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Singapore eyes to create Tropical Data Centre

Adrian M. Reodique | May 30, 2016
The Tropical Data Centre could reduce the energy consumption by up to 40 percent.

Singapore is conducting trials to test the feasibility of a Tropical Data Centre.

"With Singapore's continued growth as a premium hub for data centres, we want to develop new technologies and standards that allow us to operate advanced data centres in the most energy efficient way in a tropical climate," said Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive of Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).  

The IDA has partnered Dell, ERS, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Huawei, Intel, Keppel Data Centres, The Green Grid, and Nanyang Technological University for the trial and will provide hardware, software and expertise for analysis.

IDA, along with its partners, will set up a data centre and operate it in a tropical environment to test its feasibility. The proof-of-concept seeks to prove whether data centres can function optimally at temperatures of up to 38 degrees Celsius and ambient humidity up to or higher than 90 percent.

This would test the reaction of data servers under various "live" situations like peak surges or data transfer, and in diverse conditions. The trial servers will also run with simulated data, said IDA.

"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. To create new value in our Smart Nation journey, we need to embrace an attitude of experimentation, to be willing to develop new ideas together, and test the feasibility of progressive and positive technological advancements that has a good possibility to enhance our industry's competitiveness," added Yun.

According to IDA, if the trial succeeds, the tropical dat centre could reduce the global energy consumption of data centres by allowing operations on higher temperatures and humidity levels.

Currently, data centres are cooled to between 20 to 25 degrees Celsius and kept to within 50 to 60 percent relative ambient humidity for safety. The tropical data centre is expected to reduce the energy costs by up to 40 percent, as well as reduce its carbon emissions, added IDA. 


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