Facebook’s Singapore data centre to be cooled without refrigerants

The 170,000-square-metre data centre will also use renewable energy.

Planned Facebook Singapore data centre. Photo credit: Facebook

On 5 September, social media giant Facebook announced it will open a new 170,000 m2 data centre in Singapore using a cooling system with no refrigerants, manufactured by U.S.-based Nortekair.

The data center is the first to incorporate Nortekair’s StatePoint Liquid Cooling (SPLC) system, according to Facebook, which minimises water and power consumption and can reduce the amount of peak water used by 20% in warm climates like Singapore’s compared with similar technology.

The evaporative cooling system works by “indirect air-liquid-air cooling with a liquid-to-air heat exchanger that cools water by having the water evaporate through a membrane separation layer that prevents cross-contamination between the water and air streams,” Nortek explains.

Then “it captures the cooling developed directly in the water circuit as well as in the air flow, operating in multiple modes to minimise water and power consumption,” the company states.

The system also contains a pre-cooling coil that has the added benefit of maintaining cool temperatures In warm climates without needing a condenser.

“We expect the new facility, like all our data centres, to be powered by 100% renewable energy, and we are currently working to increase the development of new solar resources in Singapore,” Facebook announced on its social media platform.

A perforated lightweight material that allows air to flow inside will also improve cooling the space inside the Facebook building.

The whole project, Facebook estimates, will costs $1.2 bn (€0.76 bn). “This data centre, and the hardware inside, will help people stay connected with friends and family, discover what’s happening in the world, and share and express what matters to them. And we are thrilled to be building it here in Singapore,” Facebook says.

Related news: