SEATTLE – Today, Cummins, McKinstry and Microsoft officially unveiled their new Advanced Energy Lab. The 20-rack datacenter pilot, located at the McKinstry Innovation Center in the Sodo neighborhood of Seattle, is now operational and will soon deliver data and insights on how fuel cells can perform in this environment. Research suggests that the integration of fuel cells directly into the datacenter can nearly double the energy efficiency, while also reducing costs and bringing additional benefits to the grid at large.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee officially launched the pilot with formal remarks and a “cord cutting” event to represent the project’s independence from the traditional electrical grid. Executives from Microsoft, Cummins, McKinstry and Siemens were and other guests were present and toured the new datacenter facility.
The Advanced Energy Lab was conceived and funded by the three partners, with additional funding provided by Siemens and the Washington State Department of Commerce, via its Clean Energy Fund.
“The Lab is our latest step towards our ongoing work to eventually eliminate the energy and resource impact of our datacenters; in other words, making our datacenters disappear,” said Suresh Kumar, Corporate Vice President, Cloud Infrastructure and Operations, Microsoft.
Cummins provided additional funding for the project. “This project is another example of how we are committed to developing a wide variety of power technologies to bring our customers the choice and solutions that enable their success today and in the future,” said Jennifer Rumsey, Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, Cummins. “We’re excited to be working with fantastic companies like Microsoft and McKinstry on such a potentially important project. All of the partners are committed to achieving our company goals through technological innovation and environmental stewardship.”
McKinstry provided the facilities, as well as the engineering and construction services for the pilot. “It has been a pleasure to have partners like Microsoft and Cummins on this awesome project. The type of collaboration and partnership demonstrated throughout this effort is exactly what the construction industry needs to design and build efficient and innovative buildings,” said Dean Allen, Chief Executive Officer, McKinstry.
Currently, datacenters are powered by the electrical grid, with electrons flowing from a power plant, through multiple substations and transmission lines, before finally being converted into the right voltage for datacenters to use. By powering in-rack fuel cells directly from a natural gas line, or potentially a renewable power source on site, the Advanced Energy Lab’s revolutionary design significantly streamlines the process of energy transmission and reduces the energy loss that occurs along the way.
Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business segments that design, manufacture, distribute and service diesel and natural gas engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, (USA) Cummins currently employs approximately 55,400 people worldwide and serves customers in approximately 190 countries and territories through a network of approximately 600 company-owned and independent distributor locations and approximately 7,400 dealer locations. Cummins earned $1.39 billion on sales of $17.5 billion in 2016. Press releases can be found on the Web at www.cummins.com. Follow Cummins on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cummins and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/cumminsinc.
McKinstry is a full-service, design-build-operate-and-maintain (DBOM) firm specializing in consulting, construction, energy and facility services. McKinstry advocates collaborative, sustainable solutions designed to ensure occupant comfort, improve systems efficiency, reduce facility operational costs, and optimize profitability “For The Life of Your Building.” For more information, visit www.mckinstry.com.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.