Equinix partners with NUS on hydrogen-powered data centres

The companies will develop hydrogen fuel technologies for green data centres in tropical climates with a goal of adapting them for Equinix's global network

Equinix has announced a partnership with the Centre for Energy Research and Technology (CERT) under the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) College of Design and Engineering. 

The partnership will explore technologies that enable the use of hydrogen as a green fuel source for mission-critical data centre infrastructure. Together, Equinix and CERT will launch the world's first research project to compare the efficiency of proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells and fuel-flexible linear generator technologies.

The research will involve a holistic assessment of the suitability of these technologies for tropical data centres, considering local climatic conditions, site constraints, power demand, supply chain, fuel storage capabilities as well as local regulatory policies. 

Yee May Leong, Managing Director, South Asia, Equinix said: "Data centres serve as the conduit powering the digital economy, and greening their operations can drive the rise of sustainable business throughout the broader economic landscape. Working with like-minded partners like the Centre for Energy Research & Technology at NUS empowers us with the combined experience and expertise to advance the growth of digital economies in line with environmental obligations, benefiting the data centre industry, global economies, and the planet."

Creating green data centres for a sustainable future 

This research initiative comes under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed earlier this year between the two partners. Under the MOU, CERT will conduct a comprehensive analysis of technologies identified in collaboration with Equinix, to determine the operational viability of the technologies at scale. 

The partnership aims to accelerate disruptive technologies that can reduce the carbon footprint of global data centres, particularly in tropical locations, It also forms part of Equinix's Future First strategy that underscores the company's commitment to greening the digital economy. 

Equinix has previously been recognised with a variety of sustainability awards across the Asia-Pacific region. In 2022, it was named Asia's Green Company of the Year at the Asia Corporate Excellence & Sustainability Awards, the Singapore Data Centre Services Company of the Year by Frost & Sullivan, and received the Green Innovation Award under the MNC Category at the 2022 Singapore Environmental Achievement Awards.

Associate Professor Lee Poh Seng, Director, Centre for Energy Research and Technology, NUS College of Design and Engineering, said: "Sustainability is a key pillar of the global economy. To complement the efforts made by the public sector, timely progress also requires collaboration with stakeholders in the private sector and academia. We are keen to work with industry partners like Equinix, which is known for its sustainability efforts and provides us access to a global network of data centres that can serve as a testbed for a more accurate assessment of operational viability. Through this partnership, we look forward to playing a driving role for green data centre innovations that can be applied in Singapore and globally."

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