Data centres are typically cooled at temperatures of between 20 to 25 degrees Celsius and kept to within 50% to 60% humidity levels. With sustainability as a key focus of the Group, Keppel Data Centres participated in the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA)’s Proof-of-Concept trial to develop and deploy the world’s first Tropical Data Centre (TDC).
Controlled environment POC trial within a Keppel Data Centres facility
The Proof-of-Concept, which was set up in a controlled test environment within a Keppel Data Centres facility, aimed to determine the viability of operating data centres in a tropical climate using temperatures of up to 38 degrees Celsius and ambient humidity equals to or exceeding 90%. Using simulated data, the trial tested how data servers reacted under various conditions, such as peak surges or transferring of data, under diverse conditions with no temperature or humidity controls.
The successful Proof-of-Concept trial demonstrated that operating data centres at higher temperatures and humidity levels will not compromise the performance or reliability of the data servers. This will lead to significant reduction of global energy consumption, energy costs and carbon footprint.
For typical enclosed data centres with filtrated air:
- It is safe to increase the temperature setpoint
For natural air-cooled data centres in Singapore:
- It may be feasible with considerations of anti-corrosion measures, proper air filtration and humidity controls
This project's lead agency is Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the key research partner is National University of Singapore (NUS).