Digital Realty saves 1.24 mil litres of water monthly with new water conservation technology at Singapore data centre

Aug 28, 2023
Digital Realty saves 1.24 mil litres of water monthly with new water conservation technology at Singapore data centre

Nicole Lim  | The Edge Singapore • Mon, Aug 07, 2023 • 11:23 AM GMT+08 • 3 min read


Digital Realty employs a process known as DCI electrolysis, which reuses the water that cools its data centres.


Global developer, owner and manager of data centres, Digital Realty, has launched a new water conservation technology in its SIN10 data centre, as part of its efforts to operate more sustainably. SIN10 is one of three data centres operated by Digital Realty in Singapore, which is the sponsor of Digital Core REIT.


Digital Realty says it intends to extend this technology to its two other data centres here. According to an Aug 3 announcement, the new cooling tower initiative allows for a pool of water to be used two additional times before it is discharged as wastewater.


This is possible through a process known as DCI electrolysis, resulting in 1.24 million litres of water saved monthly, says Digital Realty.


The Texas-headquartered Digital Realty has been using this technology since February, which has reduced its monthly blow-down water discharge at SIN10 by 90%.


Water usage efficiency (WUE), a metric that denotes how efficiently water is used at data centres, has improved by 15% at SIN10. Digital Realty says that this has bested the Singapore Public Utilities Board’s industry benchmark of 2.6 Cu.m/MWh for data centres by 30%.


Data centres are known to be big guzzlers of energy and water in order to operate their servers, which emit a lot of heat, and to subsequently take that heat away. A report by Smart Water Magazine found that a 1 megawatt (MW) data centre using a traditional cooling process can potentially use approximately 25.5 million litres of water each year. Digital Realty’s SIN10 has a capacity of 24MW.


Meanwhile, Singapore’s business sector currently uses 55% of the nation’s overall water supply, and this figure is projected to increase to 70% by 2060.


In June, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) released its sustainability standard for data centres operating in tropical climates to operate at higher temperatures of 26°C and above. The IMDA says a typical data centre that operates at 22°C and below has cooling systems that account for up to 40% of total energy consumption.


“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,” says Jon Curry, Vice President Operations APAC, Digital Realty.


Digital Core REIT, which listed on the Singapore Exchange in December 2021, has a portfolio of 13 properties located in the US, Canada and Germany.