Energy Management of Data Centers Powered by Fuel Cells and Heterogeneous Energy Storage

Xiaoxuan Hu, Peng Li, Kun Wang, Yanfei Sun, Deze Zeng, Song Guo

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Fuel cells are promising power sources for green data centers thanks to its high energy-efficiency, low greenhouse gas emissions and high reliability. However, fuel cells have a unique feature called limited load following, i.e., they are slow in adjusting power supply due to mechanical limitation of fuel delivery. When power demand of data centers suddenly grows, fuel cells would fail to provide sufficient power supply. On the other hand, fuel cells are slow to reduce its power supply when demand decreases, leading to energy waste. In this paper, we study to mitigate the impact of limited load following by associating a set of heterogeneous batteries with fuel cells. These batteries with different characteristics (e.g., capacity, charging and discharging rate) can power data centers when the energy supply of fuel cells is insufficient. They are charged by excessive power supply when demand decreases. Given future power demand, we formulate the energy management problem as a mixed-integer nonlinear programming. An online algorithm is designed to solve the problem without future knowledge. We conduct extensive simulations using real-world traces and results show that our proposed algorithm significantly outperforms existing solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2018 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781538631805
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2018
Event2018 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2018 - Kansas City, United States
Duration: 20 May 201824 May 2018

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Communications
ISSN (Print)1550-3607


Conference2018 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityKansas City


  • Fuel cell
  • Green data center
  • Receding horizon control (RHC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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