Singapore: new standard to boost energy efficiency in tropical data centers

The standard, developed by a collaborative working group consisting of industry experts, academia, and government agencies, offers guidelines for operating DCs at higher temperatures to optimize energy usage.

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Singapore has introduced a pioneering standard aimed at improving energy efficiency in data centres (DCs) in tropical climate countries. The standard, announced by Singapore’s Senior Minister of State, Dr Janil Puthucheary, was developed by a working group comprising industry experts, academia, and government agencies. 

It provides guidelines for operating DCs at higher temperatures to enhance energy efficiency. Cooling systems in DCs consume a significant amount of energy, and in warmer tropical climates, the challenge of cooling increases energy consumption. As the demand for DCs grows, sustainable energy practices become crucial. The new standard facilitates the gradual increase of DC operating temperatures to 26°C and above, potentially saving 2% to 5% of cooling energy per 1°C increase. 

This initiative aligns with Singapore’s focus on sustainability in the digital sector and complements existing industry standards. The government aims to achieve net-zero DCs powered by renewable energy in the long term. To encourage adoption, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) plans to update the Green Mark certification scheme for DCs, establishing energy effectiveness and ecological responsibility standards in the DC sector. 

IMDA collaborates with international partners like IBM and Microsoft to promote digital sustainability and exchange best practices. Several DC operators in Singapore have already participated in a pilot trial, successfully reducing energy usage by increasing operating temperatures.