Microsoft has said that it plans on becoming a carbon negative brand by the year 2030 and true to its word, the software brand has been taking gradual steps in reducing its carbon footprint. To that end, the company recently said it was experimenting with hydrogen fuel cells as backup power for its Azure-driven datacentres.
The experiment, Microsoft says, is to see if hydrogen is a viable alternative to its current diesel-powered backup generators. That currently account of less than 1% of its overall emissions when in use, but reportedly just sits around not doing anything “for more than 99% of their life”. Technically speaking, the company argues that with a fuel cell, a hydrogen storage tank, and an electrolyser would help generate electricity for its grid.
As an extra added bonus to the power alternative, Microsoft says that hydrogen-powered long-haul vehicles could also take advantage of the situation and – theoretically, at least – pull up at these datacentres and fill up their tanks.
At the time of writing, Microsoft said that its hydrogen fuel cells has managed to power a row of datacentre servers for 48 hours straight. Do note that this is all still in its experimental phase and as such, it’s not confirmed that Microsoft will choose to make hydrogen-based power a permanent implementation in its ecosystem.
(Source: Microsoft // Image: Microsoft)