Equinix and NUS Centre for Energy Research and Technology Collaborate to Advance Hydrogen Technologies for Data Centres

Published on: 21 September 2022
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Equinix, Inc. announced a partnership with the Centre for Energy Research & Technology (CERT) under the National University of Singapore's (NUS) College of Design and Engineering to explore hydrogen as a green fuel source for mission-critical data centres in Singapore.

Equinix and CERT will collaborate to launch the world's first study comparing the efficiency of proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells with fuel-flexible linear generator technology. PEM fuel cells are a strong contender for hydrogen energy, while fuel-flexible linear generators allow operators to switch between clean fuel options such as hydrogen, biogas, and various renewable liquid fuels. Adoption of these technologies could enable data centres to cut carbon emissions while meeting increased demand for data, colocation, and interconnection services.

Equinix and CERT will conduct a comprehensive study of the suitability of technologies for tropical data centres, taking into account local climate conditions, site constraints, power demand, supply chain, fuel storage capacity, and local regulatory policies.

This research endeavour is part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) inked by the two partners earlier this year. Under the terms of the agreement, CERT will conduct a complete investigation of technologies identified in partnership with Equinix to determine their operational viability at scale. 

Equinix aims to establish proof-of-concept projects within its worldwide network of data centres based on the research findings for real-world testing and implementation into future data centre designs. The Equinix and CERT alliance intends to advance disruptive solutions that can lower the carbon footprint of global data centres, particularly in tropical locales, through stimulating innovation in Singapore.

This collaboration is part of Equinix's Future First strategy, which emphasises the company's commitment to greening the digital economy. Green hydrogen has emerged as a feasible source of long-term energy for data centres. However, industrial-scale hydrogen generation is still several years away from being commercially viable, making it critical to analyse and adopt alternatives even as global research and development continue.

Yee May Leong, Managing Director, South Asia, Equinix, said: 

"Data centres serve as the conduit powering the digital economy, and greening their operations can drive the rise of sustainable business throughout the broader economic landscape. 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 centre industry, global economies, and the planet."

Associate Professor Lee Poh Seng, Director, Centre for Energy Research and Technology, NUS College of Design and Engineering, said: 

"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. 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 centres 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 centre innovations that can be applied in Singapore and globally."

Source: PRNewswire

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