Singapore LNG Corp (SLNG), the National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) Singapore, the National University of Singapore (NUS) and state-owned consultancy Surbana Jurong (SJ) have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the development of a proof-of-value (POV) for a green modular data centre system, SLNG said on May 11.

“The collaboration is in line with the global search for sustainable solutions to meet the growing demands for data centre rack space, as Singapore accelerates its digital transformation,” SLNG said. The centre would be the first-of-its-kind in Singapore if proven feasible.

The concept is to install approximately one petaflop of NSCC’s supercomputer at the Singapore LNG terminal on Jurong Island and 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, SLNG said. If the concept proves successful, the system has the potential to save 0.2 MW of power.

“While SLNG remains committed to fulfilling and even exceeding our energy security mandate, we are also keen to do our part, especially where we can leverage on our LNG expertise and terminal infrastructure, to help catalyse new possibilities for a more sustainable energy future,” said Tan Soo Koong, CEO, SLNG.

Tan Tin Wee, CEO of NSCC said that SLNG produces a huge amount of cold energy which is partially discharged as chilled 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,” he said. “If successful, this prototype will demonstrate the value of industrial symbiosis, where one industry’s waste can be converted into another industry’s resource. By combining this with renewable energy such as solar power from photovoltaic farms, the novel concept could be a potential model for future green sustainable supercomputer data centres in Singapore.”

Additionally, NUS will contribute its expertise in liquid cooling technology for the POV, and Surbana Jurong will leverage its engineering design expertise in new and renewable energies, low carbon technologies, cold energy harnessing and smart grid for the project.


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