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Vertiv and Ballard Forge Strategic Partnership for Hydrogen-Powered Data Centers

 Vertiv (NYSE: VRT), a global leader in critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, has announced a strategic technology partnership with Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLDP), a leading PEM fuel cell provider. The collaboration aims to support backup power applications for data centers and critical infrastructures in North America and EMEA, offering scalable solutions from 200kW to multiple MWs.

The partnership focuses on demonstrating the technical feasibility and benefits of hydrogen-powered fuel cell solutions. Vertiv has successfully integrated Ballard fuel cell power modules with the Vertiv™ Liebert® EXL S1 uninterruptible power system (UPS) at its Ohio facility, showcasing a proof of concept (POC) that highlights the efficiency and sustainability of this innovative technology.

"As the soaring increase in data usage drives up power demand and the expansion of data center capacity globally, effectively managing electricity consumption and reducing the carbon footprint of this energy-intensive sector is critical to achieving net-zero targets," said Nicolas Pocard, vice president of marketing and strategic partnerships at Ballard. "Our partnership with Vertiv leverages our strengths to offer cost-effective, zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emission fuel cell backup power solutions that can scale to meet the growing power demands of data centers."

The Power Module H2 solution demonstrated at Vertiv’s Delaware, Ohio facility integrates two Ballard PowerGen 200kW fuel cell cabinets, providing a fully functional decarbonized backup system. This solution includes a complete cooling sub-system, power conditioning equipment, and hydrogen storage infrastructure, integrated with Vertiv™ HPL Lithium-Ion batteries, the Liebert® EXL S1 UPS system, and the Vertiv™ DynaFlex Energy Management Controller. Part of the 1 MW Vertiv Customer Experience Center microgrid solution, the Power Module H2 also features a 1MW AC Solar PV array and the Vertiv™ DynaFlex Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).

Initial validations have demonstrated successful operation of zero GHG emission backup power integrated into an uninterruptible power architecture.

"The unprecedented adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC) is driving the need for eco-friendly power solutions," said Viktor Petik, vice president of Vertiv infrastructure solutions. "Our successful proof-of-concept with Ballard provides a viable option for customers aiming to enhance their data center sustainability strategy and transition to a future-ready Bring Your Own Power (BYOP) model."

The Vertiv Power Module H2 offers a scalable and rapidly deployable power infrastructure, suitable for new data centers and retrofitting existing sites without requiring redesign of electrical infrastructure. With a focus on North America, Europe, and select global markets, the solution provides numerous advantages for critical infrastructure applications, including zero GHG emissions, low maintenance, and an optimized footprint for MW scale applications.

Vertiv and Ballard will showcase and discuss fuel cell-powered standby power applications at Smarter E Europe 2024, Europe’s largest alliance of energy industry exhibitions. The event will take place at exhibition area B2, Booth B2 436, from June 19-21.

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