05 Mar Data center on green hydrogen in the works
IT company Atos is working on a data center that runs on green hydrogen. By extracting the power from this source, it is not dependent on the variable yield of solar and wind and can therefore run the data center continuously. Energy supplier HDF Energy says it has devised a hydrogen system that can compete with other power generators in terms of costs.
The two companies are working together on a method that could theoretically run any data center on hydrogen. If there is enough green electricity nearby, HDF can install a system that can convert power surpluses into green hydrogen. If the sun does not shine and the wind does not blow, the hydrogen can be transformed into electricity again and the data center turns green.
When converting power into hydrogen and vice versa, energy is lost. As a result, you need much more sustainable power when you use hydrogen storage. But HDF and Atos think they can make up for those losses with smart software.
Atos estimates how much power a data center uses at any time, and HDF knows the energy market. With overproduction of green electricity, it is cheap, so you can make hydrogen relatively cheaply. As a result, according to the two companies, the costs remain lower than with other power generators that data centers now use.
Many data centers are already running on green power. They regularly have power installations around the data centers, or they buy enough green power. But: if there is no wind or sun, these places still need electricity and it may temporarily come from fossil power plants.
If there is no fossil current in the future, there must be another solution for times when there is no current. Storage in hydrogen is then an option, especially for the longer term. In winter, for example, there is less solar power, and then you can use hydrogen made in the summer to get through the sunless days.