 lbs per year less NOx, according to Fujitsu. The company also says that when compared to conventional power plants, the system will save at least 800,000 gallons of water per year.