Diesel storage (was:RE: 24x7 Support Strategies)

michael.dillon at bt.com michael.dillon at bt.com
Thu Jun 14 20:55:50 UTC 2007

>  As the price of petrol fuel supplies slowly moves upward due to
demand from  
> China and India, I foresee datacenters moving away from diesel
generators as  
> backup power sources towards fuel cells/generators that can burn
natural gas and hydrogen. 

Technically fuel cells don't burn the fuel; they rely on a chemical
process that is 
rather like a battery except that it relies on a continuous supply of
fresh fuel
to supply hydrogen atoms. The fuel cell has a catalyst which strips
off the fuel, and those flowing electrons are electricity.
Unfortunately, most fuel cells run very hot (600 C with molten
carbonate) or
use noxious chemicals (sulphuric acid slurry). But a lot of work is
being done
into developing fuel cells that run at low temperatures and which are
not so
fussy about the fuel that you feed them. One company that has
commercial products right now is Acumentrics: 
--Michael Dillon
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