Rethinking the Chiller: Singapore's Data Center Efficiency Hack
- By CDOTrends editors
- January 08, 2024
Data centers have become crucial for storing and processing vast amounts of information. However, they also pose significant environmental challenges, particularly in tropical climates with high cooling demands.
Singapore’s new Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed (STDCT), supported by Vertiv, aims to address this challenge by developing more efficient and sustainable cooling solutions for data centers in hot and humid conditions. This initiative is critical as the global push for environmental sustainability gains momentum, and the demand for digital infrastructure continues to grow.
The testbed’s impact could be transformative. By mid-2024, it aims to reduce Singapore’s data center energy consumption by a whopping 40%, decrease water usage by 30%-40%, cut emissions to 0.54 million tons annually, and achieve a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of less than 1.2. These targets are ambitious but achievable, leveraging advanced air and liquid cooling techniques.
Paul Churchill, vice president and general manager at Vertiv Asia, captures the excitement surrounding this development, “We are ecstatic that this facility is now up and running. The use of a row-based coolant distribution unit (CDU) provided by Vertiv acted as a catalyst for the STDCT to begin operating. Supplying cold water to proprietary cold plates, the facility was equipped with a liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger that enhanced heat transfer of the IT heat load. Vertiv also supplied the STDCT with racks, rack power distribution (rPDU), and high-density cooling solutions. These were early indicators of the STDCT's immense potential to yield significant energy savings in spite of increased computational demands."
The facility isn't just a site for testing and validation. It's a crucible for innovation, where research on sustainable data center growth will be conducted, culminating in releasing a whitepaper with recommendations for optimal data center design in tropical climates. This knowledge sharing reflects a broader vision, expanding the facility's reach to other universities and companies for validating new solutions, thus fostering widespread adoption of best practices.
Ni De En, director of urban solutions and sustainability at the National Research Foundation, underscores Singapore's commitment to this initiative, "Singapore is committed to driving sustainable digital transformation, and the testbed holds immense potential to do this. By bringing together academia and industry players to innovate, the STDCT is at the vanguard of meeting the challenges in power consumption and cooling, carbon footprint, and increasing rack density that data centers in tropical climates must face."
Image credit: iStockphoto/Panupong Piewkleng