Hitachi has been working with Singapore research company A*Star’s Experimental Power Grid Centre (EPGC) testing the CHP control systems on a newly completed combined heat and power pilot plant on Jurong Island, Singapore, which will harness waste heat, and convert it to energy to power air conditioning. The plant marks the successful completion of a milestone in the three-year research collaboration project between EPGC and Hitachi.
CHP systems are not widely adopted in Singapore, the country relying instead on imported oil for electricity generation. But with building services accounting for up to 54% of the total electricity consumption in commercial buildings, there is a need for an energy efficient system that decreases reliance on fossil fuels, and reduces CO2 emissions. This is seen as crucial as it is estimated that buildings will account for almost 14% of Singapore’s carbon emissions by 2020.
The advanced CHP pilot plant will enhance a building’s efficiency and sustainability as it explores the integration and control of two systems: utilising existing embedded generation from smaller generators or renewable energy sources and using excess heat from generators, normally discharged into the environment, for heating and cooling purposes in air conditioning.
EPGC and Hitachi estimate an increase in energy efficiency from 36 percent with just a generator, to 52 percent with the implementation of this integrated system.
The simulation software developed in this project can simulate various building system configurations. This enables consultants to implement the best control strategy resulting in optimal performance, thus improving energy savings even before a building is built.
Kunizo Sakai, vice president and executive officer and president and ceo of Hitachi’s Infrastructure Systems Company said, “Coupled with Hitachi’s expertise in optimised energy-saving air conditioning control technologies and EPGC’s microgrid technologies, we are sure that the pilot plant will create new cutting-edge and valuable technologies for buildings, factories and community. We will commercialise the CHP control systems in 2015 based on the results obtained through this joint research and provide solutions of increasing energy-efficiency and reducing carbon dioxide emissions with lower cost for buildings and factories, primarily in Asia.”
The CHP pilot plant will function as a platform for experimental support to explore new research ideas for potential energy savings benefits, and study the feasibility of robust energy management and control system under various weather conditions, for greener buildings in Singapore.