KT opens power management data centre in Uzbekistan
Korea’s largest telecom company, KT, has completed production of a new central power control data centre in the Uzbekistani capital of Tashkent. If the project proves successful, it could mark the mobile operator and telecommunications firm’s entrance into other regional markets.
Announced on Monday, the data centre will serve as a monitoring and control station for Tashkent’s power grid, as well as networks throughout the country. Dubbed the KT Central AMI System (CAS) and the National Integrated Data Center, it is the first stage of a wide-reaching project to implement IoT smart meter technology in more than 8mn homes throughout the capital.
Currently, electricity consumption is largely managed and monitored by electric company officials, who visit individual houses to read a conventional meter system. The installation of 8mn IoT smart meters over the coming year will allow the new data centre to remotely monitor and optimise the consumption using AI.
"Using the KT CAS platform and national integrated data centre, it is possible to remotely control the power supply according to the customer's bill payment and to take quick action in case of a loss of power in a particular section of the grid,” another KT official added at the event [translation of the original Korean].
KT will oversee the operation of the data centre for the next two years, before transferring control to an Uzbekistani organisation.
This project is the first of several being explored by KT in the country. , the company announced that it had entered into a joint venture with IGIS Asset Management - one of Seoul’s largest real estate firms - to explore new opportunities for data centre expansion in Uzbekistan and other countries throughout the CIS region.
"We are grateful for the successful establishment of the CAS Data Center based on our partnership with KT," Ulugbek Mustafayev, chairman of Uzbekenergo’s board. "We want to work with KT to jointly advance into other CIS countries such as Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan."
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.