VANCOUVER, BC, Nov. 24, 2021 – The Canadian facilities of Ballard Power Systems are focused on core fuel cell competencies. Today the company has launched a three-year project through a collaboration with Caterpillar Inc. and Microsoft to demonstrate a power system incorporating large-format hydrogen fuel cells to produce reliable and sustainable backup power for data centers. The project is supported and partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy under the H2@Scale initiative and backed by the National Renewable Energy Lab. The demonstration will take place at Microsoft’s Quincy datacenter.
Caterpillar aren’t just a tractor company. They are experts in advanced power technologies, controls and system integration and are working alongside Microsoft experts in data center design and combined with Ballard experts in fuel cell design will demonstrate a 1.5 MW backup power delivery and control system.
According to Ballard CEO Randy MacEwen the results of this project will provide key insights into the capability of fuel cell systems to scale and serve multi-megawatt data centers. The project will also explore the scalability of fuel cell systems powered by low carbon-intensity hydrogen from cost and performance perspectives.
Ballard will provide an advanced, 1.5 MW ClearGen hydrogen fuel cell power generator. As the prime contractor on the project, Caterpillar is providing the overall system integration, power electronics, and controls that form the central structure of the power solution, which will be fueled by low-carbon-intensity hydrogen. Microsoft is hosting the demonstration project at a company data center in Quincy, Washington. NREL is performing analyses on safety, techno-economics, and greenhouse gas impacts.