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Bringing Critical Leak Detection Solutions to Tropical Climate Data Center Research



Many data centers around the world are constructed in cold climates. Using existing cold, dry air to cool data center IT is a great way to manage energy costs and support the efficiency of cooling systems. 

For the same reasons, building data centers in tropical climates can be difficult—these environments can bring high energy costs, higher carbon emissions and reliability issues introduced by hot, humid climates.  

However, the expanding demand for data worldwide is bringing economic growth for the industry, and businesses in tropical climates want to be able to take advantage of these opportunities. 


Discovering New Data Center Technologies

The Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed (STDCT) at the National University of Singapore is a research and development program created to develop and test technologies for efficient and sustainable data centers in tropical regions. This full-scale data center facility will bring together researchers and business partners from many companies to develop and demonstrate best-in-class technologies in this unique application.  

The STDCT was launched in late 2023, and the event was graced by Minister of State for Trade and Industry Mr. Alvin Tan as the guest of honor.  

“[STDCT supports] Singapore’s efforts in cutting-edge research on data center innovation, and in growing data centers in a manner that is sustainable and aligned with our climate change commitments,” he said. “In the long-term, the facility will also be a platform for other universities and companies to validate new DC solutions. This will enable the industry to have wider adoption of best practices for sustainable tropical DCs.”

The STDCT aims to demonstrate a reduction in energy consumption of 40 percent, a reduction in water usage by 30-40 percent and a reduction in carbon emissions by about 40 percent by mid-2024. Additionally, it is seeking to use a combination of air and liquid cooling to achieve power usage effectiveness of less than 1.2 for the facility. With these learnings, the STDCT plans to publish a white paper of recommendations for optimum data center design.  

Leak Detection in a Critical Environment

nVent is the leak detection provider for the STDCT collaboration. For any data center, leak detection plays a key role. Because operations can be easily disrupted by liquid coming into contact with electronics, immediately identifying, locating and isolating leaks is essential for data centers. Monitoring of the facility’s water supply and coolant liquid lines, as well as other locations throughout a facility that may be susceptible to leaks or condensation, is critical. In tropical climates, leak detection is even more important due to the high humidity.  

STDCT is equipped with two different nVent RAYCHEM TraceTek leak detection products. The first, the TT1000 Water Sensing Cable, is a modular, fixed-length water sensing cable with plastic connectors that allow for the connection of multiple lengths of cable to fit customers’ exact needs. The TT1000 is intended for leak detection under raised floors, in mechanical rooms and similar flat surface areas. It detects the presence of water at any point along its length. When it is installed with an alarm and locating module, the cable senses liquid leaks, triggers an alarm and pinpoints location for quick remediation.

The second product, the TT1100-OHP, is similar but customized for a different application. This leak detection cable is used on the bottom side of suspended or rack mounted pipes, instead of under floors and on flat surfaces. The outer layer of this cable is designed to act like a wick so that even small leaks are drawn into contact with the cable to assure detection. Hence, it is suitable for applications where even small amounts of water can do critical damage.  

The Future of Data Centers

Data centers need to be efficient, sustainable, and located around the globe. The innovations of the STDCT will be important for the continued growth of data centers in tropical climates. nVent is excited to be a part of this important partnership, working with our industry peers to develop technologies with the potential to shape the future of data centers.  


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