Microsoft Awards Grants for University Research Focused on Innovative Datacenter and Energy Efficiency Work

As Microsoft continues to find ways to transform the energy supply chain toward greater efficiency and reduced environmental impact, we have seen that driving innovation in energy often requires a close partnership between industry and academia. Work like our new partnership with the University of Texas San Antonio’s Sustainable Energy Research Institute (SERI) and testing our new rack based fuel cell technology with National Fuel cell Research Center at University of Irvine reflect a few of the ways we are leveraging partnerships to accelerate research breakthroughs. Read More >>

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Achievement Unlocked – Fuel Cell-Powered Computing

Last month we told you about a new idea to eliminate electrical distribution in the datacenter and improve uptime at the rack. Sounds great in principal but can you get it to actually work? I am happy to announce the successful demonstration of the concept at the National Fuel Cell Research Center at UC Irvine. We successfully demonstrated a rack of servers powered directly off the direct current (DC) output of the fuel cell stack, essentially stripping out most of the infrastructure found in the traditional data center energy supply chain. The result is a very efficient system with a radically simplified supply chain and fewer points of potential failure. Read More >>

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Microsoft Exploring Fuel Cell-Powered Datacenters via the Server Rack

Recently, together with colleagues in Microsoft Research, we published a research paper titled No More Electrical Infrastructure: Towards Fuel Cell Powered Data Centers that describes how we are taking an unconventional approach to power a datacenter entirely by fuel cells integrated directly into the server racks. This brings the power plant inside the datacenter, dramatically reducing energy loss that otherwise occurs in the energy supply chain and doubling the efficiency of traditional datacenters. Read More >>

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Microsoft’s ITPAC – A Perfect Fit for Off-the-Grid Computing Capacity

Posted by Global Foundation Services in
Efficiency and Sustainability
Last November we announced our zero carbon Data Plant R&D project in Cheyenne, Wyoming. For a quick refresher, we’re placing a small container data center we call an IT Pre-Assembled Component, or ITPAC, at a wastewater treatment facility in Cheyenne. A natural bi-product of a wastewater plant is methane gas, which is typically flared off because it’s uneconomical to recover and convert to grid energy. At our Data Plant, we view this methane gas as an opportunity to provide a reliable power source to power a data center, and we decided to launch this project to test the concept and the capabilities. Read More >>

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Microsoft Recycles Waste to Provide Clean Power for Data Center R&D

Posted by Global Foundation Services in
Data Centers, Efficiency and Sustainability
Microsoft is excited to announce its research and development of the first zero carbon data center – called the Data Plant – that will be completely independent of the grid and will recycle common waste bi-products to sustainably power cloud services. Microsoft has been committed to developing more efficient and sustainable data center infrastructures that support our customers’ growing demand for online services since 1994. Read More >>

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