IMDA Introduces Sustainability Standard for Data Centres operating in Tropical Climates

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  • Standard aims to optimise energy efficiency while operating DCs at higher temperature settings
  • IMDA forges new partnerships to drive global digital sustainability

SINGAPORE, June 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Singapore has launched one of the world’s first standard for optimising energy efficiency for data centres (DCs) in tropical climate countries. Announced by Singapore’s Senior Minister of State, Communications and Information, Dr Janil Puthucheary at ATxEnterprise, the standard comes after a working group comprising domain and technical experts from both industry and academia, as well as government agencies worked on establishing a set of guidelines to enable the operation of DCs at higher temperature settings while optimising energy efficiency. 

(PRNewsfoto/Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore and Informa Tech)

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(PRNewsfoto/Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore and Informa Tech)

DCs are important enablers of the digital economy

DCs are important enablers of the digital economy. However, DCs are also intensive users of resources like land, water, and energy, contributing to our carbon footprint. In a typical data centre, cooling systems account for up to 40% of total energy consumption with many operators choosing to operate their equipment at temperatures of 22°C and below.[1] The cooling of DCs in a warmer tropical climate environment presents additional challenges as more energy is used to operate the cooling systems.

Globally, there is a consensus amongst DC operators on the need to operate their DCs sustainably. There is also increased awareness that it is possible to operate DCs at higher temperatures while achieving optimal results. However, there is a lack of established industry guidelines on how to safely raise DCs’ operating temperatures in a tropical climate, and at higher humidity levels. Singapore’s new standard was developed against this background.

The new standard aims to help DCs develop a roadmap to support the gradual increase in the DC operating temperatures to 26°C and above. This could lead to DCs potentially benefiting from a 2% to 5% cooling energy savings, with every 1°C increase in the DC operating temperature.[2] 

Pushing the envelope of sustainability with green DCs

IMDA’s new standard forms part of the Digital Connectivity Blueprint which was launched on 5 June 2023 by Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information, Mrs Josephine Teo. The standard for tropical DCs complements other sustainability-related industry standards and best practices that are key in our push for sustainability in Singapore’s ICT ecosystem.

Green Mark Certification

To encourage greater adoption of the standards by the DCs operating in Singapore, IMDA is working with the Building & Construction Authority (BCA) to update the Green Mark scheme for DCs, which sets the energy efficiency and sustainability benchmarks for the DC industry, with this new standard for Tropical DCs.[3]

For more information and purchase of the standards, please visit https://www.singaporestandardseshop.sg/.

[1] https://www.nea.gov.sg/docs/default-source/our-services/energy-efficiency/nea-dc-energy-benchmarking-summary–final-report-(3).pdf

[2] http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~bianca/papers/temperature_cam.pdf

[3] The BCA Green Mark Certification Scheme is designed to evaluate a building’s environmental impact and performance. Buildings can be certified at one of four ratings – Certified, Gold, Gold Plus, Platinum.

For media queries:

CHOO Hong Xian (Mr)

Manager, Communications and Marketing, IMDA

DID: (65) 6955 0221

Email: [email protected]  

(PRNewsfoto/Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore and Informa Tech)

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