As the leading data centre hub of Southeast Asia, Singapore accounted for around 50 per cent of the region's data centre capacity in 2015. Due to the high internal load and the need for consistent cooling and operation in a tightly-controlled environment, data centres are among the major power consumers, of which the cooling of IT equipment accounts for 37% of the total energy consumed in a data centre (according to IDA’s Green Data Centre Technology Roadmap, 2014).
Keppel Data Centres, together with its partners from the National University of Singapore's Faculty of Engineering (NUS Engineering) and Singapore LNG Corporation (SLNG) have thus joined forces to develop a novel cooling technology through the integration of Cold Energy for Sustainable and Energy Efficient Data-Centres (ICE-SEED).
A five-member team from NUS Engineering, Keppel Data Centres and SLNG will be exploring a new thermal energy carrier system named as Semiclathrate Thermal Energy Carrier System (ScTECS), in which semiclathrate hydrate slurries will be utilised as the thermal energy carrier, carrying the cold energy from LNG terminal to supply the cooling requirement of a data centre.
Properties of ScTECS as a high efficiency cooling and thermal energy storage medium
This project involves fundamental research and the development of a prototype to study, design, and evaluate the application of ScTECS for data centre cooling. By utilizing this ICE-SEED technology, the team has proposed the possibility of eliminating the conventional refrigeration cooling loop including chillers and cooling towers, which is estimated to reduce the PUE by 20%. Additional benefits include the reduced reliance on the current electricity grid and more effective space utilization for data storage.
Roadmap and objectives towards the translation of ScTECS technology from laboratory scale to prototype development
This research project is supported by the National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore, under its Green Data Centre Research Programme which is administered by the Infocomm Media Development Authority.