Fujitsu installs Silicon Valley's first hydrogen fuel cell generator

Fujitsu has become the first high-tech company in California to boast its own hydrogen power plant that, according to the company, provides clean, efficient power for the campus data center and other operations.

Last Friday, Fujitsu became the first high-tech company in California to boast its own hydrogen power plant that, according to the company, provides clean, efficient power for the campus data center and other operations.

The fuel cell will generate 200 kilowatts of clean energy while surplus heat from the fuel cell will be captured to provide hot water for the facility.

Fujitsu reports that the hydrogen fuel cell "will provide 50 percent of the power needed to cool the Fujitsu Sunnyvale campus datacenter and labs."

"With a payback of about three and a half years and a lifespan of about 15 years, hydrogen power is an excellent investment for the company," says Tetsuo Urano, head of operations at Fujitsu America.

The hydrogen fuel cell installed on the Fujitsu Sunnyvale campus is the UTC Power PureCell Model 200 system. According to UTC, a power plant typically releases 67% of energy from fuel as waste heat, and the remaining 33% as electricity. By comparison, its fuel cell technology wastes only 20% of its energy; the remaining 80% becomes electricity.

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The fuel cell meets the most stringent air emissions standards as set by the California Air Resources Board. Although it is powered by natural gas, it produces 35 percent less CO2 per megawatt-hour than the average fossil fuel-based power plant, and approximately 4,000 lbs per year less NOx, the equivalent of taking more than 100 average passenger cars off the road, according to Fujitsu. Compared to conventional power plants, a Power PureCell system will save at least 800,000 gallons of water per year.

Fujitsu, as well as PG&E, used the fuel-cell installation as an opportunity to celebrate its other eco-friendly achievements. According to PG&E, the company's various energy-effiency efforts have "saved over 3,300,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and 4,000 therms of natural gas annually, while reducing their overall electric demand for their Sunnyvale campus by 350 kW. Fujitsu Americas efforts have effectively prevented approximately 1.8 million tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere each year."

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