Ballard and Vertiv enter into a strategic technology partnership

Ballard and Vertiv announce strategic technology partnership to support alternative energy usage for data centers
Ballard and Vertiv announce strategic technology partnership to support alternative energy usage for data centers. (Representational image sourced from Freepik)

Ballard Power Systems and Vertiv, a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, have entered into a strategic technology partnership with a focus on backup power applications for data centres and critical infrastructures, scalable from 200kW to multiple MWs.

Collaborating to demonstrate the technical feasibility and customer benefits of hydrogen-powered fuel cell solutions, Vertiv has integrated Ballard fuel cell power modules with Vertiv™ Liebert® EXL S1 uninterruptible power system (UPS) within a successfully demonstrated proof of concept (POC) at Vertiv’s facility in Ohio.

“As the soaring increase in data usage is driving up power demand and expansion of data centre capacity globally, the need to effectively manage electricity consumption and the carbon footprint of this energy-intensive sector is critical to achieve net-zero targets,” said Nicolas Pocard, Vice President Marketing and Strategic Partnerships, Ballard. “Ballard and Vertiv’s strategic partnership enables both parties to leverage our respective strengths to offer cost-effective, zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emission fuel cell back-up power solutions that are scalable to meet data centres growing power demands.”

Based on industry-ready components, Vertiv’s demonstrated Power Module H2 solution at their Delaware, Ohio facility integrates two Ballard PowerGen 200kW fuel cell cabinets, which power the fully functional decarbonized backup system. The solution encompasses a complete cooling sub-system, power conditioning equipment and hydrogen storage infrastructure integrated with Vertiv™ HPL Lithium-Ion batteries, Liebert® EXL S1 UPS system and the Vertiv™ DynaFlex Energy Management Controller. The Power Module H2 solution is part of the 1 MW Vertiv Customer Experience Center microgrid solution including a 1MW AC Solar PV array and Vertiv™ DynaFlex Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).

Ballard Power Systems and Vertiv

Initial validations and tests have demonstrated successful operation of zero GHG emission backup power integrated into an uninterruptible power architecture.

“The unprecedented adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC) are driving a need for eco-friendly power solutions for our customers, with a focus on zero-carbon and low-carbon energy alternatives,” said Viktor Petik, Vice President of Vertiv Infrastructure Solutions. “The successful fuel cell proof-of-concept with Ballard provides a viable option for customers strengthening their data center sustainability strategy, and those moving to a future-ready Bring Your Own Power (BYOP) model.”

Vertiv’s Power Module H2 is an alternative for meeting escalating energy demands of future data centres and zero GHG emission backup power generation. The prefabricated and factory tested system, provides a rapidly deployable and scalable power infrastructure for new data centres as well as the capability of retrofitting existing sites without redesign of the electrical infrastructure.

With a geographic focus on North America, Europe and selected opportunities in other geographies, the Vertiv Power Module H2 solution offers several advantages for critical infrastructure applications:

  • Single-supplied complex power infrastructure
  • Zero GHG emission and low noise backup power generation
  • Rapid Dynamic power response
  • Low maintenance compared to diesel generator backup solutions
  • Extended backup (days) – limited only by fuel storage capacity
  • Optimized footprint for MW scale applications
  • Scalable in multi-MW UPS and Fuel Cell applications

The Vertiv Power Module H2 solution broadens the Vertiv power portfolio and is an innovative contribution to the recently revealed the “One Vertiv, One World” plan, part of Vertiv’s responsible business strategy to enable a more sustainable future.

Vertiv and Ballard’s teams will demonstrate and discuss fuel cell powered standby power applications for data centers and critical infrastructures at Smarter E Europe 2024, Europe’s largest alliance of exhibitions for the energy industry, including Intersolar Europe, ees Europe, Power2Drive Europe, and EM-Power Europe. The companies will be at exhibition area B2, Booth B2 436, from 19-21 June.


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