ECL set to revolutionise data centres with hydrogen power

ECL has unveiled a groundbreaking achievement in the realm of data centres, introducing what it calls as the world’s inaugural modular, sustainable, and off-grid data centre, powered primarily by hydrogen. This innovation pledges to deliver both carbon-neutral operational performance and an unparallelled uptime of 99.9999%.

The concept of modular data centres, akin to interconnected building blocks, offers a scalable solution that allows businesses to commence with modest capacities and seamlessly expand in accordance with their escalating requirements. ECL’s data centre units will be configured in 1-megawatt increments.

ECL’s data-centre-as-a-service proposition is strategically tailored to cater predominantly to mid-sized data centre operators, as well as sizable enterprises maintaining a blend of cloud-based and on-premises IT infrastructures. The company asserts that its data centres will exhibit a total cost of ownership equivalent to two-thirds of the expenses associated with traditional colocation data centre environments when evaluated over a five-year span.

In the design of its data centres, ECL takes a distinctive approach, eschewing reliance on local resources such as power and water, while simultaneously achieving emissions-free operations at remarkably subdued noise levels. This distinctive configuration renders ECL’s data centre modules exceptionally suitable for deployment in remote and edge locations.

ECL says it will reduce planning and construction cycles from between 18 to 24 months to between six and nine months.

ECL’s self-contained cooling infrastructure distinguishes itself through water-based cooling mechanisms, enabling elevated density-per-rack ratios compared to the conventional counterparts. Water, generated as a byproduct of hydrogen-based power generation, serves a dual purpose of powering ECL’s server racks and obviating the necessity for external water sources.

The result is an astonishing power usage effectiveness (PUE) ratio. According to assessments by the Uptime Institute, the average data centre exhibits a PUE of around 1.5, whereas the most advanced hyperscale data centres have managed to reduce it to 1.1. ECL, however, anticipates achieving an extraordinary PUE ratio of 1.05 across its data centre infrastructure, even accommodating up to 50 kilowatts per rack.

The company has recently secured $7 million in seed financing, co-led by Molex Ventures and Hyperwise Ventures. This infusion of capital will play a pivotal role in bolstering ECL’s market presence and expediting the realisation of its inaugural data centre project located at the firm’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.

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