Microsoft Azure: Microsoft's hydrogen fuel test successful

Aug 10, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

Microsoft has announced that its hydrogen fuel cell tests have been successful. The giant recently trialed the energy source for its backup generators to support its data center, in what has been called a “moon landing” moment for the data center industry. Microsoft director of data center research Sean James called the achievement of creating a generator that produces no emissions “mind-blowing.”

According to Microsoft, it has been experimenting with fuel cells since 2013, which it explored with the National Fuel Cell Research Center at the University of California, Irvine and specifically hydrogen cells since 2018, the latter of which will now be central to its strategy of transitioning to a carbon negative status by 2030.

Speaking about this transition, James said: “I’m excited about the idea of working on something that can make a difference in the world, and hydrogen has a ton of potential to be a huge game changer. When a lot of people think of renewable energy, they think of wind turbines and solar panels, and they don’t necessarily think of hydrogen.” Adding: “I know I didn’t. I think that will definitely change.”

Mark Monroe, a principal infrastructure engineer on Microsoft’s team for datacenter advanced development, commented: “I’m just tickled. This is a continuation of the journey that we started back in 2018. And in 2020, when we announced the work that were doing on the smaller tests, we alluded to the fact that we were going to run a three-megawatt test sometime in the future. The future is now.”

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