Bloom Energy Expanding Hydrogen Power Generation for Intel's Santa Clara Data Center

May 13, 2024
For Intel’s high-performance data center in Santa Clara, the answer became clear: expand on their existing hydrogen fuel cell infrastructure.

Data centers and power generators are scrambling for the future to ensure power delivery as technology expands with hyperscale, artificial intelligence and predictive maintenance capabilities.

Some 21 GW of data center capacity is currently under construction, but matching that with adequate power generation is becoming difficult as utilities rechart their courses after years of flat load growth forecasts. Conventional power generators are simply not ready for this.

Intel's high-performance facility in Santa Clara, California, deep in Silicon Valley, is looking toward hydrogen as a future and environmentally friendly resource for power generation. Intel is expanding its investment in its decade-long deal with Bloom Energy fuel-cell power for the campus.

"Intel HPC Data Center infrastructure currently powers 400,000+ Xeon-based servers, 700+ petabytes of storage and 800,000+ network ports," Shesha Krishnapura, Intel Fellow and Intel IT Chief Technology Officer, said a statement. "To meet additional HPC scale needed for Intel Products and Intel Foundry, Intel is leveraging Bloom Energy technology to power the next data center expansion."

Hydrogen does not contain carbon in its chain, so does not emit CO2 when combusted. However, to be considered truly green hydrogen it must be created from electrolyzers (which split H2 from water) powered by renewable or carbon-free energy resources such as solar, wind and nuclear.

Bloom Energy, one of the pioneers of hydrogen fuel cell technology, uses solid oxide fuel cells which convert natural gas, biogas or hydrogen into electricity with no burning. Fuel cells uses an electro-chemical process to create energy needed to power equipment or vehicles.

For more on this story by Data Center Frontier Senior Editor David Chernicoff, click here. Data Center Frontier and Microgrid Knowledge are both part of Endeavor Business Media. 

The Data Center Frontier Trends Summit, which will include content on microgrids for data centers, will be September 4-6 at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, Virginia.

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