Future data centre cooled using waste cooling from LNG Terminal in Singapore.
Several companies and research groups have partnered for a modular data centre project using waste cooling from the LNG regasification terminal in Singapore.
In May 2021, Singapore LNG Corporation (SLNG), the National Supercomputing Centre Singapore, the National University of Singapore and government-owned consultancy Surbana Jurong signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the development of a “Green Modular Data Centre System”, which would be the first of its kind in Singapore.
Natural gas is cooled to about 113 K (−160°C) to become a liquid, before being transported by LNG carrier to Singapore, where it undergoes regasification at the SLNG Terminal. As part of the LNG regasification process, SLNG produces a huge amount of excess cooling which is partially recovered as chilled seawater.
The concept of the “Green Modular Data Centre System” is to install a supercomputer at the SLNG Terminal, where the continuous chilled seawater supply will be used to cool the supercomputer and the data centre. The proposed design will use standard-sized containers to house the supercomputer, which should allow for faster installation than traditional data centre buildings.
The project will also explore using renewable solar energy and hydrogen fuel cell backups to power the prototype facility. Furthermore, the National University of Singapore will be deploying their patented high performance-cum-efficiency oblique-fin liquid and two-phase cooling technology, specifically designed for high-performance computing servers in data centres. According to an associate professor at the university, this novel technology can reduce power consumption by about 40 - 50 %.
Overall, if the concept proves successful, the “Green Modular Data Centre System” could save 0.2 MW of power, which is roughly equivalent to a carbon footprint reduction of 700 tonnes of CO2 per year. This collaboration is a significant step towards finding sustainable solutions to meet the growing needs of Singapore’s digital economic development as well as the energy goals set out in the Singapore Green Plan 2030.