Fuel cells for server farms

Microsoft thinks that it can double the energy efficiency of its server farms by switching to fuel cells.

The company intends to do a test run with a $45m 10MW installation in the next few years. Worldwide, data centres consume about 1% electricity, and this is anticipated to rise as technology becomes more prevalent, and the internet of things takes off.

Fuels cells are also attractive because they emit less carbon and no pollutants like sulphur or nitrogen oxides.

Microsoft will start with natural gas and move to something cleaner like hydrogen.