Oct 13, 2020

Ark Data Centres buys 92,000 sq ft property from Renault

Data Centres
Harry Menear
2 min
Renault’s West London location will be converted into a state-of-the-art data centre powered entirely by renewable energy
Renault’s West London location will be converted into a state-of-the-art data centre powered entirely by renewable energy...

London-based data centre operator Ark Data Centres has purchased a 92,00 square metre property located on Western Avenue, Park Royal in the West of London - located on the border between the boroughs of Brent and Ealing.

Ark has purchased the property for an undisclosed sum from the Renault Group, which has used the West London location as an office, workshop and retail location since the 1930’s. Ark has announced that it intends to develop the property into a state-of-the-art data centre with an emphasis on sustainable design. 

“This new exciting acquisition of Park Royal, our third in London, not only supports Ark’s own sustainability commitments but also empowers the customers we serve by helping them to honour their own carbon reduction goals,” commented Huw Owen, CEO of Ark Data Centres. 

The new project will be solely powered by renewable energy, feature living walls and use gas generators for its backup systems - entirely eliminating diesel. 

Own added: “Ark is delighted to have been able to acquire this site from Renault Retail Group. Our customers have an expectation for us to be both socially responsible, as well as provide best-in-class, market leading data centres in the locations where we can have the greatest impact.”

Ark already operates several data centre facilities in the greater London area: Alliance Park and Union Park are both located in West London, with the company’s Longcross and Cody Park data centres located further outside the city in Chertsey and Farnborough respectively. The company’s Meridian Park data centre is located in North London, near Enfield. Ark also has a single data centre in Wiltshire. 

The Park Royal purchase is the third acquisition for Ark in the last 12 months. The company acquired the 10 acre campus site in Longcross in December of 2019, following the acquisition of a £450mn loan the previous month. The company also recently announced its new Union Park site, which will also be entirely powered by renewable energy power purchase plans and is expected to open in the first half of 2022. 

European spending on data centres hit a total of £23.5bn in the first half of 2020, despite the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. A newly released report by Knight Frank and DC Byte identified London - as well as Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Dublin - as a “Gigawatt Market”, a location where the total computing power in the data centre industry is expected to exceed 1GW in the next three years. 

Ark has said that the Park Royal facility will begin construction in 2022, following the launch of the Union Park site. 

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Jun 21, 2021

NUS and NTU launch cooling project for tropical data centres

3 min
A project by The Nanyang Technological University and the National University of Singapore aims to find cooling solutions 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.


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