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KoolLogix: Helping data centres become greener

KoolLogix: Helping data centres become greener

  • 08 January 2024
  • By OCBC
  • 10 mins read

In the digital age we live in today, technology companies dominate much of the limelight. Most of us are familiar with the giant social media and e-commerce platforms we use daily. We’ve also gotten used to “smarter” everything – from our phones and coffee machines to cars and entire buildings.

The companies we work for are increasingly migrating to the cloud as they onboard new tech solutions and incorporate machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

If we think of these platforms as the face of the tech industry, data centres would be its backbone – doing the heavy lifting by collecting, storing and managing essential data – enabling the digital economy.

Insatiable demand for data centres

In 2021, the global data centre market size was valued at US$193 billion. It is estimated to nearly triple to US$554 billion by 2030. Singapore, as the top data centre market in the APAC region, is poised to benefit from this secular growth.

However, data centres require a substantial amount of energy to keep operations running smoothly. In 2020, data centres accounted for 7% of the total energy consumption in Singapore. Nearly 40% of the energy used is simply for cooling purposes.

With the rising importance and visibility of the sector, those who act the fastest and improve sustainability stand to benefit, especially as ESG impacts are top-of-mind for governments and leading companies.

Solving a “hot” problem in the tech sector

Advocating for greener solutions, Singapore-based KoolLogix helps clients in the data centre sector reduce energy consumption at the cooling level. In turn, this diminishes the overall growth in energy consumption in the data centre industry.

Co-founders KH Lee (Chairman) and Cheong Chun Keat (CEO) were initially involved in another company manufacturing server racks. Partnering with A*STAR’s Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC), they spent several years in R&D before co-developing KoolLogix’s gravity-based heat removal solution. Eventually, they spun off KoolLogix as a separate company focusing on their patented cooling technology.

Cooling the world’s data centres

KoolLogix’s novel heat removal solution is both space-optimising and more reliable. Based on the thermosiphon, it requires no pumps and has no water risk to the data hall.

Improving operational returns of a data centre, cost savings on electrical bills can be between 50% to 80% compared to conventional Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) systems. As energy prices continue to rise today, the actual monetary value of savings increases too.

KoolLogix’s more efficient system translates into close to 40% reduction in carbon emissions and helps firms achieve their business and ESG goals.

The combination of these benefits has not only attracted a multitude of customers but also aided KoolLogix in securing numerous awards along the journey.

Continual innovation for sustainable solutions

In the pursuit of making data centres environmentally friendly, the KoolLogix team drew inspiration from nature itself, specifically the earth’s water cycle.

Their targeted heat removal system, inspired by this natural process, yields a smaller carbon footprint. Without the requirement for a raised flooring in the CRAC system, KoolLogix’s solution enables data centres to accommodate 30% more server racks.

Not only is this solution environmentally friendly, but the design of their modular heat removal system allows for scalability, plug and play as well as high levels of sustainability. This also enables data centres to improve space utilisation.

For example, KoolLogix helped a client transform an existing office space into a fully functional data centre suite. Housed in an office space location, the data centre would have had limited access to power and limited floor space to work with. KoolLogix retrofitted the entire system. Its heat removal solutions not only increased efficiency but also maximised floor space utilisation.

The co-founding team has undergone various layers of research and development to refine their solutions since first conceptualising it in 2012. Doing this is costly, but it results in benefits that will take years to materialise. A partner and enabler for data centres in their sustainability journey, KoolLogix tapped Enterprise Singapore’s EFS Green Scheme. This is guided by their OCBC relationship manager, who specialises in supporting the growth of serial entrepreneurs.

Its greener thermal management solution for data centres is currently being deployed at various data centres in Singapore, including the National Super Computer Centre Singapore, SP Group, OCBC and ST Engineering. With substantial investments being made in the digital infrastructure of Southeast Asia, KoolLogix is setting its sights on expanding into this emerging market, bolstered by its proven success in Singapore.

Embracing opportunities amid challenges

Recognising the flourishing potential in the data centre space and the imperative for sustainable solutions, KoolLogix consistently seeks opportunities for expansion.

As soon as the circuit breaker was enforced in 2020, many companies were either forced to pivot or diversify into digital operations. Not only would their customers be on digital platforms and require digital solutions, but they would also have to manage their teams remotely.

This need for digitalisation amplified the need for data centres, which required even more power. In turn, data centres required more cooling solutions. KoolLogix’s solution was in greater demand as it helped data centres save space when enlarging capacity, while also reducing carbon footprint and cost at the same time.

A commitment to environmental, social and governance goals

Beyond doing well and addressing immediate industry needs, KoolLogix zeroed in on the opportunity to help data centres and their clients achieve their ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) goals.

KoolLogix’s environmentally friendly and sustainable solution has lived up to the judging criteria at the Emerging Enterprise Awards in 2021 – where it won the Sustainability Award. The award recognises emerging enterprises that serve the underserved, and create greater good for the community, environment and society. This gave the KoolLogix team a vote of confidence to continue carrying out the work they do.

According to CEO Cheong Chun Keat, such awards “put the company on the map” as it demonstrates the capabilities of a mid-sized Singaporean company in developing a world-class sustainable solution to address the growing demand for greener solutions and cooling needs of data. Its ESG-focused solutions and novel patented technology create a barrier of entry for competitors as it expands into the Southeast Asian data centre market.

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