Honda has deployed a prototype hydrogen fuel cell generator to provide back-up power to the data centre at its US headquarters
Spotted: You may have heard of hydrogen fuel cells powering vehicles, but the same technology could also be used for much more. And one potential application of the technology is as a replacement for polluting diesel backup generators. This is the idea behind Honda’s new initiative to use hydrogen fuel cell technology to provide backup power to its manufacturing facilities and data centres around the world.
American Honda recently began using a demonstration hydrogen fuel cell power station at its corporate campus in Torrance, California. The power station, which has a capacity of approximately 500 kilowatts, supplies backup power to the on-campus data centre.
Several other companies, such as Microsoft, are also interested in using hydrogen to power data centre back-ups. But Honda was able to leverage its expertise in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles when developing its system, with the prototype reusing the fuel cell systems from Honda vehicles.
The prototype’s modular design means that the layout of the fuel cell units can be adapted for different installation environments. Output can also be increased or decreased by 250 kilowatts with each addition – or removal – of four fuel cells.
In the future, the automaker plans to commercialise its stationary hydrogen technology while using hydrogen to decarbonise its own global data centres and manufacturing plants.
Written By: Lisa Magloff