AirTrunk is building a 300MW data centre in Tokyo
Australian data centre operator is building the largest data centre in APAC outside of China. , the company’s new facility in the Inzai district of Tokyo will have a capacity in excess of 300MW of IT load upon completion.
AirTrunk, which currently operates two data centres in Sydney, Australia, and one in Melbourne, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo, has revealed that the first phase of its second Tokyo data centre, TOK1, will come online in late 2021 and have an initial capacity of around 60MW.
The facility will almost double AirTrunk’s global IT load footprint, bringing its total capacity to 750MW.
A 3D render of the proposed AirtTrunk TOK1 facility - Image Courtesy of AirTrunk
TOK1 is reportedly being built in response to Japan’s burgeoning cloud industry.
“Japan is a highly developed market with strong international connectivity, underpinning its position as a technology and data centre hub in Asia. The rapid increase of cloud adoption in Japan will be enabled by critical infrastructure, including hyperscale data centres like TOK1,” said .
“TOK1 is part of our ongoing commitment to deliver secure, reliable, scalable, and cost-effective infrastructure for our cloud customers in key Asia-Pacific markets. We’re ensuring operational excellence and a consistent experience for our customers across our data centre platform.”
The TOK1 facility will comprise seven individual buildings spread across a 13 hectare site. Japanese construction firm Daiwa House has been hired as the general contractor on the project, which AirTrunk says will bring significant investment and hundreds of jobs to the Inzai local economy.
, said: “AirTrunk’s unique construction methodologies, safety track record, and commitment to providing an efficient and sustainable digital ecosystem will be key to our success in Japan. We look forward to working with our partners to deliver this enormous data centre in Inzai.”
AirTrunk was founded in 2015. In the first half of 2020, a consortium of investors led by Asia Infrastructure Fund 2 (MAIF2) acquired an 88% majority stake in AirTrunk, and is reportedly supplying the capital stake for the ongoing expansion of its data centre footprint in APAC.
NUS and NTU launch cooling project for tropical data centres
The National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), have announced a project in an attempt to source and develop new cooling solutions for data centres located in tropical areas. According to the companies, the programme costs S$23mn (US$17.1mn) and plans to research, build and test innovative and sustainable cooling solutions.
The Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed (STDCT)
The NUS and NTU say that the Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed (STDCT) will act as a research point and innovation hub for the project. Facebook, along with the National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF), is also involved, providing funding for the programme. Further support from other partners includes the Infocomm Media Development Authority, Ascenix, CoolestDC Keppel Data Centres, Red Dot Analytics, and New Media Express.
Commenting on working with the companies, Facebook Vice President of Infrastructure, Alex Johnson, said: “We are excited about the opportunity to partner NUS, NTU, Keppel Data Centres and the CoolestSG community to develop innovative solutions that reduce the carbon footprint and energy consumption of the average data centre, particularly those located in tropical areas like Singapore”.
The NTU and NUS highlight that Singapore houses 60% of Southeast Asia’s total data centre market, and aims to supply 12% of the country’s total energy needs by 2030. This results in the need to reduce the carbon footprints and power consumption of data centres, meaning more innovative cooling solutions are required, the NTU and NUS said.
Professor Chen Thuan, Deputy President of Research & Technology at the NUS, said: “Data centres are a critical enabler of the digital economy, but the average data centre can exert a significant environmental burden. Aligned with RIE 2025, sustainability is a key research focus of NUS, and our researchers have deep expertise in developing integrated solutions for tropical, urban and Asian settings”.
How will the Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed (STDCT) help to provide cooling solutions?
According to the NUS and NTU, the STDCT will be built using equipment such as a novel desiccant-coated heat exchanger and a StatePoint Liquid Cooling System (SPLC) designed by both Nortek Air Solutions and Facebook. The institutions also say they will adopt chip-level hybrid cooling to ensure servers remain cool.
Furthermore, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) will aim to manage the “smart operations” of the technologies so that the data centres are water and power efficient, as well as able to preserve equipment and servers.
The NTU and NSU said in a joint statement the combination of the cooling technologies could reduce energy consumption “significantly” and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25%, compared to traditional air-cooled data centres. If adopted industry-wide across the entire tropical region, the energy usage of the data centre industry could potentially be lowered by at least 40%”, the companies said.
The STDCT is expected to be operational by 1 October 2021.