In 2013, eBay Inc. introduced a revolutionary approach and commitment to cleaner, green commerce at its Salt Lake City data center facility. The company became the first to use solid oxide fuel cells from Bloom Energy as its source of primary on-site power, instead of the traditional energy grid – and the achievement has now been recognized by the Uptime Institute, a division of the 451 Group.
Earlier this week, eBay Inc. won the “Best Data Center Design” award at Uptime’s first annual Brill Awards for efficient IT, which seeks to showcase companies and technologies that improve the industry’s ability to sustainably deliver IT services to the end user. In total, the institute granted 15 regional Brill Awards and three Global Leadership Awards, which were chosen by 90 industry professionals from 100 entrants across 19 countries.
The reason eBay Inc.’s Salt Lake City data center stands out from the competition is because the facility is home to best-in-class, next generation technology, which help to improve its overall performance, while reducing environmental impact. In particular, the facility is cooled with zero mechanical cooling year-round. It is also configured to accommodate modular containerized data centers fed from the cooling tower loop or domestic water – again, no mechanical cooling.
Additionally, with the power source located mere meters from its load, transmission goes from the utility grid’s characteristic 33% efficiency to near perfect. The 6MW Fuel Cells array has a strong power generation efficiency that utilizes natural gas and is cleaner than grid power. Opposite to all other data centers, the site’s utility grid connection provides backup power.