A liquid-cooled heat sink with an air-cooled fin array is now operational in Singapore, offering a research facility for developing energy-efficient cooling technologies in tropical climates. Hosted by the National University of Singapore’s College of Design and Engineering (NUS CDE) on its Kent Ridge campus, the world’s first datacenter testbed for tropical environments is a joint initiative by NUS and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and is funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF).
The project aims to set new sustainability standards for datacenter operations in the tropics, with plans to reduce energy consumption by up to 40%, water usage by 30-40%, and carbon dioxide emissions by 40%. The testbed aims for a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of less than 1.2, achieved through a combination of air and liquid cooling. The initiative also plans to release a whitepaper with recommendations on optimal datacenter design and operations.
The project has involved 20 industry partners including Intel, Keppel Data Centres, Meta, Shell, and Schneider Electric, with five research projects currently underway at the facility.
The initiative aligns with Singapore’s operating standards released in June 2021 to optimize energy efficiency in datacenters in tropical climates. These standards promote raising datacenter operating temperatures to 26 degrees Celsius and above, which could potentially yield energy savings of 2-5% for every one degree Celsius increase.