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Will GE’s Newest Breakthrough Change the Data Center Space?

August 5, 2014  |  Written by Ben Gonyea, Vice President, Product Management

Here at Telx, we think it’s safe to assume that most end users probably don’t think about what’s happening behind the scenes when they access the internet or tap into their data in the cloud. That’s the case with many enterprise users, too. Most people just want their data to be accessible when they need it—something that can be taken for granted until something happens that affects access to data.

You may not think about what’s going on behind the scenes very often, but in any case, we think there’s reason to be very excited about a new breakthrough from General Electric. Not long ago, GE unveiled a fuel cell subsidiary called GE Fuel Cells and said it was building a new fuel-cell manufacturing plant in upstate New York.

As Data Center Knowledge notes, fuel cells generate energy by triggering a chemical reaction. Typically, fuel cells have been very expensive to produce and thus haven’t been widely used to date. They are, however, a cleaner alternative to coal-fired power plants, and also make a great substitute for diesel generators in backup situations. GE’s Fuel Cells subsidiary could bring much cheaper fuel cells—something that could drive widespread adoption of this clean source f energy.

This is so exciting for the data center space one, because it could roll out a more energy-efficient, cleaner backup source, and two, because it could eventually replace the coal-fired power plants that so many data centers rely on. Going green is a big concern for the future of data centers, and the idea of a cleaner source of energy—even if it just starts out as backup power—is very exciting.

So, what do you think—will this new breakthrough in fuel cell technology make waves in the data center space? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter!