Bloom Energy, provider of on-site power generation systems, announced eBay will use Bloom Energy’s Bloom Box (News - Alert) for the powering the next phase of its flagship data center. This follows the announcement that Bloom Energy will also supply its boxes for an Apple (News - Alert) data center project.
The installation will be the largest yet of a non-utility fuel cell, with 30 Bloom Boxes to be installed, according to Bloom Energy. Bloom's Energy Server is a new class of distributed power generator, producing clean, reliable, affordable electricity at the customer site. Each Bloom Energy Server provides 200kW of power, enough to meet the baseload needs of 160 average homes or an office building.
The boxes, which use sand formed into solid ceramic squares coupled with techniques from the semiconductor industry to produce an electrochemical reaction using natural gas or oxygen, will be installed a few hundred meters away from the eBay (News - Alert) data center, and will be in use by mid 2013.
"We believe the future of commerce can be greener," said John Donahoe, president and CEO of eBay Inc. "Technology-led innovation is changing retail and revolutionizing how people shop and pay. We also want to revolutionize how shopping is powered. We are embracing disruptive energy technology and designing it into our core data center energy architecture. Running our data centers primarily on reliable, renewable energy, we intend to shape a future for commerce that is more environmentally sustainable at its core."
Ebay is no stranger to renewable energy. This will be its fifth such project – it already has a 500kW Bloom fuel cell installation at its San Jose headquarters and a 650kW solar array at its Denver data center. An existing 665kW solar array also captures energy at its Utah facility.
This 6MW project at eBay’s $334 million facility will also be used to generate 1.75m kWh of electricity a year.
Donahoe said the fuel cells will replace the large “and expensive” backup generators and UPS components which are traditionally used less than 1 percent of the year. Providing as main power sources, they will be running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli