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Equinix and the NUS Center for Energy Research & Technology Partner to Advance Hydrogen Technologies for Data Centers

Equinix and the NUS Center for Energy Research & Technology Partner to Advance Hydrogen Technologies for Data Centers

The collaboration will explore and develop hydrogen fuel technologies for green data centers in tropical climates, with a long-term goal of adapting them for use in Equinix’s global network.

Continuing its efforts to advance the sustainability of digital infrastructure and achieve its science-aligned climate neutrality goals by 2030, Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX) announced a partnership with the Center for Energy Research & Technology (CERT) under the National University of Singapore (NUS) College of Design and Engineering to explore technologies that enable the use of hydrogen as a green fuel source for infrastructure of critical data centers.

Together, Equinix and CERT will launch the world’s first research project to compare the efficiency of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells and fuel-flexible linear generator technologies.

PEM fuel cells are a major contender for hydrogen power, while fuel-flexible linear generators allow operators to easily switch between a variety of clean fuel options, including hydrogen, biogas, and various renewable liquid fuels. Adopting these technologies can enable data centers to reduce carbon emissions while meeting the growing demand for data, colocation and interconnection services.

The research collaboration between Equinix and CERT will involve a holistic assessment of the suitability of these technologies for tropical data centers, taking into account local climatic conditions, site constraints, power demand, data supply, fuel storage capacities as well as local regulatory policies.

This research initiative is part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed earlier this year between the two partners. As part of the MoU, CERT will perform a comprehensive analysis of the identified technologies in conjunction with Equinix, to determine the operational viability of the technologies at scale.

Based on the research findings, Equinix plans to develop proof-of-concept projects within its global network of data centers for real-world testing and support integration into future data center designs. By driving innovation in Singapore, the Equinix and CERT partnership aims to accelerate disruptive technologies that can reduce the carbon footprint of global data centers, especially in tropical regions.

This partnership is part of Equinix’s Future First strategy which underlines the company’s commitment to greening the digital economy. Green hydrogen has been identified as a viable source of sustainable energy for data centers.

However, industrial-scale hydrogen production remains several years away from being commercially viable, making it imperative to evaluate and adopt alternatives even as global research and development continues.


Yee May Leong, Managing Director, South Asia, Equinix said:

Data centers serve as conduits powering the digital economy, and greening their operations can foster the growth of sustainable businesses across the economic landscape.

“Working with like-minded partners, such as the NUS Center for Energy Research & Technology, gives us the combined experience and expertise to advance the growth of digital economies in line with environmental obligations, to the benefit of the data center industry, global economies and the planet.”

Associate Professor Lee Poh Seng, The director of the Center for Energy Research and Technology at NUS College of Design and Engineering said:

Sustainability is an essential pillar of the global economy.

“To complement public sector efforts, timely progress also requires collaboration with stakeholders in the private sector and academia. We want to work with industry partners like Equinix, which is known for its sustainability efforts and gives us access to a global network of data centers that can serve as a test bed for a more accurate assessment of operational viability.

“Through this partnership, we look forward to taking a leading role in green data center innovations that can be applied in Singapore and around the world.”

Reaffirming Equinix’s commitment to creating a more environmentally sustainable future, the company has been recognized with numerous sustainability awards throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

In 2022, Equinix was named Green Company of the Year in Asia at the Asia Corporate Excellence & Sustainability Awards, Singapore Data Center Services Company of the Year by Frost & Sullivan, and received the Innovation Award green in the MNC category at the Singapore Environmental 2022 Excellence Awards.

Highlights / Highlights:

  • As part of this partnership, Equinix and NUS CERT will conduct a comprehensive analysis to compare two clean on-site power generation technologies for the data centers of the future. These technologies include:
    • PEM fuel cells are becoming increasingly popular due to their ability to generate electricity with hydrogen and oxygen. Some designs can also run the process in reverse to produce pure hydrogen for future use with just water and electricity.
    • Fuel-flexible linear generators provide the ability to switch between fuels like hydrogen, biogas, and various renewable liquid fuels, enabling the installation of infrastructure that can be easily adapted as the market changes, giving organizations increased agility.
  • Equinix was the first in the data center industry to commit to becoming climate neutral, aligned with approved science-based targets, for reducing emissions in global operations and the supply chain by 2030. Additionally, Equinix continues to evaluate on-site solar opportunities, on-site generation from fuel cells, and any other distributed low-carbon technologies that fit within its overall strategy.
  • Equinix’s renewable energy coverage has exceeded 90% since 2018. In 2021, the company achieved 95% renewable energy coverage. Year over year, Equinix increased its renewable energy purchases by 16% on a GWh basis.
  • Earlier this year, Equinix announced the opening of its first Co-Innovation Center (CIF), located in its DC15 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center on the Equinix Ashburn campus in the Washington area. , DC. The CIF is a component of its Data Center of the Future Initiative and is a new capability that enables innovative partners to work with Equinix to test and develop methodologies that can be used to help define the future of infrastructure and digital services.

About Equinix

Equinix (Nasdaq: EQIX) is the global digital infrastructure company. Digital leaders leverage Equinix’s trusted platform to bring together and interconnect core infrastructure at the speed of software.

Equinix connects organizations to all the right places, partners and opportunities to scale with agility, accelerate the launch of digital services, deliver world-class experiences and multiply their value, all while supporting their sustainability goals.

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Equinix and NUS Center for Energy Research & Technology Partner to Advance Hydrogen Technologies for Data Centers, SINGAPORE and REDWOOD CITY, CA, September 20, 2022