Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - February 2022 - 12

Hydrogen generates BUZZ in power generation
Microsoft is evaluating
how to leverage
hydrogen fuel cells for
backup power in its
data centers at scale as
part of its commitment
to be carbon negative
by 2030.
gensets for data centers, has declared a goal of having
over half of data centers supplied by emergency power
from fuel cells " in the future. " Hydrogen technology
development is taking place in Rolls-Royce Power
Systems' new " Power Lab " division.
" With Rolls-Royce, we have an important partner at
our side with whom we want to achieve further economies
of scale to help the technology achieve a breakthrough, "
said Dr. Matthias Jurytko, CEO of cellcentric.
" Our cooperation sends a clear signal to politicians
and industry: both companies are convinced of the
benefits of fuel cells and are working hard to commercialize
them. The right framework conditions for this
must therefore now be put in place. This applies in
particular to the issue of infrastructure and thus the
generation, storage and transport of hydrogen. "
Each fuel-cell module is expected to eventually deliver
a net power output of around 150 kW - sufficient
to power about 10 homes, the companies note - and
can be connected into scalable fuel-cell power plants
with outputs in the megawatt range, capable of providing
backup power for large data centers. RollsRoyce
commissioned a fuel-cell demonstrator in 2021
and plans to bring another demonstrator plant online
in 2022, based on modules providing approximately
100 kW each. The first pilot plants with customers will
be installed in 2023, with Rolls-Royce planning to
launch standard production fuel-cell systems in 2025.
Large data centers that handle telecommunications
and internet traffic are a key customer group, and the
market is growing rapidly, according to Andreas Schell,
CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems. " Electrical generators
based on fuel cells represent the next leap forward in
the energy transition, both for us and our customers, "
Schell said. " That's why we're investing a three-digit million
amount in R&D over the next few years. When they
run on green hydrogen - hydrogen made using renewable
energy sources - fuel cells are climate-neutral. For
12 February 2022
Data centers are a growing market for Rolls-Royce Power Systems as it develops
complete MTU power generation solutions based on cellcentric's fuel cell modules.
this reason, we also want to look into how green hydrogen can be produced
cost-effectively in the quantities we need. "
Data centers also are the target for a Caterpillar demonstration project
in collaboration with Ballard Power Systems and Microsoft. The
three-year project, announced this past November, will demonstrate a
power system incorporating large-format hydrogen fuel cells to produce
backup power for Microsoft data centers. The project is supported and
partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy under the H2@Scale
initiative and backed by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL).
Caterpillar is providing the overall system integration, power electronics
and controls that form the central structure of the power solution,
which will be fueled by " low-carbon-intensity hydrogen, " the
company said. Ballard is supplying an advanced 1.5-MW ClearGen-II
hydrogen fuel-cell power generator, and Microsoft is hosting the
demonstration project at a company data center in Quincy,
Washington. NREL is performing analyses on safety, techno-economics
and greenhouse-gas impacts.
The 1.5-MW backup power delivery and control system will meet or
exceed the expectations set by current diesel engine systems, while
TRUCK & OFF-HIGHWAY ENGINEERING
FROM TOP: MICROSOFT; ROLLS-ROYCE POWER SYSTEMS

Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - February 2022

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