A new reason to use fuel cells for data centers: fire prevention


Data center operators have been experimenting with using fuel cells to increase the use of off-grid energy and cleaner power. But at least one data center operator is citing yet another reason for installing a fuel cell system in its data center in Frankfurt, Germany: fire prevention.

Earlier this month Equinix (s EQIX) announced that it’s installed a fuel cell at its FR4 data center, which will be able to generate 800,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year and another 600,000 kilowatt hours kilowatt hours/a of heating. The fuel cell was made by Japanese giant Fuji Electric and was installed by German project developer N2telligence.

Fuel cells are industrial units that take fuel, usually natural gas or biogas, and combine it with a catalyst to produce electricity and heat. Because the boxes are installed close to the source that uses the power they can be more efficient (energy…

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