Digital Realty establishes new cooling tower initiative in Singapore

Digital Realty, the world’s largest provider of cloud- and carrier-neutral data centre, colocation, and interconnection solutions, has introduced an innovative cooling tower initiative at its SIN10 data centre. This groundbreaking project aims to revolutionise water conservation and efficiency in its data centres in Singapore.

This initiative is the first-of-its-kind to be implemented in Singapore’s data centre industry. Employing a process known as DCI electrolysis, Digital Realty eliminated the use of chemicals to treat blow-down water discharge – water that is drained from cooling equipment to remove mineral build-up – from the cooling towers in its chiller systems. This allowed Digital Realty to triple the number of times the same pool of water can be used at its SIN10 cooling towers before it is discharged as wastewater, resulting in 1.24 million litres of water saved monthly.

With Singapore’s business sector currently utilising 55% of the nation’s overall water supply, and this number expected to rise to 70% by 2060, water sustainability has become a critical focus for the data centre industry in the country.

Since the implementation of DCI electrolysis, Digital Realty has achieved a remarkable 90% reduction in monthly blow-down water discharge at SIN10. Moreover, the water usage efficiency (WUE) at SIN10 has improved by 15%, surpassing the Singapore Public Utilities Board’s industry benchmark of 2.6 Cu.m/MWh for data centres by an impressive 30%.

Beyond water conservation, SIN10’s electricity requirements have come down as a result of minimal mineral build-up in the cooling towers, enabling the overall cooling system to run more effectively. The risk of polluting Singapore’s water systems is also minimised, with cleaner wastewater being discharged from the cooling towers.

Digital Realty seeks to lead the global data centre industry in sustainable environmental performance and focuses on a science-based, holistic approach to sustainability, and core to this strategy is improving resource efficiency in areas such as energy, water, waste, and carbon.

The cooling tower project showcases Digital Realty’s ongoing commitment to implementing practical, high-impact solutions that contribute to the conservation of this crucial resource on a global scale.

“Digital Realty is committed to minimising the environmental impact of data centres. This cooling tower initiative showcases how water usage can become far more efficient, and we hope this sets the standard for other data centres to follow,” said Jon Curry, Vice President Operations APAC, Digital Realty.

“The project has yielded very promising results, and we intend to extend this initiative to our other two data centres in Singapore (SIN11 and SIN12) and do our part to optimise resource use in the industry. Sustainability will always be at the core of our business as we continue working toward building and maintaining data centres that maximise our customers’ growth, while minimising our environmental impact.”

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