Posted By Rich Miller On July 14, 2011 @ 9:30 am In Power | 1 Comment
Telecommunications giant AT&T will install Bloom Energy fuel cells at 11 sites in California, including some of the companies’ data centers and network facilities. The company will use Bloom Energy Servers – known as “Bloom boxes” – to supply 7.5 megawatts of power at its properties, the company told Data Center Dynamics . The Bloom units will be deployed later this year and be operational in early 2012.
The Bloom Box contains an array of fuel cells that can convert air and nearly any fuel source – ranging from natural gas to a wide range of biogases – into electricity via a clean electrochemical process, rather than dirty combustion. Even running on a fossil fuel, the systems are approximately 67 percent cleaner than a typical coal-fired power plant, according to Bloom.
Blue Chip Early Adopters
Each Bloom Energy Server provides 100 kilowatts of power in roughly the footprint of a parking space. The company has deployed its units at a lineup of blue-chip customers including Bank of America, Coca-Cola, eBay, FedEx, Staples and Wal-Mart. Perhaps the best known early adopter is Google, which has a 400 kw installation  of Bloom boxes at its headquarters, but hasn’t used them in its data centers.
While 100 kilowatts is a lot of power for some commercial buildings, it’s a fraction of what would be needed for a major data center. Despite those issues, there are a number of data center projects that have incorporated fuel cells using natural gas or biogas. Some previous examples:
The primary barrier to use of fuel cells in data centers has been the up-front cost of the units. Bloom’s customers say the boxes’ cost works out to about 8 to 10 cents per kilowatt hour, but only when state and federal tax incentives are included. See Can Bloom Boxes Power Data Centers  for more on this topic.
Article printed from Data Center Knowledge: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com
URL to article: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2011/07/14/att-will-use-bloom-boxes-in-data-centers/
URLs in this post:
 Data Center Dynamics: http://www.datacenterdynamics.com/focus/archive/2011/07/at-and-t-to-deploy-bloom-energy-fuel-cells-in-calif.-data-centers
 400 kw installation: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2010/02/22/google-using-bloom-box-but-not-in-data-center/
 runs on biogas: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com../archives/2009/02/19/powering-a-data-center-with-methane/
 Sunnyvale data center: http://news.cnet.com/2300-11392_3-6203260.html?tag=mncol
 gas-powered microturbines: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com../inside-ibms-greenest-data-center/microturbines-provide-heat-power-and-cooling/
 facilities in Garden City, N.Y., : http://www.datacenterknowledge.com../archives/2006/08/13/verizon-facility-uses-fuel-cells-for-power/
 Can Bloom Boxes Power Data Centers: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2010/03/02/can-bloom-boxes-power-data-centers/
 Rich Miller: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/author/richm/
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