Singapore government and Facebook back $S17m project for sustainable tropical data centers

Jun 16, 2021 | Posted by MadalineDunn

It has been announced that social media giant Facebook and the Singapore government are joining forces to fund a $17 million (S$23m) project to address the need to boost the number of sustainable data centers built in tropical climates. The programme is also being funded by Singapore's National Research Foundation (NRF), while other partners include Ascenix, CoolestDC, Keppel Data Centres, New Media Express, and Red Dot Analytics.

Data centers in Singapore reportedly utilise a significant percent (7%) of the country's grid power. So, the creation of a Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed (STDCT) will work to test new and innovative cooling techniques to discover if the facilities can be run without detriment to the grid.
The National University of Singapore (NUS)

The test, run by the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU), will begin in October of this year. 

The project will be based at NUS' Kent Ridge campus and equipped with a desiccant-coated heat exchanger design and StatePoint Liquid Cooling System (SPLC). In addition to this, the project will also assess innovative chip-level hybrid cooling and management using artificial intelligence (AI) and digital twin modeling.

The success of this project is paramount for Singapore's future, considering its vulnerability to the effects of global warming and the limitations on renewable energy sources such as solar power. Those working on the project have said that combining all these different technologies could potentially lower the energy usage of the industry by 40% and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% if rolled out across the whole region.

Alex Johnson, vice president, infrastructure at Facebook, said, "Facebook designs some of the most energy- and water-efficient data centers in the world. We are excited about the opportunity to partner NUS, NTU, Keppel Data Centres, and the CoolestSG community to develop innovative solutions that reduce the carbon footprint and energy consumption of the average data center, particularly those located in tropical areas like Singapore."

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