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Location Singapore. Green pin on the map.Singapore has continued its drive towards becoming the worlds’ smartest nation by announcing trials for a Tropical Data Centre (TDC), which could potentially reduce energy consumption in data centres by up to 40%.

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the government body responsible for the development and growth of the infocomm sector, will conduct the PoC with the aim of creating a data centre which can operate in up to 38 degrees Celsius, and humidity levels of up to 90%. Data centres are generally cooled to temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius, and operate efficiently in humidity of between 50-60%. The PoC will be conducted with simulated data, creating various different ‘live’ conditions such as peak surges or transferring of data.

The trial is part of the IDA’s Green Data Centre Programme which was launched in 2014 and aims to create a more energy efficient data centre, as well as guidelines for more sustainable computing, through the implementation of emerging technologies. Partners of the programme include Dell, ERS, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, Intel, Keppel Data Centres, The Green Grid, and Nanyang Technological University.

“With Singapore’s continued growth as a premium hub for data centres, we want to develop new technologies and standards that allow us to operate advanced data centres in the most energy efficient way in a tropical climate,” said Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive of the IDA. “New ideas and approaches, such as raising either the ambient temperature or humidity, will be tested to see if these can greatly increase our energy efficiency, with insignificant impact on the critical data centre operations.

“To create new value in our Smart Nation journey, we need to embrace an attitude of experimentation, to be willing to develop new ideas together, and test the feasibility of progressive and positive technological advancements that has a good possibility to enhance our industry’s competitiveness.”

The IDA has run a number of initiatives over recent years in its quest for Singapore to be named as the world’s first ‘Smart Nation’. The country already received an impressive number of accolades including world’s fastest broadband nation by Ookla and the top and fastest-changing digital economy, according to Tufts University. Singapore is currently being impacted by a number of global trends including population growth, emissions and mobility, which are driving the efforts towards a smart nation.

Singapore is one of the most densely populated nations in the world, with nearly 8,000 people per square kilometre, with these number expected to rise. This is having a substantial impact on the emission levels, traffic, mobility, employment and energy demands on the city state. Singapore’s response has been to create a nation state which is driven by big data and analytics technologies, and next-generation connected and sensor networks. The new initiatives have seemingly had a positive impact on innovation within the city as the number of start-ups has increased from 24,000 in 2005, to 55,000 in 2014.

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