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“Green” data centres receive r&d funding

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UK/MALAYSIA: A joint UK and Malaysian consortium has been awarded a Newton Fund grant to develop the next generation of green data centres.

The award forms part of an investment of up to £14.4m in collaborative research and development in the region.

With the internet becoming more essential to the functioning of everyday life, data centres are key to handling the increasing global capacity requirement. However, they are also large consumers of energy, with their cooling requirement accounting for up to 50% of the total energy used in the facility. 

This project, which brings together innovative technologies developed in Malaysia and the UK, aims to improve the sustainability of date centres, by changing the way they are cooled. It is hoped that the research could reduce energy consumption by up to 50%, improve energy security and reduce localised emissions caused by diesel powered backup generators.

The consortium is made up of Dearman, the Dearman engine technology company, Malaysian company Green Data Center LLP, the UK’s Heriot-Watt University and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

As part of the project,  a “next generation” data centre will be established in the Klang Valley in Malaysia. It will incorporate cutting-edge liquid submersion cooling technologies introduced by Green Data Center alongside a Dearman Engine, which will harness expansion of liquid nitrogen to provide zero-emission back up power and cooling.

Heriot-Watt University will provide systems integration and sustainability analysis to ensure that the technologies deliver maximum environmental benefit in addressing a critical socio-economic urban development challenge.

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Universiti Teknologi Malaysia will support the project by developing a sustainable computing model to assist the management of the technology.

The project has been awarded backing from the UK’s Newton Fund, which aims to use science and innovation to promote economic development and social welfare to address the well-being of communities.

Launched in 2014, the Newton Fund is part of the UK‘s official development assistance. It now has a total UK investment of £735m to 2021, with partner countries providing matched resources within the fund.

“This project, which brings together world class innovation from the UK and Malaysia, has the potential to revolutionise the way that data centres are cooled and therefore the energy they require,” commented Toby Peters, founder and CEO of Dearman. “The research could represent an important step towards making the digital world a much greener place to interact, to share information and to do business.”

“We believe next generation data centres should be energy rational, low cost and ultra-dependable.” pointed out Matthew Rajendra, CEO and founder of Green Data Center LLP.

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