New eBay data center will run on fuel cells

While other data centers use fuel cells as back-up power sources, they will provide primary power for eBay's Utah data center

Biogas fuel cells will power an extension to eBay's data center in Utah, set to go online around the middle of next year.

U.S.-based Bloom Energy will install 30 biogas fuel cells with a combined capacity of 6 megawatts. The biogas will come from agricultural waste. There will be no traditional backup power systems such as diesel generators or uninterruptible power supplies at the data center: the electric utility grid will be used as backup to the fuel cells, the companies said Thursday.

The data center will handle eBay's e-commerce marketplace, its PayPal payment system and its StubHub ticket sales sites, eBay said.

This will be eBay's fifth renewable energy installation, and by far the largest. It already has a 665 kilowatt solar array on top of the existing Utah data center, while its San Jose headquarters is powered by a 650 kilowatt solar array and a 500 kilowatt fuel cell system. There is also a 100 kilowatt solar array at a data center in Denver.

This isn't the first data center contract for Bloom Energy: It has already supplied 24 fuel cells, with a combined capacity of 4.8 megawatts, to Apple for its Maiden data center in North Carolina. Those fuel cells were expected to begin generating this month.

With data centers consuming an ever greater proportion of the world's electricity, their operators are seeking cleaner or more economical energy sources, often renewables such as hydroelectric, wind, solar or biogas, in a bid to reduce pollution and carbon emissions.

Another route to reducing emissions is to cut out the use of electricity altogether for certain functions, such as the use of free-air or evaporative cooling instead of electric-powered air conditioning in areas where the climate allows it. That will be the case at a data center Facebook is building on the edge of the Arctic Circle in Lulea, Sweden.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Peter Sayer

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?