Microsoft is testing the use of hydrogen fuel cells instead of diesel for its Azure data center servers


Credit: Microsoft

On July 27, Microsoft announced that it had completed a milestone in its test of using hydrogen fuel cells to replace diesel. Microsoft officials have said the company plans to eliminate its dependence on diesel fuel by 2030, the same year that it aims to be carbon negative.

Microsoft officials noted in a blog post that diesel fuel currently accounts for less than one percent of Microsoft’s total emissions. It is primarily used in Azure data centers for diesel generators that can be used during power outages and other outages.

Recently, the costs of hydrogen fuel cells have plummeted, making them an economically viable alternative to diesel-powered options, authorities said.

In addition, “an Azure data center equipped with fuel cells, a hydrogen storage tank, and an electrolyzer that converts water molecules to hydrogen and oxygen could be integrated with the electrical power grid to provide a load balancing service “said Mark Monroe, a lead infrastructure engineer. on the Microsoft Data Center Advanced Deployment Team.

Starting this week, Microsoft has used hydrogen fuel cells to power a row of data center servers for 48 consecutive hours as part of a test.

In other Azure-related news, Microsoft has added some new options to its collection of Azure Migrate tools for data center assessment and migration. Last week, Microsoft announced that it is adding support to the Azure Migration Program to migrate the local Virtual Desktop Infrastructure to the Windows Virtual Desktop; and migration of local .NET web applications to Azure App Service / Azure SQL.

“I’m talking to the customer more about migration than almost any other space right now,” said Jeremy Winter, associate director of Azure Management.

Winter said Microsoft has been working to consolidate its migration tools. It also expands capabilities for customers who want to create assessments from their own configuration management database, as well as for customers interested in assessments around VMware migrations.