For Microsoft’s Sean James, Energy Efficiency is Just Another Day at the Office

| Josh Henretig

stepforwardWhen it comes to environmental sustainability, Microsoft operates on the idea that it takes a village to drive success. Today, The Fire Hose released a story on Microsoft employee Sean James and his work with Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services (GFS), which focuses on data center energy efficiency and operational excellence. As we’ve previously written, GFS is currently working to create a zero-carbon data center using waste water at Microsoft’s new Data Plant in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The biogas that is produced when stabilizing municipal waste will be used to power the fuel cell-based Data Plant. And those fuel cells will power servers in the data center instead of using traditional generators for power.

Sean James, a Washington state native, grew up wanting to understand how machines worked. That desire led to his work as an electrician in the Navy before joining GFS in 2000, where he is now senior research program manager. According to James in a recent blog post about the project, the pilot effort “brings the power plant inside the data center, effectively eliminating energy loss that otherwise occurs in the energy supply chain and doubling the efficiency of traditional data centers.”

The project, which will be up and running in the next month or so, is one of the latest Microsoft is undertaking as part of its mission to reduce its carbon footprint, after setting a goal in 2012 to achieve net zero emissions. Read the full story about Sean James and his involvement in the project on the The Fire Hose and keep an eye out for an update on Sean’s work on rack-mounted fuel cells to power data centers.

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