Vertiv and Ballard Power Systems are partners for data centre backup power solutions 

data centre

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 decarbonised backup system.

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

Vertiv has successfully demonstrated the technical feasibility and customer benefits of hydrogen-powered fuel cell solutions by integrating Ballard fuel cell power modules with the Vertiv™ Liebert® EXL S1 uninterruptible power system (UPS) at their Ohio facility.

“As the soaring increase in data usage is driving up power demand and the 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 achieving net-zero targets,” said Nicolas Pocard, vice president of marketing and strategic partnerships at 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 backup 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 decarbonised backup system. The solution encompasses a complete cooling sub-system, power conditioning equipment, and hydrogen storage infrastructure integrated with VertivTM HPL Lithium-Ion batteries, the Liebert® EXL S1 UPS system, and the VertivTM DynaFlex Energy Management Controller. The Power Module H2 solution is part of the 1 MW Vertiv Customer Experience Centre microgrid solution, which includes a 1 MW AC solar PV array and the Vertiv™ DynaFlex Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).

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) is 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 centre 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 the 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 redesigning 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 “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 centres 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 June 19–21.

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