ENERGY & OFFSHORE | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Academia, Singapore LNG, and Subarna Jurong to study green data centre feasibility

Together, the groups will study the possibility of using liquid cooling technology and solar energy in data centres.

The demand for data centres remains high, as the pandemic heightens the need for digital interconnectivity, but these facilities are known energy hogs.

That's why the Singapore LNG Corporation (SLNG) and Subarna Jurong, along with the National Supercomputing Centre Singapore and the National University of Singapore are working together to study the feasibility of a Green Modular Data Centre System.

The concept is to install approximately one petaflop of NSCC’s supercomputer at the Singapore Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal on Jurong Island, and to use the terminal’s stable and continuous chilled seawater supply to reduce the heat generated. The chilled seawater is discharged as part of the terminal’s LNG regasification process that ensures a steady send-out of natural gas for the country’s power generation needs.

The project will also explore powering the prototype system with renewable solar energy or green power backup using hydrogen fuel cell, instead of a diesel power generation set.

If successful, the system could save 0.2MW of power, roughly the equivalent of a carbon footprint reduction of 700 tonnes per year, or carbon sequestered by around 11,575 tree seedlings planted and grown over ten years.

"SLNG produces a huge amount of cold energy which is partially discharged as seawater. We have the opportunity to tap on this excess cooling source instead of using more electricity to help cool our supercomputer and data centres," explained NSCC chief executive and associate professor Tan Tin Wee.

For his part, NUS mechanical engineering associate professor Lee Poh Seng explained that the project can reduce power consumption of data centres to about 40-50%.

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