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Fuel Cells Power eBay Data Center

Linda Hardesty

Energy Manage eBayeBay launched a new data center in Salt Lake City, Utah, notable for the fact that it will be powered by 30 fuel cells.

Bloom Energy Servers are the primary, on-site power source for the newest data center, according to eBay’s blog. The online auction company expects the Bloom Energy fuel cells to not only increase energy efficiency but also boost the performance of its commerce platforms by reducing the risk of outages.

The data center will only use the local power grid as a backup source, according to Gigaom.

For the new data center, eBay has worked with Dell, deploying a super-dense modular data center, called EPIC, which has 24 rack positions and 1 MW of power. In addition, eBay has worked with HP, deploying a super-large modular data center, called the HP EcoPOD with 44 rack positions and 1.4 MW of power.

Finally, the eBay also is partnering with Ormat to develop an off-site waste heat recovery system to provide energy to its other facilities in Utah. Ormat will install its technology at the natural gas pipeline that feeds into the Bloom fuel cells to provide up to 5 MW from waste heat recovery. The system is slated for completion in about 18 months.

“With this investment, we anticipate that we’ll be able to reach, and possibly surpass, our goal of sourcing at least 8 percent of eBay’s energy from cleaner sources by 2015,” says the eBay blog.

The new data center is next to an existing eBay LEED Gold-certified data center that opened in 2010.

Photo credit: eBay’s blog



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