Siemens involved in first zero carbon, waste-to-energy data center

Nation's first bio gas and fuel cell powered data center

Microsoft builds first zero carbon, waste-to-energy data center together with Siemens and FuelCell Energy

Siemens Energy Management has partnered with Microsoft and FuelCell Energy to design, engineer and install equipment and software, including a power monitoring solution, for the nation’s first zero-carbon, waste-to-energy data center in Cheyenne, WY. The project uses biogas methane produced by common waste byproducts at the nearby Dry Creek wastewater facility to power the fuel cell system. The fuel cell system then converts the biogas into electricity to power the Microsoft data center.

Siemens technology used to measure overall performance of fuel cell data center

Siemens engineered and installed intelligent controls, power monitoring hardware and energy management software that is helping to power the first zero-carbon data center that will be entirely independent from the grid.  The system measures the overall performance and energy output of the fuel cell to ensure consistent, high-quality power is delivered to operate Microsoft’s data center 24-7. By utilizing Siemens intelligent technology, renewable resources like biogas and technologies such as fuel cells can be a proven source of reliable energy for full-scale power projects.

Microsoft and FuelCell Energy came to Siemens with specific parameters for the project, and based on this data, Siemens engineered the power monitoring technology to provide detailed insight into the power generation process so the biogas and fuel cell concept could be shown to produce reliable energy and move the project from pilot to full-scale.

Ceremony To Mark Biogas-Powered Microsoft Data Plant Operation

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    For more images of the project and an aerial video, please click here.

    Waste to energy technology - Wyoming data center

    How the Power Monitoring system works

    The Siemens software and hardware monitors the amount of biogas being sent to the fuel cell, the conversion to usable energy, and the fuel cell output to ensure that enough electricity is created throughout this process to reliably power Microsoft’s data center. The technology also includes predictive demand alert capability so the data center operators are made immediately aware of any power quality or energy demand issues.

    The Microsoft data center will operate completely off the grid and, based on measurements from Siemens power monitoring system, is expected to produce 250 kilowatts of renewable power and use approximately 100 kilowatts. The additional power will be sent back to the waste water treatment facility to reduce its electric bills.

    As part of the integrated solution, Siemens also provided environmental controls for this project inside the data center to manage air temperature, flow, and humidity. Siemens also provided circuit breakers that deliver energy to the servers and protect power supply in cases of low or high energy levels within the container.

    Please read an executive blog post by the head of the Siemens Energy Management Division about the project here.

    For more information on Siemens Power Monitoring solutions, please click here.

    For more information on Siemens Data Center solutions, please click here.

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