Intel uses fuel cells as an alternative energy source for data centers to enhance power resiliency, quality, capacity, sustainability & efficiency.
Intel IT is committed to continually seeking ways to make its data centers’ performance metrics best in class, such as increasing energy efficiency and reducing costs, as well as improving sustainability. We work closely with Intel’s Corporate Services and Global Supply Chain groups, sharing IT and operations technology expertise to achieve these goals.
We consider many dimensions, and the choice of energy source impacts all of them to varying degrees. Here are some considerations:
- Real estate usage
- Power quality
- Power reliability
- Power capacity
- Data center tier level
- Capacity planning
- Cost model
- Rules and policies
In proofs of concept in Bangalore and Santa Clara, fuel cell technology has proved to be a reliable, stable, efficient and sustainable source of electricity for Intel’s data centers. Intel IT joined forces with Intel’s Corporate Services and Global Supply Chain groups to enable fuel cells to meet Intel’s redundancy and capacity expectations.
For some of Intel’s data centers, fuel cells are the primary source of power (as opposed to the power grid). To date, we have fuel cell installations at Intel data centers in Bangalore, India, as well as in Santa Clara in the U.S.
Intel IT’s experience with fuel cells has illustrated their many benefits, including the following:
- Efficient use of real estate
- Reliable and high-quality power
- Scalable modular installations
- Faster deployment time
- Reduced carbon dioxide emissions
This white paper provides details about our innovative value proposition of fuel cell use at Intel IT and shares some best practices that we have implemented or deployed over the last several years:
- Plan for scale
- Avoid exporting power to the grid
- Use a Uninterruptible Power Conditioning Module (UPCM)
- Synchronize fuel cells with the grid and the backup generator
- Achieve fixed operations cost and guaranteed generation and system output
Fuel cells are now part of Intel IT’s plan of record for new data center design and expansion scope.