Digital Innovations at the Heart of Sustainable Smart Cities

SP Group showcased the latest digital technologies and integrated sustainable energy solutions that are powering Singapore’s smart energy town at Tengah. Kheng Hiang reports.

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Energy innovators and industry experts convened at SIEW Energy Insights on 28 October to turn new ideas into reality. The virtual event opened with the Welcome Remarks from Mr Richard Lim, Chairman of the Energy Market Authority (EMA) of Singapore.

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Mr Lim expressed optimism for the energy sector, with the COVID-19 crisis providing the added impetus to accelerate our transition to a more secure and sustainable future when the global economy recovers.

Digital solutions and energy innovations showcased at Tengah

In the following session, Mr S Harsha, Managing Director, Sustainable Energy Solutions and project director for Tengah development at SP Group, showcased the energy innovations and digital solutions powering Singapore's smart energy town at Tengah.

Tengah will be supported by digital technologies, interconnected energy-efficient cooling systems and integrated sustainable energy solutions.

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In partnership with the Housing & Development Board (HDB) of Singapore, SP Group will be operating the underground centralised cooling system (CCS) in Tengah. To meet the cooling demands of the residential estate, the CCS will consist of interconnected, highly efficient modular chiller plants that are located on the rooftop of the HDB blocks. These modular chiller plants offer a plug-and-play approach to deploying CCS in Tengah at scale.

Deployed at a ratio of three chiller plants for every five blocks, they will be interconnected to offer reliability and resiliency at the network level within the precinct. Chilled water is piped to all the households, eliminating the need for compressors and hence assuaging the heat island effect.

At 38,000 refrigerant tons, Tengah’s CCS is expected to be 30% more efficient than a split unit air-con system. At the end of the day, this energy savings will translate into 25% to 30% of cost savings for residents.

Tapping into new data advances and digital technologies

SP Group plans to further integrate other data platforms and digital technologies to transform Tengah into a low carbon smart energy town. New applications such as MyTengah and OneTengah will be rolled out for residents and operators respectively.

Using MyTengah, residents will be able to monitor their utility consumption at home and be alerted of anomalies, on their smartphones. Residents can also use the app to manage their thermal comfort at home and operate the system remotely.

Leveraging non-intrusive load monitoring techniques, SP Group can monitor the health of specific appliances and recommend energy efficient products via the Home Marketplace. Residents would also be able to purchase renewable energy credits to match their energy consumption.

OneTengah is an enterprise application that allows centralised monitoring and management of the town’s energy resources, systems and IoT devices. User will have a near real-time view of all the energy systems operating in Tengah and can assess more granular information as needed.

Other sustainability features at Tengah include:

  • Up to 8MWp of Solar Photo-voltaic cells (Solar PV) and Building-Integrated Photo-voltaic cells (BIPV) across three districts. When completed, it will house the largest vertical BIPV installation in Singapore. All 6GWh of renewable energy will be used to power the CCS.
  • 15% of all parking lots will be converted to support electric vehicle charging, with potential fast charging hubs for drivers who need quick turn-around charging.
  • Battery energy storage system (BESS) in buildings to facilitate capacity management and reduce the demand on the electrical infrastructure.
  • Digital Eco Boards at each block to provide residents with updates on sustainability related information and updates.

According to SP Group, almost 98% of the households have signed up for CCS option. SP plans to use its experience with CCS in Marina Bay and Tengah as reference architecture for future towns and mixed developments.

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