Hydrogen fuel cell technology demo project coming to Caterpillar

Hydrogen fuel cell technology demo project coming to Caterpillar

November 30, 2021 0 By Alicia Moore

The company has launched the project with Microsoft and Ballard, and it is meant to last three years.

Caterpillar Inc (NYSE stock symbol CAT) has announced the launch of a three-year hydrogen fuel cell technology project with Microsoft (NASDAQ stock symbol MSFT) and Ballard Power Systems (TSE stock symbol BLDP).

The project will involve the demonstration of a power system that involves H2 power for data center backups.

The collaboration among the companies will demonstrate a power system using large-format hydrogen fuel cell technology for the production of reliable and sustainable data center backup power. The project is moving forward in part with the support of US Department of Energy (DOE) funding under the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) backed H2@Scale initiative.

Caterpillar will be contributing its expertise in advanced energy tech, controls and system integration. Microsoft will contribute its data center design expertise. Ballard’s contribution has to do with its expertise in fuel cell design. Together they will demonstrate a 1.5-megawatt backup power delivery and control system using H2 and that would either mirror or beat the performance of existing diesel engine systems.

Hydrogen fuel cell technology - Caterpillar equipment


Caterpillar is the prime contractor on the three-year hydrogen fuel cell technology demonstration project.

The power solution in the demonstration project will be powered by low-carbon-intensity H2. Microsoft will be the demonstration project’s host at its data center in Quincy, Washington. Ballard will be supplying an advanced H2 module. The NREL will be conducting analyses on techno-economics, safety, and greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts.

The demonstration project will be used to gain core insight into the ability to use systems of h2 fuel cells for providing uninterruptible backup power to multi-megawatt data centers. Those data centers must receive power with 99.999 percent uptime requirements. As such, the project will also examine the power system scalability when using low-carbon-intensity H2 including everything from performance to cost perspectives. This includes the use of the systems for 48-hour operation using fuel on site, power transfer time and load acceptance.

This hydrogen fuel cell technology project demonstration is one of eighteen different projects in receipt of DEO funding through the H2@Scale initiative.

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