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Vertiv & Ballard partner on hydrogen fuel cell powered UPS

Image: Adobe Stock / ipopba

Vertiv and Ballard Power Systems have collaborated to support the integration of hydrogen-powered fuel cell technology into uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems.

Vertiv has incorporated Ballard’s fuel cell power modules with the Vertiv Liebert EXL S1 UPS, which will support backup power applications for data centres and critical infrastructures “scalable from 200kW to multiple MWs.” The collaboration was showcased in a proof of concept at Vertiv’s Delaware, Ohio facility.

The demonstration utilised two Ballard PowerGen 200 kW fuel cell cabinets that powered a fully functional decarbonised backup system. The system also included a complete cooling sub-system, power conditioning equipment, and hydrogen storage, integrated with Vertiv HPL Lithium-Ion batteries, the Liebert EXL S1 UPS system, and the Vertiv DynaFlex Energy Management Controller.

“As the soaring increase in data usage is driving up power demand and expansion of data centre capacity globally, the need to effectively manage electricity consumption and the carbon footprint of this energy-intensive sector is critical to achieve net-zero targets,” said Nicolas Pocard, Vice President Marketing and Strategic Partnerships at Ballard.

“Ballard and Vertiv’s strategic partnership enables both parties to leverage our respective strengths to offer cost-effective, zero Green House Gas (GHG) emission fuel cell back-up power solutions that are scalable to meet data centres growing power demands.”

Initial tests have demonstrated the successful operation of zero GHG emission backup power integrated into an uninterruptible power architecture.

“The unprecedented adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC) are driving a need for eco-friendly power solutions for our customers, with a focus on zero-carbon and low-carbon energy alternatives,” added Viktor Petik, Vice President of Vertiv Infrastructure Solutions. 

“The successful fuel cell proof-of-concept with Ballard provides a viable option for customers strengthening their data centre sustainability strategy, and those moving to a future-ready Bring Your Own Power (BYOP) model.” 

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