Singapore to begin tests on green data centres

Keppel Land's subsidiary in China and its partners have agreed to divest their stakes in Cityone Development (Wuxi) to Tianhonglixin Real Estate.
Keppel Land's subsidiary in China and its partners have agreed to divest their stakes in Cityone Development (Wuxi) to Tianhonglixin Real Estate.PHOTO: KEPPEL DC REIT MANAGEMENT

SINGAPORE - A green data centre, designed to work efficiently in Singapore's warm and humid climate, will go on trial here in a partnership between the Government and industry parties.

The Tropical Data Centre trial will be the world's first to test how data centres, which give off lots of heat and require lots of cooling, can be designed to function optimally at temperatures of up to 38 deg C and ambient humidity up to or exceeding 90 per cent.

It is the next step in the Infocomm Development Authority's (IDA) Green Data Centres Programme launched in late 2014.

The centre could reduce energy costs by up to 40 per cent and reduce carbon emissions.

Announcing the trial at the Ministerial Forum for Infocomm Technology on Monday (May 30), Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said: "Not only will it expand the geographical limitation of siting data centres, it will also cut back on the existing energy requirements for the running of such centres."

This proof of concept will test, with simulated data, how data servers react to real-life situations such as peak surges or data transfer in various conditions, such as without temperature or humidity controls.

The aim of the trial is to reduce energy consumption by allowing such centres to operate at higher ambient temperatures. They are currently cooled to between 20 and 25 deg C and kept to within 50 to 60 per cent relative ambient humidity.

The IDA is working with partners such as Dell, Huawei, Keppel Data Centres and the Nanyang Technological University on this trial, which will begin in the third quarter of 2016 in a Keppel Data Centres facility.

IDA assistant chief executive Khoong Hock Yun said: "New ideas and approaches, such as raising either the ambient temperature or humidity, will be tested to see if these can greatly increase our energy efficiency, with insignificant impact on the critical data centre operations."