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NIE goes green

Nurdianah Md Nur | Jan. 9, 2014
By adopting a green data centre, NIE Singapore has managed to lower its power consumption, which translates to cost savings for the Institute.

In the past, all electrical and data cables were laid under the raised floor. The cable trunks prevented cool air from flowing freely under the raised floor to the racks and less visibility to the management of cables. Thus, more energy was needed to cool the racks. With the new system, cold air that cools the IT racks now flows in the same spaces as the cables. NIE Singapore also designed the new data centre with overhead cabling tiered system. Chan explained that the three-tiered system spreads all copper and fibre wires across three layers of cable trays, making them easy to trace. With a detailed layout of IT racks with individual running of individual patch panels, the comprehensive setup allows for ease in management and future expansions.

 Aside from these, power consumption was lowered with LED lighting used throughout the data centre. Controlled by motion sensors, these also turn off if no activity is detected after a ten-minute period. The IT racks used in the data centre are also white in colour, instead of the traditional dark grey and black. As such, the colour reflects light and creates a brighter ambience to its surrounding. Thus, fewer lights are required to maintain the same illumination and resulted in a further reduction in power consumption. The IT racks used in the green data centre are white in colour, instead of the traditional dark grey and black racks. Chan reasoned that since the colour white reflects light, the white racks create a brighter ambience in the data centre. With a brighter setting, fewer lights are required to maintain the same illumination required for working in the data centre, hence further reducing the power consumed.

NIE dc interior 
NIE Singapore's new data centre is fitted with a hybrid data centre cooling system, cold aisle containment system, overhead cabling, LED lighting.

Results achieved and future plans
Due to the above mentioned features of the data centre, NIE Singapore managed to achieve a lower energy consumption. Chan elaborated: "After a year of operation, NIE Singapore's green data centre has managed to achieve an average PUE of 1.7; a 15 percent improvement from that of its predecessor. We have calculated that the new systems and centre has given us about S$60,000 (US$47, 360) worth of cost savings per year." 

Chan noted that NIE Singapore will conduct consistent reviews of the Centre to improve power utilisation. He added: "For instance, NIE Singapore is looking to progressively increase the temperature of the data centre in future since the equipment are all running stably at the current 24 degrees celsius. NIE is also working to have its green data centre certified with the Singapore Standards SS-564 within the next few months."


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