VIDEO: Fuel cell powers Microsoft datacenter using wastewater

Biogas generated from the Dry Creek Water Reclamation Facility is being used to run a fuel cell and in turn generate power for a nearby Microsoft datacenter in Cheyenne, Wyoming...

Biogas generated from the Dry Creek Water Reclamation Facility is being used to run a fuel cell and in turn generate power for a nearby Microsoft datacenter in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Datacenters have traditionally been large consumers of energy, with figures suggesting they consume as much as 2% of US national energy.

The installed system by Siemens uses fuel cells provided by FuelCell Energy. The plant began running on biogas earlier this year and was officially opened on November 6.

Biogas produced from the anaerobic digestion process is converted by the fuel cell to generate electricity and heat electrochemically for the water treatment plant and Microsoft center.

Around 300 kilowatts of power are expected to be produced from the fuel cell plant, with datacenter using 200 kW. The remaining 100 kW will be delivered back to the wastewater treatment plant.

In 2012 a $1.5 million grant was approved by the State Loan and Investment Board to help fund the $7.6 million project.

Organizations responsible for bringing this fuel cell project to fruition include Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities, Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power Company, Western Research Institute, the University of Wyoming, the Wyoming Business Council, Siemens, and Cheyenne LEADS, the economic development organization for Cheyenne and Laramie County, Wyoming. Laramie County, Wyoming.

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