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TELECOM & INTERNET, UTILITIES | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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HDB eyes AI-powered energy system in Tengah

A study will be conducted in the town for a year starting July.

The Housing & Development Board (HDB) inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with SP Group to study the potential of developing Tengah into a first-of-its-kind Smart Energy Town.

According to an announcement, the project involves developing and test-bedding a centralised energy software system, akin to a ‘brain’ that will collect, process, analyse, and learn data on energy consumption at the town, neighbourhood, and apartment-levels. The study, which will enable a more efficient and sustainable model of energy management, will be conducted over a one-year period from July 2018.

The system, called the Smart Energy Concierge, will be powered by artificial intelligence and designed to be connected to the energy grid, energy storage systems and solar photovoltaic (PV) generators. It will be programmed to identify patterns and anomalies in energy flow to minimise disruption to services, channel energy to optimise energy use and promote greater conservation of energy.

HDB said that as an example, the system could be programmed to detect power failures occurring in residential blocks, street lamps, or traffic lights, and to channel energy from other sources such as the grid, energy storage systems or solar PV generators, to the affected site, thus minimising disruption of services to residents.

As part of the collaboration, an Energy Concierge App will be developed to tap on the artificial intelligence of the Smart Energy Concierge software, opening up the potential for innovative services to be created for residents. Through the app, Tengah residents will be able to view their energy consumption rates, pay utility bills, and subscribe to products and services.

They will also be able to access charging points for their Electric Vehicles (EV).

HDB will also work with SP Group to explore the development of a Centralised Cooling System in a housing development. This will offer residents the option of subscribing to the service, as a more energy-efficient solution compared to conventional air-conditioning systems.

Meanwhile, HDB also signed an agreement with Robin Village Development Pte Ltd to conduct a three-year research into the use of 3D concrete printing for the production of unique architectural forms. The research collaboration, costing an estimated $3m, will look into developing digital fabrication technologies through the creation of a 3D concrete printer.

“If proven successful, it will offer more design options for HDB developments, and expand the capabilities in the construction industry. In addition, it will raise construction productivity, and reduce the dependency on conventional precast fabrication workers, thus addressing potential labour shortages,” HDB said.

HDB signed another agreement that will allow it to explore the use of its floating modular system to hold solar panels in open sea conditions, after implementing its invention in Punggol Waterway in 2011 for a floating wetland system. 

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