Project to halve energy consumption in rapidly growing Data Centre sector



Heriot-Watt is a key player in a project designed to cut energy consumption in the rapidly growing global Data Centre sector.

Addressing sustainable development goals and creating new market opportunities in green data centres worldwide.
Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer

There are already around eight million private and commercial DCs globally, with the digital world predicted to grow 44 times between 2009 and 2020. Over half the electricity consumed by these Centres is for cooling and the newly announced joint project brings together innovative technologies developed in Malaysia and the UK, aiming to improve the sustainability of date centres by changing the way they are cooled. It is hoped that the project could reduce their energy consumption by up to 50%, improve energy security and reduce localised emissions caused by diesel powered backup generators. 

The project, backed by a Newton Fund grant, will involve Heriot-Watt scientists using their process integration skills to combine two existing technologies. The consortium is made up of Dearman, the clean cold technology company, Green Data Center LLP, Heriot-Watt University and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. 

As part of the project, an innovative 'next generation green data centre' will be established in the Klang Valley (Malaysia). It will feature 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.

Systems integration and sustainability

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

Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Director of Heriot-Watt's Energy Academy, said,  “This is a very exciting multidisciplinary project that will have a demonstrable impact in addressing sustainable development goals and creating new market opportunities in green data centres worldwide.”