The World’s First Gas-Powered Data Center

01/01/2018 | By Janelle Penny

energy lab

Microsoft's advanced energy lab will rely directly on natural gas and fuel cells, bypassing the energy losses typical of grid electricity, say Christian Belady, Microsoft's General Manager, and Sean James, Principal, Microsoft Cloud Infrastructure and Operations.

Microsoft’s new Seattle data center will rely directly on natural gas pipes and integrated fuel cells, bypassing the electrical grid entirely in a first-of-its-kind design.

The racks in the pilot project will directly connect to natural gas and fuel cells will replace the traditional electrical gear, Microsoft says. By eliminating the need for power plants, substations, transmission lines and voltage conversions, the 20-rack Advanced Energy Lab should suffer from significantly fewer energy losses compared to the traditional transmission process.

“With fewer pieces in the supply chain, there are fewer potential points of failure,” Microsoft says. “That helps improve the reliability of our power supply and our data centers. And with this simplification comes a reduction in cost. Eliminating electrical distribution, power conditioning and backup infrastructure makes a data center easier and less expensive to build, operate and manage.”

The company is investigating strategies to further increase efficiency once the data center is created, such as using the heat from fuel cells and servers to power a cooling system or generate additional power.

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Connectrac® wireways are the new standard for bringing power & communications cable management to all interior applications. Free yourself from core drilling!

Surpass State Energy Requirements with Dual-Cooling Data Center CRAC Technology

See how professionals like you are taking advantage of the highest performing precision cooling system for their computer rooms and data centers, and why Data Aire is fast-becoming the number one choice for facility managers and building owners looking to decrease their energy consumption. 

Data Aire understands how digital technology and data gravity is rapidly impacting and transforming businesses. That’s why they developed ultra-efficient cooling technology to support the most modern (and not-so-modern) data centers.  Learn how One Wilshire in Los Angeles, one of the most advanced carrier hotels today, is surpassing California's strict energy efficiency requirements with Data Aire’s purpose-built system, which provide full-economization for 260 days – almost 72% of the year. That’s a measurable savings! Furthermore, the projected PUE on an annual basis for a full load is at or below 1.2.


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