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Making data green

We will be the first data centre in the UK to install a hydrogen-ready fuel cell to provide clean energy

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As a responsible data centre provider, we're conscious of where our energy comes from. We've taken a number of steps to monitor and reduce the amount of energy we use across our facility in Manchester, and are now delighted to introduce the next step in our journey: fuel cell technology.

We've teamed up with Conrad Energy, Electricity North West (Construction & Maintenance) Limited and Bloom Energy to deploy an initial 1.2MW low environmental impact solid oxide fuel cell installation to reduce our carbon emissions through a cleaner, hydrogen ready fuel supply.

This microgrid will enable us to provide clean, affordable, highly reliable, always-on power as well as increased resilience — the fuel cell gives us a second power feed into the facility from a completely different fuel source. This level of resilience running in parallel with the existing mains supply will give our clients even more certainty when hosting business critical equipment at our data centres.

Businesses we currently partner with for colocation and cloud hosting will benefit from this new clean power source, and so will all our future clients and partners.

How does it work?

Fuel cells work by converting fuel such as natural gas, biogas, and hydrogen, or a blend of fuels into electricity through an electrochemical process that requires no combustion — therefore avoiding the emissions normally associated with burning this type of fuel.

The fuel cells consist of three parts — an electrolyte, an anode and a cathode. Electrical ions move through the electrolyte in a fuel cell. An electrochemical reaction converts fuel such as natural gas, biogas or hydrogen, into electricity without combustion. Warmed air enters the cathode side of the fuel cell, while steam mixes with fuel entering the anode side to produce reformed fuel. As the reformed fuel crosses the anode, it attracts oxygen ions from the cathode. The oxygen ions combine with the reformed fuel to produce electricity.


Fuel cell technology - how it works

Why now?

Many data centres in the UK rely solely on the UK power grid, which is trying to be sustained by renewable sources, but is still very much reliant on coal and gas — which are fast becoming redundant sources due to a lack of supply and costs of importing.

As the first data centre in the UK to deploy fuel cell technology, why not get in touch to find out how you could take advantage and become more sustainable as a business?

Get in touch

We'd love to talk more about how we could help you become more energy conscious as a business and take advantage of our new clean energy infrastructure. Speak to us today to find out more!