CommScope, Hydrogenics partner on indoor backup power system for data centers

June 24, 2014
Data center operators may now benefit from a clean backup power solution that occupies the same space as a single server cabinet.

Fresh off the launch of its outdoor hydrogen fuel cell backup power solution, CommScope now offers a compact indoor system for providing reliable backup power for enterprise data centers in North America. Believed to be the first-of-its-kind, the company says its new scalable indoor fuel cell platform can provide up to 30 kilowatts (kW) of reliable, environmentally-friendly backup power to enterprise computing systems. The platform offering is enabled through an existing partnership with Hydrogenics Corporation, a global specialist in designing, manufacturing, building and installing industrial and commercial hydrogen systems.

According to the companies, with the new scalable indoor fuel cell platform, multiple power racks can be installed to scale in 30kW increments and sustain a variable runtime from hours to days, based on customer requirements and hydrogen tank options. With the width of a standard server cabinet and the height of only six-and-a-half feet, the cabinet can easily fit at the end of a data center row without taking up a large amount of valuable real estate. When paired with an appropriate uninterruptable power supply (UPS), the scalable indoor fuel cell rack can be configured for 10, 20 or 30kWs of sustained alternating current power.

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The fuel cell solution is quiet, emits no greenhouse gases and can be deployed indoors with the hydrogen fuel tank sited outside the building. The new racks are presented as an ecological alternative to battery racks and generators. The system converts chemical energy directly into electrical energy without any combustion. The new platform provides highly efficient, reliable and uninterrupted backup power to data center and business systems without the need for costly regular maintenance. The only by-products are heat and a small amount of water, notes CommScope.

“Power loss can affect lines of businesses and impact the ability to maintain service level performance with customers,” says George Brooks, senior vice president, Enterprise Product and Market Management, CommScope. “This indoor solution provides an efficient level of reliable backup power as an alternative to traditional generators or large battery racks that can take up lots of space in the data center.”

CommScope will offer the indoor and outdoor hydrogen fuel cell backup power solution through its PartnerPRO Network, which can assist customers with site planning, installation, commissioning and on-going maintenance of the backup power solution.

“Space within most data centers is at a premium and this backup power solution takes up the least amount compared to a battery rack or other backup power solutions,” adds Daryl Wilson, chief executive officer, Hydrogenics. “Operating expense is another growing concern for data centers and, depending on the configuration, the indoor hydrogen fuel cell solution can bea lower cost solution than traditional power solutions after just two or three years.”

For more information on CommScope’s indoor fuel cell solution, visit:

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