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April 2017 | MCI (P) 003/03/2017



ENVIRONMENT & WATER ENGINEERING: A TOTEX approach in water and wastewater infrastructure TRANSPORTATION ENGINEERING: LTA inks agreement with ST Kine cs to develop and trial autonomous buses ENERGY ENGINEERING: Energy storage systems for u lity scale solar and wind power projects in Asia


COVER STORY: 16 Increasing the recycling rate and the efficiency of waste collec on A leading private sector developer has demonstrated the benefits of the Pneuma c Waste Conveyance System in several of its projects.


ENVIRONMENT & WATER ENGINEERING: 18 A TOTEX approach in water and wastewater infrastructure The objec ve of reducing total cost can be achieved through the convergence of Informa on Technology, Opera onal Technology and Engineering Technology.

RAILWAY ENGINEERING: 20 Lean safety technology for decentralised interlocking and signalling systems It is possible to achieve maximum safety at minimum cost.


TRANSPORTATION ENGINEERING: 22 LTA inks agreement with ST Kine cs to develop and trial autonomous buses The project will involve the development of the vehicles and tes ng them under various opera onal scenarios. 24 SingPost and TUMCREATE launch trial of electric vehicle for mail delivery The environment-friendly three-wheeler will help postmen carry out their task more efficiently.


President Er. Edwin Khew Chief Editor T Bhaskaran Publica ons Manager Desmond Teo



Publica ons Execu ve Queek Jiayu Media Representa ve Mul nine Corpora on Pte Ltd sales@mul

Published by The Ins tu on of Engineers, Singapore 70 Bukit Tinggi Road Singapore 289758 Tel: 6469 5000 I Fax: 6467 1108

Editorial Panel Mr Joseph William Eades Dr Chandra Segaran Dr Ang Keng Been Mr Kenneth Cheong Mr Gary Ong

Cover designed by Irin Kuah Cover images by CDL and Envac

Design & layout by 2EZ Asia Pte Ltd Printed in Singapore

TRANSPORTATION ENGINEERING: 26 Airbus Helicopters selects SingPost as Skyways logis cs partner The objec ve of the collabora on is to develop exper se in delivering small parcels using drones in urban environments.

ENERGY ENGINEERING: 28 Energy storage systems for u lity scale solar and wind power projects in Asia The study discusses the use of ba ery storage.


34 How will power sector liberalisa on change the face of Japan’s fuel mix and corporate landscape? The effects of power market reforms, emission commitments and fuel procurement strategies are considered. 40 Singapore Interna onal Energy Week 2017 to be held in October The 10th edi on of the annual event will address the global energy landscape.



42 Ensuring cybersecurity in the industrial sector With increasing threats to informa on systems, companies need to take protec ve measures.








The Singapore Engineer is published monthly by The Ins tu on of Engineers, Singapore (IES). The publica on is distributed free-of-charge to IES members and affiliates. Views expressed in this publica on do not necessarily reflect those of the Editor or IES. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine shall be reproduced, mechanically or electronically, without the prior consent of IES. Whilst every care is taken to ensure accuracy of the content at press me, IES will not be liable for any discrepancies. Unsolicited contribu ons are welcome but their inclusion in the magazine is at the discre on of the Editor.






degree programmes had previously obtained provisional accredita on. The EAB panellists, which consisted of senior academics from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, as well as local industry leaders, assessed the degree programmes based on factors such as student learning outcomes, curriculum and teaching processes, facilities and the learning environment.

Photo: SUTD

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) has been awarded full accredita on for its Bachelor of Engineering degree programmes by the Engineering Accredita on Board (EAB).

At the same me the university’s Master of Architecture programme also received full accredita on for five years from the Board of Architects Singapore.

This is in line with SUTD’s schedule for obtaining accredita on since it began to accept students in 2012.

Professor Thomas Magnan , President of SUTD, said, “We are delighted with the posi ve feedback and recogni on given by both accredita on boards. Both of these accredita on achievements affirm our vision – providing mul -disciplinary design-centric curricula to develop technically-grounded leaders and innovators who are equipped with the necessary skills to address real-world problems.

Based on the recommenda ons of the EAB panel, students gradua ng from this year ll 2021 are now recognised as having fully-accredited qualifica ons. This accredita on is also extended to the first and second batch of students who graduated in 2015 and 2016, when the

“The accredita on assures students and industry of the high standards of an SUTD degree, and also provides us with construc ve feedback to make adjustments, so as to con nually refine and enhance the quality of our programmes.”

The programmes – Engineering Product Development, Engineering Systems and Design, and Informa on Systems Technology and Design – received full accredita on for the maximum tenure of five years.


Extensive interviews with faculty, alumni and current undergraduates were conducted to ensure the robustness of the educa onal experience. Prior to the accredita on visit, dialogues and feedback sessions were also conducted with employers of SUTD graduates to ensure that they possessed the relevant knowledge, skills and competencies required by the industry.




THROUGH INTERNET OF THINGS REVOLUTION At the 2017 edi on of IoT Asia, held between 29 and 30 March 2017, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister-in-Charge of the Smart Na on ini ave, discussed the Government’s plans to turn Singapore into a Smart Na on. A key announcement made was the GovTech (Government Technology Agency of Singapore)-NUS e-up, with plans to send over 10,000 public servants to receive data science training over the next five years to deepen their knowledge and literacy. On top of that, he also presented IoT Asia 2017’s inaugural Trailblazer Award to Ambi Labs Limited and G Element Pte Ltd. This award recognises outstanding companies who have made significant contribu ons to the region’s IoT ecosystem and community. Tanand Technology Sdn Bhd also received an honorary men on. On the exhibi on front, a endees got to discover and experience first-hand new and cu ng-edge IoT technologies and solu ons with live product demonstra ons from 100 sponsors and exhibitors from 16 countries across 8 thema c zones. IoT Asia is an annual exhibi on and conference held in Singapore and has been described as a pla orm addressing challenges and iden fying real opportuni es within the regional Internet of Things (IoT) landscape. The pace of planned IoT development and adop on connues unabated as Asia-Pacific companies are expected to pump in USD 58 billion of research and development (R&D) and spending by the year 2020 into myriad of solu ons across various industries to realise the full poten al of IoT. At the same me, Asian governments have embarked on digital and IoT-related transforma on roadmaps for their respec ve economies to be future-ready such as Singapore’s Commi ee on the Future Economy (CFE), ASEAN’s ICT Masterplan (AIM) 2020, Malaysia’s Na onal IoT Strategic Roadmap and China’s 10-year “Made in China 2025” IoT roadmap. This year’s event saw some 4,500 thought leaders, industry experts, decision-makers, leading technology companies and small media enterprises (SMEs) from over 40 countries from the EU, US, China, India, and ASEAN gather to

(From le to right) Rob van Kranenburg, Founder, The IoT Council, Belgium; Jordi Puigneró I Ferrer, Secretary for Telecommunica ons, Cybersecurity and Digital Society, Government of Catalonia, Kingdom of Spain; Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister-in-Charge of the Smart Na on ini a ve, Singapore; and Christopher Pook, Regional Director, Department for Interna onal Trade (DIT) and FCO Prosperity Network in South East Asia, Bri sh High Commission, Singapore interact during the Leaders’ Dialogue at IoT Asia 2017.

exchange views, glean fresh insights, and learn from each other on be er ways to make IoT pragma c and profitable. From established technology leaders such as Accenture, Amazon Web Services, Asavie, Avnet, Bosch So ware Innova ons, Crown Coffee, Dell EMC, Fujitsu Asia, The Open Connec vity Founda on, Sigfox and TZ Limited to emerging players in the start-up space, the par cipant mix in this year’s event was a reflec on of the diverse and inclusive nature of today’s IoT ecosystem. Mr Aloysius Arlando, Chief Execu ve Officer of SingEx Holdings, said, “IoT Asia serves to bring researchers, innovators and prac oners together to collaborate on making IoT pervasive and pragma c for businesses, socie es and economies. “In our recently conducted survey, almost 90% of companies highlighted posi ve IoT interven on or investment by their local governments, and almost all companies plan to increase their spending and involvement in IoT. This overwhelmingly underscores that corpora ons, governments and markets, are bracing themselves for the digital revolu on.” THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER April 2017




DEVELOP ROBOT TO WASH AND PAINT HIGH RISE BUILDINGS An innova ve robo c system that can clean building exteriors using water jets or give new coats of paint is now ready to serve customers in Singapore.

done by an older worker, and at the same me eliminating the risk of employees having to work at heights,” he explained.

Named OutoBot, it is co-developed by local pioneer in automated controls and biometric contactless systems ELID Technology Interna onal and Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Professor Chen I-Ming, Director of the NTU Robo c Research Centre, added that the project was an example of how the university leverages its engineering exper se to help improve produc vity and enhance worker safety, in line with the Smart Na on vision of using technology to improve lives.

Built in Singapore, the robot is touted to improve produc vity and enhance workplace safety. It needs only half the manpower to run and can work for longer hours. For example, washing or pain ng a building façade, usually requires a team of five – two on the ground and roof top, with three cleaners or painters on the gondola. In comparison, Outobot requires only two workers – one operator on the ground and one safety officer. Comprising of a robo c arm with six degrees of freedom, mounted on a specially-designed automated gondola, the robot is equipped with a camera and a spray nozzle that can shoot high-pressure water jets to clean surfaces or to spray paint. Powered by a conven onal power outlet, the robot can scan the exterior surface of a building using its camera and automa cally plot the areas to spray paint or clean while avoiding windows and other obstruc ons. It also gives a more consistent coat of paint vis-à-vis manual applica on by hand. Apart from manpower savings, Outobot can speed up both the cleaning and pain ng process by about 30 per cent since it does not need a break. The automated system also minimises wastage, saving up to 20 per cent of paint.

The joint development lead for OutoBot said, “To tackle Singapore’s manpower challenges, NTU has a strong research focus on robo cs, which is set to fill an important gap in the produc vity and automa on needs of the industry. We can now do more with less manpower.” A patent applica on has been filed for the made-in-Singapore OutoBot. It has been put through its paces at an industrial building located at Ubi, in the eastern part of Singapore, and will be deployed for an upcoming project over the next few months. It will also be tested on selected public housing blocks, in consulta on with HDB. Through the trials, HDB will work with ELID to refine or customise the robot’s design to be er suit its building designs and facades. ELID, together with NTU’s innova on and enterprise arm NTUi ve, are now in talks with other companies as well as government agencies to deploy the robot at other suitable commercial and residen al proper es.

To speed up the process at the same building, mul ple Outobots can be deployed. Mr Dennis Lim, Managing Director of ELID, was the one who came up with the idea for Outobot. It was envisaged in response to the Housing & Development Board (HDB)’s call for proposals to automate the pain ng of HDB building façades. “With Singapore’s rapidly aging workforce, we need to find ways to enable our employees to con nue contributing despite their advanced years. “Using our new robot, we have shown that a labour-intensive job can transformed into one that can be easily 06


The robot is capable of cleaning and pain ng at height, and needs only two workers to operate, as compared to a team of five in current prac ce. Photo: NTU



CREATE EASY TO OPERATE VEHICLE FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM Mo vated to reduce the incidence of vehicle fires, a group of six Ins tute of Technical Educa on (ITE) students created an electrically-operated fire-suppression system as part of their gradua on project. The system, built using parts bought off-the-shelf, enables drivers to respond to fire warnings in their vehicle by simply flicking a switch. Its component smoke detectors and dry-powder fire ex nguisher are mounted in the vehicle’s engine bay.

This was one of the highlights at a showcase of student projects held at ITE College West in March. Companies from various industry sectors were invited to a end as part of ITE’s ongoing efforts to facilitate the job-seeking process for its graduates. Scania Singapore and Caterpillar Asia also signed a collabora on agreement with ITE during the showcase.






The Singapore office of elevator and escalator manufacturer, KONE, appointed Mr Jérôme Audais as its Managing Director with effect from 1 April 2017. He succeeds Mr Anthony Tan, who will be reloca ng to Bangkok as Managing Director of KONE Thailand a er 5 years of service at the Singapore office.

Mr Jérôme Audais

Mr Audais, who has a Masters in Finance and Management from Orsay University, France, has been with KONE since 1995. His most recent posi on was the Service Equipment Business Director of KONE Asia Pacific. “Jérôme’s track record and incredibly strong knowledge and experience are vital as we con nue our ambi ous plans to grow and provide the best people flow experience for our customers in Singapore. I am confident that he will lead our KONE Singapore team to achieve greater success in the coming years,” said Execu ve Vice President of KONE Asia Pacific Axel Berkling. “On behalf of the colleagues in KONE Singapore, I would like to thank Anthony for his successful work and contribu ons in driving our development in Singapore. I am pleased that the company will con nue to benefit from Anthony’s experience in his new role.”

KONE wins order for twin tower complex in Jakarta KONE has won an order to supply 76 elevators and escalators to Indonesia1, a premium integrated mixed-use development located in the Central Business District of Jakarta, Indonesia. With 58 floors and 278 meters in height, the twin-tower complex is set to be one of the tallest buildings in Indonesia. Indonesia1 boasts a gross floor area of 2.2 million square feet and comprises mainly of offices, serviced apartments and commercial spaces. KONE will install 44 MiniSpace elevators, 14 S MonoSpace elevators, 18 TravelMaster110 escalators and a Polaris des na on control system to Indonesia1. The elevators can reach a maximum travel speeds of 8 metres per second, and all equipment will be connected to the company’s E-LinkTM monitoring system, providing real- me monitoring informa on and sta s cal performance reports. Indonesia1 is developed by PT China Sonangol Media Investment and is scheduled for comple on in 2019.








DEVELOPS NOVEL NANOFIBRE SOLUTION FOR CLEAN, FRESH AIR A research team from the Na onal University of Singapore (NUS) has successfully concocted a novel nanofibre solu on that creates thin, see-through air filters that can remove up to 90 per cent of PM2.5 par cles and achieve high air flow that is two-and-ahalf mes be er than convenonal air filters. As an added bonus, this eco-friendly air filter improves natural ligh ng and visibility while blocking harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Assistant Professor Tan Swee Ching (le ), Mr Sai Kishore Ravi (right) and their team from the Na onal

The NUS team’s air filter is University of Singapore’s Faculty of Engineering developed a novel nanofibre solu on that creates thin, seealso eco-friendly and easy to through air filters (held by Mr Sai) that can remove up to 90 per cent of PM2.5 par cles and achieve 2.5 mes be er air flow than conven onal air filters. Photo: NUS produce – simply by applying the novel nanofibre solu on onto a non-woven mesh, well as Dr Varun Kumar Singh, who was formerly with the and leaving it to dry naturally. This makes it suitable for Department. The findings of the study was recently pubapplica ons on windows and doors to improve indoor air lished in the online version of scien fic journal, Small. quality. It also has promising applica ons in respirators. Using phthalocyanine, a chemical compound commonly used in dyeing, the NUS team engineered organic molecules that could self-organise, similar to the stacking of building blocks, to form nanopar cles and subsequently, nanofibres. These nanofibres, which exist in the form of an organic solu on, easily “cling” onto the non-woven mesh when dispersed onto the material. “Air pollu on poses serious health threats. Currently, most nanofibres used in air filters are energy intensive to produce and require specialised equipment, so there is a strong need for economical and effec ve technologies for air filtra on,” explained Assistant Professor Tan Swee Ching from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, who led the research. He added that it would be en rely possible for a do-ityourself kit to be made available commercially for consumers to make air filters at home in the long run. The NUS team also comprised Mr Sai Kishore Ravi, as 10


Compared to commercial respirators, the NUS team’s novel air filter has a quality factor that is about two mes higher. It can filter up to 90 per cent of hazardous par cles that are less than 2.5 microns in size – also known as PM2.5 par cles – while maintaining air flow that is 2.5 mes be er than these respirators, resul ng in be er breathability. “High-efficiency air filters o en requires mul ple layers of microfibres or nanofibres, thus limi ng their transparency and as such, they are not suitable to be incorporated in doors and windows of buildings. While increasing filtra on efficiency will lead to a trade-off in air flow, the overall performance of our air filter is s ll be er than commercial respirators,” explained Asst Prof Tan. The NUS research team has filed a patent for this novel inven on. Moving forward, the team is looking into adding more func onali es, such as an -bacterial proper es, into the air filter. The team is also planning to work with industry partners to commercialise this new technology.




Just a few hours apart, the Airbus A319neo and Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner performed their maiden flights on 31 March 2017, with both companies congratula ng each other soon a er on social media pla orm Twi er.

haul flights. Boeing has said that the airliner has 25 per cent be er fuel economy than those it will replace. So far, the 787-10 has secured 149 orders from nine customers across the globe, including launch custom-

er Singapore Airlines, All Nippon Airways and E had Airways. The A319neo has just 55 orders, its largest customers being Colorado-based low cost carrier Fron er Airlines and Colombia’s Avianca.

The A319neo flew from Airbus’ factory in Hamburg, Germany to its headquarters in Toulouse, France, while the 787-10 departed Boeing’s North Charleston, South Carolina facility for a five-hour test flight. “Congrats @BoeingAirplanes on the #B787-10 maiden flight. With the first flight of the #A319neo earlier, it’s a great day for our industry!” tweeted Airbus. “@Airbus Thank you Airbus, & a huge congrats to you as well. We both work towards connec ng the world & are making our industry stronger,” replied Boeing. The smallest member of the A320neo (new engine op on) family; the A319neo can accommodate up to 160 passengers and is designed for shortto medium-range flights. It is capable of opera ng from airports with short runways and in condi ons such as high temperatures and al tudes. On the other hand, the 787-10 is the largest in Boeing’s latest Dreamliner series of passenger jets. It has room for 330 passengers in a two-class cabin configura on and can hold 14 per cent more seats and carry 15 per cent more cargo than its direct predecessor, the 787-9. With a range of nearly 12,000 kilometres, the 787-10 will handle ultra-long-

The Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner (top) and the Airbus A319neo (above). Photos: Boeing and Airbus





SGD 394.9 MILLION Sembcorp Industries (Sembcorp) posted a net profit of SGD 394.9 million and a turnover of SGD 7.9 billion for the 2016 fiscal year, compared to SGD 548.9 million and SGD 9.5 billion recorded in 2015. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the Group’s net profit increased 143 per cent to SGD 147.5 million, while turnover stood at SGD 2.0 billion. Contributing the most to the Group’s earnings, at SGD 348.0 million in net profit, was its Utilities business. Excluding exceptional items, the business delivered a profit growth of four per cent over 2015, driven by record earnings from its China operations. Meanwhile, the Group’s Urban Development business recorded a net profit of SGD 33.3 million, compared to SGD 33.5 million in 2015, while its Marine business recovered from a net loss of SGD 176.4 million in 2015 to post a net profit of SGD 48.3 million. Mr Tang Kin Fei, Group President & CEO of Sembcorp Industries, said, “In 2016, the Utilities business

continued to provide a strong income base as the largest profit contributor to the Group. Operations outside Singapore contributed over 60 per cent of the business’ net profit, demonstrating the success of our overseas strategy. “While the market environment is expected to remain challenging in 2017, with strong capabilities and resilient businesses, Sembcorp continues to be well-positioned for the future.” To sustain growth for its Utilities business, Sembcorp will direct its efforts towards executing long-term projects, as well as maintaining operational excellence. For its Marine business, the company indicated that the rising global demand for gas would bode well for its broad-based LNG solutions and capabilities. For Urban Development, the company is confident that its performance will improve, underpinned by land sales in its urban developments in Vietnam, China, and Indonesia.



HIMA Paul Hildebrandt GmbH has signed a global framework agreement with Mannheim-based automa on equipment manufacturer Pepperl+Fuchs GmbH. It comprises the jointly developed H-system termina on boards and associated modules from Pepperl+Fuchs, which are connected through pre-assembled system cables to the connector boards of the HIMax family. The agreement also governs uniform formal and legal aspects for all companies in the HIMA group, including warranty, liability, obsolescence management and uniform commercial condi ons. “The global framework agreement strengthens our coopera ve rela onship with Pepperl+Fuchs, and for us it is an important part of maintaining HIMA’s technology leadership in the future,” said Mr Udo Brestrich, Purchasing Manager at HIMA. To find out more, visit



FREEZING LITHIUM BATTERIES MAY MAKE THEM SAFER AND BENDABLE Dr Yang Yuan, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, Columbia University (also known as Columbia Engineering), has developed a new method that could lead to lithium batteries that are safer, have longer battery life, and are bendable, providing new possibilities such as flexible smartphones.

Schema c of ver cally aligned and connected ceramic channels for enhancing ionic conduc on.

His new technique uses ice-templatIn the le figure, ceramic par cles are randomly dispersed in the polymer matrix, where ion transport is blocked by the polymer matrix with a low conduc vity. In the right one, ver cally ing to control the structure of the aligned and connected structure facilitates ion transport, which can be realised by the icesolid electrolyte for lithium batteries templa ng method. Image: Columbia Engineering. that are used in portable electronics, electric vehicles, and grid-level enerBy using the solid electrolyte, the lithium battery’s gy storage. The study was published on 24 April 2017 negative electrode, currently a graphite layer, could be in the journal Nano Letters. replaced by lithium metal, and this could improve the Currently, liquid electrolyte is used in commercial battery’s specific energy by 60% to 70%. lithium batteries and its flammability is an issue in The team plan next to work on optimising the qualities electronic devices. In an attempt to get around this of the combined electrolyte and assembling the flexiproblem, Yang’s team explored the idea of using solid ble solid electrolyte together with battery electrodes electrolyte as a substitute for the liquid electrolyte to to construct a prototype of a full lithium battery. make all-solid-state lithium batteries. They used ice-templating to fabricate vertically aligned structures of ceramic solid electrolytes, which provide fast lithium ion pathways and are highly conductive. By cooling the aqueous solution with ceramic particles from the bottom and then letting the ice grow, the ceramic particles were pushed away and concentrated.

“This is a clever idea,” says Assistant Professor Wang Hailiang, who teaches chemistry at Yale University. “The rationally designed structure really helps enhance the performance of composite electrolyte. I think that this is a promising approach.”

A vacuum was then applied to transition the solid ice to a gas, leaving a vertically aligned structure. Finally, the ceramic structure was combined with polymer to provide mechanical support and flexibility to the electrolyte. “In portable electronic devices, as well as electric vehicles, flexible all-solid-state lithium batteries not only solve the safety issues, but they may also increase battery energy density for transportation and storage. They also show great promise in creating bendable devices,” said Dr Yang, whose research group is focused on electrochemical energy storage and conversion and thermal energy management. In addition, the researchers say, this technique could in principle improve the energy density of batteries:

Schema c of a lithium ba ery. Image: Columbia Engineering




TRAINING TALENTS FOR THE PUBLIC TRANSPORT INDUSTRY Interview with Professor Simon Yu, Programme Director, Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering (SIE), Singapore Institute of Technology Q: It is projected that over 8,000 jobs will be created in the public transport sector by 2030 in parallel with Singapore’s development. How does SIT contribute towards educating and training the workforce in this sector? A: As Singapore’s University of Applied Learning, SIT is unique in Singapore’s higher education landscape. Our pedagogy focuses on integrating work and study, while building deep links to industry, so that our students are industry-ready even before they graduate. In the area of public transport, we have recently signed an MOU with LTA and INCOSE (International Council on Systems Engineering) to promote collaboration in systems engineering education and research. LTA will work with SIT on rail systems R&D, and share domain knowledge on rail systems engineering. On the other hand, SIT will plan and deliver systems engineering training for working professionals from LTA and other transport organisations.

the challenges faced in the fast-changing economy, and develop soft skills such as innovation and the ability to think on their feet. Q: What about helping students and faculty develop a global outlook? A: A programme unique to SIT Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering is Regional Immersion in Sustainable Engineering (RISE). Participants get to visit key infrastructure facilities in the region, as well as interact with engineers, designers and operators. So far, we have organised trips to China Northern Rail, China Southern Rail, Capital Steel and Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway. In addition, our faculty members also actively engage in local and global visits to depots, conferences and workshops to share their knowledge and experiences.

To support the national SkillsFuture initiative, SIT has also established its lifelong learning unit, known as SITLEARN Professional Development, to develop industry-relevant learning experiences that help working professionals connect the dots between theory and application. Q: Can you elaborate on the training pathways available through SIT? A: To develop skilled workforce for the public transport sector, we have rolled out degree programmes in Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering (Land), Systems Engineering (ElectroMechanical Systems) as well as Telematics (Intelligent Transportation Systems Engineering) over the last few years. These degree programmes will groom students to be both practice-oriented and industry-ready. Q: How is SIT value-adding to the teaching and learning process to equip students/trainees with the necessary skillsets? A: A key feature of our Applied Learning pedagogy is the Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP), where students work in companies typically between eight to 12 months. With this extended work attachment, IWSP students can be assigned meaningful projects and make more significant contributions to the company. They also get to experience



Q: Are there any SIT-driven R&D activities to help spur improvements to our public transport systems? A: As part of our collaboration with LTA, we have embarked on two LTA-funded projects on corrosion and corrugation. Many of our students are also working on projects with public transport operators. In addition, we have set up two teaching labs on systems engineering and transportation systems within SIT. These facilitate practical teaching and learning, as well as R&D related to systems engineering, project management and transport modelling and simulation.




INCREASING THE RECYCLING RATE AND THE EFFICIENCY OF WASTE COLLECTION During the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources’ Commi ee of Supply debate in Parliament, in early March, Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, Singapore, announced measures to boost recycling rates and to make the waste collec on system more efficient. Dual chutes and recycling efforts Dr Khor said that under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint (SSB), the Government set an overall recycling target of 70%, to be achieved by 2030. Over the last few years, the overall recycling rate has been around 60%. Whilst the non-domes c sector, comprising industries and commercial premises, has achieved a recycling rate of 77%, the domes c recycling rates have stagnated at around 20%, in recent years. Therefore more needs to be done to “put recycling at the heart of our culture”. The Minister said that the infrastructure in the physical environment will be reshaped to make recycling more convenient for households, and hopes that this will help to move towards the domes c recycling target of 30%, by 2030. Since January 2014, all new HDB Build-to-Order (BTO) flats have installed recycling chutes adjacent to centralised refuse chutes at every level. Studies have shown that households living in apartments with dual chute systems recycle up to three mes more than those in apartments which do not have such facili es. Accordingly, the provision of recycling chutes will be extended to private residen al developments. Buildings taller than four storeys in all new non-landed private residen al developments will be required to install dual chutes for refuse and recyclables. This measure will apply to all new non-landed residen al development applicaons submi ed from 1 April 2018.

The Pneuma c Waste Conveyance System


with a reduc on in pest nuisance, odours and exposed waste. There is increasing adop on of the PWCS in Singapore. In the public sector, HDB piloted the PWCS at Yuhua estate in Jurong under the HDB Greenprint Programme and will be installing PWCS in new HDB areas such as Tampines North and Bidadari. Private developers, such as City Developments Limited (CDL) and CapitaLand, have done likewise. To-date, more than 100 condominium developments such as The Pale e at Pasir Ris and Sky Habitat at Bishan have installed the PWCS. Therefore, to improve The efficiency and hygiene of waste collec on, all new non-landed private residen al developments with at least 500 dwelling units will need to be installed with the PWCS. This measure will apply to all new non-landed residen al development applica ons submi ed from 1 April 2018, Dr Khor said.

In the forefront of dual chute PWCS adop on CDL has been a pioneer in the adop on of green technologies for its projects. According to Ms Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer, CDL, as part of the ‘Conserving as we Construct’ ethos implemented over two decades, the company has proac vely adopted sustainable, innova ve and produc ve methods and technologies in developing greener and more comfortable buildings. The company has been inves ng between 2% and 5% of a new development’s construc on costs on green building design and features.

The current methods of manual waste collec on in the older flats are manpower-intensive and unsustainable. Dr Khor said that, moving forward, waste collec on will be transformed through the adop on of the more efficient and manpower-light Pneuma c Waste Conveyance System (PWCS).

Following the successful adop on of the PWCS in early 2000, CDL first installed the dual chute PWCS in 2008, to encourage residents to segregate and recycle their waste.

The PWCS is an automated system which transports waste by air suc on through a network of pipes to a central collec on sta on. This reduces the reliance on manpower to collect waste. The whole system is enclosed, and residents will enjoy a more liveable environment,

The Palette condominium, developed by CDL, comprises 892 units in 12 residential blocks. Installation of the dual chute PWCS has resulted in about 31% in annual savings in the labour cost for cleaning and maintaining the entire estate.


CDL believes that the many advantages of the dual chute PWCS outweigh the construc on cost and energy usage.


Whilst wider adop on of the dual chute PWCS is in line with Singapore’s vision to be a cleaner, greener and smarter na on, Ms An believes that with all new systems, there will be a period of familiarisa on for end-users. CDL’s experience is that it is vital to engage and educate residents on proper usage of the chutes. To guide residents on proper usage, besides organising talks, signages are placed at various waste inlets, indicating the suitable sizes and types of items that should be thrown into the respec ve chutes.

• 368 Thomson • Botannia • Buckley 18 • Buckley Classique • City Square Residences • Cliveden at Grange • Cube 8 • Echelon • Gramercy Park • H2O Residences • Hundred Trees

• The Residences at W Singapore - Sentosa Cove • The Sail @ Marina Bay • The Solitaire • Tree House • Tribeca • UP @ Robertson Quay • Volari • Wilkie Studio

• Jewel @ Buangkok • Livia • Nouvel 18 • NV Residences • One Shenton • Parc Emily • St Regis Residences • The Arte • The Glyndebourne • The Oceanfront @ Sentosa Cove • The Pale e

CDL residen al projects with the dual chute PWCS

The Pale e is a luxury residen al condominium development that was completed in 2015. It comprises 12 blocks of 12-, 13- and 14-storey residen al towers, with a total of 892 apartment units. Image by CDL.




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Func oning of the dual chute PWCS system: 1A The waste is thrown into a waste inlet. 1B The system can be retrofi ed with addi onal inlets. 2 The computer-controlled evacua on takes 30 seconds. One frac on is emp ed at a me. 3 All waste is sucked out through a network of pipes at a speed of 70 km/h. 4 Fans create the vacuum that sucks the waste through to the recep on facility in the collec on sta on. 5 The waste is directed to the correct container. 6 The air is cleaned by filters before it is released.

A schema c of a dual chute PWCS used in some CDL projects such as The Pale e. Image by CDL and Envac.




A TOTEX APPROACH IN WATER AND WASTEWATER INFRASTRUCTURE by Aidan Mercer, Industry Marke ng Director, U li es and Government, Bentley Systems Engineering firms and owner-operators in water and wastewater u li es are constantly looking for be er ways to reduce the total cost of infrastructure projects. To meet this end, many are taking a TOTEX (total expenditure) approach to managing and opera ng their water and wastewater infrastructure assets.

Mr Aidan Mercer

As the demand for new infrastructure grows, owner-operators are looking to improve how they manage and mi gate the risk associated with large capital projects. To do this, water and wastewater u li es need to converge the right technology, the right policies and a new, crea ve method of interac on, in order to extend and enhance the life of an asset, with asset management at the fore of this strategic process. Connec ng IT, OT (opera onal technology), and ET (engineering technology) is now oering a poten al way of reaching this goal. A key driver enforcing a TOTEX approach in water and wastewater u li es is the non-availability of complete and accurate engineering informa on captured during CAPEX, to serve as feed for the OPEX cycle. This is important, as owner-operators require informa on from all phases of the project lifecycle to be useful in the asset management or maintenance management systems, when the asset reaches handover. In order to improve data quality and accuracy, an emergence of disrup ve technologies is helping to deliver the right informa on to the right teams, at the right me, over the en re project lifecycle.

Figure 1: Digital engineering models bring together cri cal informa on in a virtual 3D environment.

The advent of digital engineering models used during the capital phase of projects has allowed for greater leverage of asset performance modelling which has provided ways to reduce costs, improve collabora on, and enable asset op misa on for opera ons. These digital engineering models typically have not had a prominent role in opera ons, as yet. There is a huge amount of informa on related to assets that can be leveraged at dierent phases of a project, such as asset specifica ons, precise geo-coordina on, configura on management, cost informa on, detailed component informa on, and recommended maintenance and repair informa on.

The ul mate convergence of IT with OT and ET Engineering data is not the only poten al means for reducing TOTEX. As OT leverages the Industrial Internet of Things 18


Figure 2: Asset performance monitoring brings together IT and OT with Big Data analy cs.


(IIoT) with opera ng systems and sensors, to produce huge quan es of data, the need to make this data usable and secure is fast becoming mainstream, in its outreach and adop on. So far, OT data has ini ated a convergence with IT systems, which has yet to yield significant gains. At Bentley, we see the cri cal importance of leveraging the engineering data, in order to yield significant gains. Asset management systems that allow a convergence of IT, OT, and ET data will help to bridge the gap between data formats, to make infrastructure assets more powerful, eďŹƒcient, and reliable, by exploi ng the Big Data poten al. Enhanced by the power of the cloud, digital engineering models are evolving towards an upgrade to the IIoT - digital engineering tools that go beyond observing and monitoring the asset’s performance, to modelling its desired behaviour to produce be er outcomes.

Water and wastewater u li es have been a step ahead of other industries in exploi ng the poten al of ET and OT data. IIoT and supervisory control and data acquision (SCADA) so ware have had a harmonious convergence of their own in enriching the oversight value of data analy cs for treatment, distribu on, and collec on facili es. Engineering departments and the opera onal control rooms have more reason to interact than ever before, as the common goal of reducing cost and op mising their networks can be realised - in real- me. Hydraulic modelling generally has been used for longterm planning, while data from the SCADA systems are used heavily in daily opera onal decisions. Linking these two technologies has ensured barriers are removed, collabora on has improved, and data is shared for mutually beneficial reasons.

A TOTEX approach is giving rise to a new breed of digital na ves Figu 3: Asset Figure performance perf mod modelling integrates 3D inte models with IT mod and OT systems used to mon monitor asset performance. perf

Water and wastewater infrastructure professionals are well-placed to deliver against CAPEX, OPEX, and TOTEX, by keeping con nuity and enhancing collabora on through be er work processes and an ul mate convergence of IT, OT, and ET. By leveraging digital engineering models, water infrastructure professionals will act as beacons of light for other industries to follow. Its success will be driven by the mutually beneficial nature of TOTEX, with engineers and architects delivering value and creating a new genera on of digital na ves to act as flag-bearers for infrastructure improvement and asset longevity to the delight of owner-operators.

Figure 4: Users can u lise 3D meshes as an immersive environment for visual opera ons. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER April 2017



LEAN SAFETY TECHNOLOGY FOR DECENTRALISED INTERLOCKING AND SIGNALLING SYSTEMS The advantages include lower costs and greater flexibility. Railway infrastructure companies around the world face enormous cost pressures. At the same me, proprietary safety technology for interlocking, level crossings and signalling systems is frequently over-designed, adding non-safety-related func ons that increase costs. Rail companies want lean solu ons that can lower costs and sa sfy new rail systems that require more electronics, par cularly in decentralised applica ons. Lean solu ons, based on mass-produced, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) controllers such as HIMatrix and HIMax, from HIMA, cost much less than tradi onal technology and can be implemented in interlocking and signalling technology. They focus on what is important safety. According to HIMA, especially with reference to interlocking and signalling technology, COTS safety controllers have considerable advantages over proprietary systems, as the COTS controllers ensure maximum safety and make decentralised interlocking and signalling systems ‘smart’, at a rela vely low cost. At the same me, they are not burdened with all the unnecessary func ons of a central control system. HIMA


Today’s electronic interlocking systems have many funcons that are not safety-relevant but which add to the costs. Ideally, interlocking systems should be purely dedicated to se ng points and ensuring safe opera on. Their job is to detect changes in the posi on of the points and send a ‘track free/not free’ signal. This lean approach is supported by vibra on- and shock-resistant HIMatrix and HIMax COTS safety controllers. Both are approved by CENELEC for use up to SIL 4, the highest safety integrity level. Furthermore, they are designed with open interfaces and a standard opera ng system, such that rail infrastructure companies can benefit from their greater flexibility and future-proof design. Modern electronic interlocking systems developed for regional routes, in accordance with CENELEC standards EN 50126, 50128 and 50129, require programmable logic controllers which comply with the highest safety standards. HIMatrix systems All Images are suitable for applica ons that do by HIMA Paul not need redundancy, while redundant Hildebrandt GmbH. HIMax systems are suitable for use in large sta ons or traffic hubs.

HIMax controllers feature redundancy for maximum availability in rail transport.

The compact, modular HIMatrix is said to be one of the fastest safety controllers. 20

believes that with the low prices and greater flexibility, these lean solu ons will become popular in the longterm.

The lean solu on: interlocking systems based on HIMatrix and HIMax COTS safety controllers.






The bus will use a GPS system and sensors for global localisation. It will be retrofitted with sensors to scan the surroundings and determine the vehicle’s position in any environment.

The autonomous bus will be equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure capabilities to communicate seamlessly with other AVs and infrastructure. The bus will also have WiFi and 4G capabilities.

PERCEPTION SENSORS Perception sensors will provide 2D and 3D maps of the environment to allow for obstacle detection and avoidance.

Artist’s impression



Low energy consumption will be a feature of the autonomous electric bus which will be built with a full aluminium body and chassis.

Radars and Sonars will cover the area within a distance of 10m in front of the vehicle and scan the surroundings before the bus moves off. Long Range Radars are installed to detect vehicles that are up to 200m ahead. Cameras will be used to detect obstacles and supplement perception maps with environmental analysis and classification (such as road signs, traffic lights).


12m (length) x 2.55m (width) x 3m (height)

Carrying Capacity

Configurable Standard: 36 seated, 33 standing, 1 wheelchair


3-doors configuration

Maximum Operating Speed

Up to 60km/h, depending on operating scenarios

Typical Range

30 – 50km, depending on operating scenarios

ST Kine cs’ autonomous bus prototype. Image by LTA.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has signed a partnership agreement with Singapore Technologies Kine cs Ltd (ST Kine cs) to develop and trial autonomous buses. This is part of the efforts by the Commi ee on Autonomous Road Transport for Singapore (CARTS) to catalyse the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles (AVs) to enhance Singapore’s land transport system. The partnership agreement with ST Kine cs is the fourth such agreement signed by LTA and follows ongoing partnerships with the Energy Research Ins tute @ NTU (ERI@N) to develop and trial autonomous bus technology, as well as with Delphi and nuTonomy to conduct autonomous mobility-on-demand trials. The proposal from ST Kine cs, the land systems and speciality vehicles arm of ST Engineering, an integrated 22


engineering group, had been submi ed in response to LTA’s Request for Informa on on how AV technology can be harnessed as part of mobility concepts such as mobility-on-demand and autonomous buses. The Request for Informa on was issued in June 2015.

Deploying autonomous buses for public transport To encourage more people to walk, cycle and take public transport, shared transport op ons that are convenient, comfortable and efficient, have to be provided to commuters. This includes higher-capacity vehicles, such as buses, to ferry people to their des na ons in a mely manner, especially during the morning and evening peak hours. ST Kine cs’ proposal to develop and trial autonomous buses will enable LTA to determine if AV technology can meet this need.


ST Kine cs will develop the AV technologies which will be integrated into two 40-seater electric buses that can be deployed to serve fixed and scheduled services for intra- and inter-town travel in the future. To navigate autonomously, the buses will use a satellite-based Global Posi oning System (GPS) and a suite of sensors, to scan and determine their loca on and immediate surroundings. The buses will also have radars and sonars that are able to detect other vehicles and pedestrians ahead, within a distance of up to 200 m. In addi on, ST Kine cs is also working to improve the autonomous buses’ ability to navigate in heavier rain condi ons, up from the current 10 mm/h to 30 mm/h.

sity of Singapore (NUS) as well as JTC, to look at suitable trial loca ons which can poten ally include Jurong Island and NUS’ campus. The ini al tes ng will be conducted during off-peak periods at an industrial area where the road infrastructure is less complex. As the autonomous buses are gradually equipped with more advanced capabili es, they will be progressively introduced to more complex trial sites. The development and tes ng of the autonomous buses will aim to cover as many scenarios faced by bus feeder services, as possible, to deepen understanding on the current state of the technology and to prepare for eventual full-scale opera ons in the future when the technology matures. In the longer term, it is envisaged that the trial could be extended to public roads in towns, to enhance intra-town travel.

The three-and-a-half year project will see the autonomous buses being tested in various environments. LTA is working with stakeholders such as the Na onal Univer-



ST Engineering has announced several ini a ves to advance Singapore’s Smart Mobility 2030 vision of a smart transporta on network and strengthen its leadership in the development of autonomous vehicle (AV) technologies. The announcement was made during a ceremony officiated by Mr Pang Kin Keong, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Chairman, Commi ee on Autonomous Road Transport for Singapore (CARTS).

Collabora on to achieve breakthroughs Building on the group’s deep experience in robo cs and autonomous solu ons, ST Engineering launched the Singapore Autonomous Vehicles Consor um, in order to facilitate and strengthen collabora on between industry partners and Ins tutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) to develop AV standards as well as accelerate the applica on and adop on of AV technologies in Singapore. These efforts will support the development of tes ng requirements for AVs, undertaken by the Centre of Excellence for Tes ng & Research of AVs - NTU (CETRAN). Led by ST Engineering’s land systems arm, ST Kine cs, the consor um includes A*STAR’s Ins tute for Infocomm Research (I²R), Na onal University of Singapore’s (NUS) Faculty of Engineering, Singapore University of Technology & Design (SUTD), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) through the ST Engineering-NTU Corporate Lab, and Singapore Ins tute of Technology (SIT). The consor um will focus on two core areas, based on the respec ve domain exper se of its members. These are, to iden fy protocols and standards for the adop on of AVs in real-world scenarios, and to develop niche AV technologies such as automo ve cybersecurity, advanced autonomy and pla orm-agnos c AV kits, through a buildtest-deploy spiral approach. This spiral developmental approach ensures that AV technologies are tested and demonstrated at different stages of development, to reduce risk and enhance reliability and readiness for deployment.

Crea ng AV solu ons Under a partnership agreement signed with LTA to develop and trial autonomous buses, the vehicles will be powered by ST Kine cs’ AV technology and integrated with various diagnos cs, cybersecurity and localisa on technologies from the consor um partners. ST Kine cs has also announced the development of four Mobility-on-Demand-Vehicles (MODV), and will be working together with Sentosa Development Corpora on and the Ministry of Transport to deploy them for trials in Sentosa. This follows the comple on of a front-end engineering study which started in July 2016, on technical requirements such as the feasibility of routes for autonomous vehicles to navigate seamlessly around Sentosa. In early 2019, the four MODV, each with sea ng capaci es ranging from 15 to 20 passengers, will be deployed in a pilot public trial, to provide autonomous mobility-on-demand service to visitors, to serve their intra-island travel needs in Sentosa. A key feature of the trials is a pla orm-agnos c fleet management system, developed by ST Kine cs’ team of so ware engineers, that analyses passenger demand planning and op mises route management in such ride-sharing services. Visitors will be able to call for the MODV via their smartphones or informa on kiosks located across the island. Another indigenous development is in the field of ar ficial intelligence (AI), based on deep learning algorithms which will enable the MODV to learn and emulate the behaviour of an expert human driver. The development of these AV technologies will draw from ST Kine cs’ engineering exper se in developing military robo cs and systems integra on capabili es using exis ng vehicle pla orms, sensors and computers, and is expected to lead to the effec ve deployment of autonomous, commuter-friendly, mass transport modes for intra-town and first-last mile travel.




SINGPOST AND TUMCREATE LAUNCH TRIAL OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE FOR MAIL DELIVERY Singapore Post Limited (SingPost) and TUMCREATE have commenced a road trial of a prototype electric three-wheeler that is environment-friendly and features innova ons to boost mail delivery efficiency. Developed by researchers with the support of the management team at TUMCREATE, in conjunc on with SingPost, the customised vehicle will serve as a test-bed for concepts that will guide SingPost’s applica on of electric vehicle technology for postal opera ons and eCommerce logis cs. The three wheeler has been designed to streamline postal processes, improve rider experience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. SingPost currently operates a fleet of 674 petrol-driven scooters for last mile postal delivery. Of these, about half are three-wheelers which offer greater ride stability and load capacity than convenonal two-wheelers. Mr Tan Tien Po, SingPost Senior Vice President for Domes c Mail, said, “Innova on and the applica on of new technologies is how we improve SingPost’s services and meet the evolving postal needs of Singapore. We are excited to take this step forward with TUMCREATE, towards realising an urban logis cs solu on that addresses the future needs of mail and eCommerce logis cs, increasing demands for fast and flexible delivery, and the growing need for environmental sustainability”. Prof Ulf Schlichtmann, Professor at Technical University of Munich (TUM) and TUMCREATE Program Director, said, “I am really excited about this innova ve vehicle for Singapore, which our dedicated TUMCREATE team has developed in coopera on with SingPost. It has been a very rewarding collabora on, and we feel that Singapore will benefit from our research exper se which is backed up by TUM’s strong track record in vehicular technology, especially electrically powered vehicles”. The vehicle’s all-electric drive produces zero local exhaust emissions and, with rela ve simplicity and fewer moving parts compared with combus on engines, reduces maintenance costs and down me. Addi onally, it offers near-silent opera on, thus curbing noise disturbance, especially during deliveries in residen al areas. Modular ba eries, the costliest component of the vehicle, were developed by TUMCREATE, so that fleet cost may be op mised by matching ba ery capacity to the route on which the vehicle is deployed. By changing the ba ery configura on, the vehicle’s range may be configured to 35 km which is sufficient for an average mail delivery route - or 70 km which will sa sfy almost all postal delivery trips made.



Opera ng costs as well as ba ery end-of-life management may be further minimised by incorpora ng regular charging into rou ne overnight parking of postal vehicles at delivery bases, thus avoiding the ba ery degrada on caused by fast charging, and the cost of fast chargers. The vehicle features a specially designed storage system that can reduce a postman’s daily delivery rou ne, by up to 40 minutes. This is achieved through a detachable, rollable storage box that the postman may pack at his mail sor ng sta on, wheel to the vehicle, and load up on the vehicle with the help of a motorised hoist. Packing and unpacking is cut down as the postman no longer requires a separate trolley to transport mail from the sor ng sta on to his delivery vehicle. The box, at 567 litres, offers 23% more carrying capacity than those on exis ng postal scooters. This enhances delivery efficiency, especially as postal services are used increasingly for eCommerce delivery. For environmental sustainability, the sidewalls of the box are made from an advanced bamboo composite developed by advanced fibre composite material researchers under the Future Ci es Laboratory at the Singapore-ETH Centre. Bamboo is durable, grows fast and is recyclable. Manoeuvrability and stability when cornering are improved by an ar culated lt mechanism that allows the rider cabin to lean into a turn, independent of the rear cargo sec on. This increases the vehicle’s agility and reduces steering effort and counteracts cornering forces. While parked, the lt mechanism is locked, to ensure a stable posi on on three wheels, without a kickstand. The electric three-wheeler is equipped with a smart instrument cluster that includes dynamic GPS rou ng for priority deliveries and op mised delivery rou ng, fleet monitoring for data collec on and management, integrated cameras, and on-demand tracking. The trial was scheduled to take place along two delivery routes between SingPost’s Ayer Rajah Regional Delivery Base and the Na onal University of Singapore. Three SingPost postmen have been assigned to provide real-world feedback for further development, while a manufacturing partner is being sought to convert the prototype into a market-ready product.

Singapore Post Limited For over 150 years, Singapore Post (SingPost) as the country’s postal service provider, has been delivering trusted and reliable services to homes and businesses in Singapore.


Today, SingPost is pioneering and leading in eCommerce logis cs as well as providing innova ve mail and logis cs solu ons in Singapore and around the world, with operaons in 19 markets. Building on its trusted communica ons through domes c and interna onal postal services, SingPost is taking the lead in end-to-end integrated and digital mail solu ons. The suite of SingPost eCommerce logis cs solu ons includes front end web management, warehousing and fulfilment, last mile delivery and interna onal freight forwarding. SingPost has been listed on the Main Board of the Singapore Exchange since 2003.

TUMCREATE TUMCREATE is a research pla orm for the improvement of Singapore’s public transporta on, which includes the deployment of electric and autonomous mobility. Researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) join forces and are supported by the Na onal Research Founda on (NRF) as part of the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE). TUMCREATE is made up of over 100 scien sts, researchers and engineers led by professors from TUM and NTU. More informa on can be obtained from

CREATE CREATE is an interna onal collaboratory housing research centres set up by top universi es. At CREATE, researchers from diverse disciplines and backgrounds work closely together to perform cu ng-edge research in strategic areas of interest, for transla on into prac cal applica ons leading to posi ve economic and societal outcomes for Singapore. The research centres at CREATE focus on four areas of interdisciplinary thema c areas, namely, human systems, energy systems, environmental systems and urban systems. More informa on on the CREATE programme can be obtained from

The prototype electric three-wheeler developed by SingPost and TUMCREATE. Images by SingPost.

The postman can pack the mail into the detachable, rollable storage box, at the mail sor ng sta on, wheel the box to the vehicle and load it on the vehicle with the help of a motorised hoist. Image by TUMCREATE.





SINGPOST AS SKYWAYS LOGISTICS PARTNER Helicopters and SingPost will be developing is designed to address real-world challenges such as safe and accurate flight in high rise ci es, while mee ng the needs of customers”, said Mr Lim. “Our trial will involve SingPost’s parcel locker technology, and this MoU fits well into our long-term plans to develop future genera ons of parcel delivery points that involve drones and the ver cal dimension. Together with Airbus Helicopters’ technologists, SingPost’s engineers will be working to ensure the concept meets the future logis cs needs of urban environments like Singapore”, he added.

Mr Jean-Brice Dumont, Airbus Helicopters’ Execu ve Vice President of Engineering and Chief Technical Officer, and Mr Mervyn Lim, SingPost’s Covering Group CEO, a er signing of the MOU. Image by Airbus Helicopters.

Airbus Helicopters is collabora ng with Singapore Post (SingPost) as its logis cs partner for the innova ve Skyways parcel delivery project. The announcement was made at the inaugural Rotorcra Asia 2017 and Unmanned Systems Asia 2017 exhibi ons which were held at the Changi Exhibi on Centre, Singapore, from 18 to 20 April 2017. An MoU on the collabora on was signed by Mr JeanBrice Dumont, Airbus Helicopters’ Execu ve Vice President of Engineering and Chief Technical Officer, and Mr Mervyn Lim, SingPost’s Covering Group CEO. “Skyways was launched with the intent to provide highly efficient, reliable and seamless small parcel deliveries using drones in urban ci es. The project has been progressing well and we welcome SingPost onboard as our logis cs partner in this cri cal phase, as we work in tandem to develop a robust autonomous parcel delivery system that will revolu onise the logis cs industry”, said Mr Dumont. “A forerunner in innova on, Airbus strongly believes in improving daily lives by enhancing air mobility in urban spaces, in a safe, secure and reliable manner”, he added. “Drones and other autonomous vehicles are in the future of the logis cs industry. The demonstrator that Airbus



Skyways is an experimental project to develop a safe and economically viable aerial unmanned parcel delivery system for use in urban environments. An MoU was signed in February 2016 between Airbus Helicopters and the Civil Avia on Authority of Singapore to conduct the Skyways proof-of-concept trial. The research and development phase is now at an advanced stage, with an ini al trial phase planned at NUS, by early 2018. This will involve the transport of small packages within the university campus. Airbus Helicopters is the overall Skyways system architect and provider, contribu ng its capabili es in drone pla orms as well as its concept of future parcel delivery. This concept involves systems and structures that allow drones to land, dock with secure structures, discharge or take on payloads, and then fly off to other des na ons. As the logis cs partner for Skyways, SingPost will bring its exper se in so ware systems that control and manage delivery networks, customer-interface systems and real- me back-end links to a delivery system that serves the last mile. SingPost will also contribute its understanding of postal and eCommerce logis cs trends, to ensure the solu ons developed will address the future logis cs needs of ci es around the world. Skyways is one of a number of innova ve Urban Air Mobility projects currently being researched at Airbus, a global leader in aeronau cs, space and related services. These also include the Vahana and CityAirbus autonomous flying vehicle concepts.




ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEMS FOR UTILITY SCALE SOLAR AND WIND POWER PROJECTS IN ASIA by Na hida Jongsuwanwa ana, Nonthi Cherdsanguan and Vipant Chayavichitsilp, Mo MacDonald, Thailand In this study, Mo MacDonald describes the use of Energy Storage Systems (ESS) with ba ery storage for u lity-scale renewable power plants, in order to control the change in power output from renewable energy power plants (ie ramp rate control). The ESS is designed for a rapid response, in order to minimise the rate of change in the power genera on from solar PV and wind power plants. Ba eries are charged using a por on of the energy from the power plant, when its power output exceeds the transmission grid u lity’s requirement. When the power plant’s output is lower than the grid u lity’s requirement, the ba eries discharge power to the grid u lity.

INTRODUCTION In the Asia Pacific region, a number of countries, such as Japan, South Korea, China and Australia, have started to integrate ESS with solar PV and wind power plants, for controlling power output fluctua on, following the grid regula ons. From our regional experience, Japan has the most experience in deploying ESS alongside u lity-scale genera on, for stabilising the grid, in par cular, for the weakly interconnected Hokkaido regional grid, based on which the technology is increasingly becoming mature and the number of renewable energy power plants deploying ESS has increased. This study also provides detailed analysis on the case study of the ESS application in Hokkaido, Northern Japan - a region with dynamic weather conditions that can significantly vary the power output from solar PV plants. Given the above condition and a large portion of renewable energy power plants compared with conventional power plants, the power fluctuation control regulation of 1% of plant capacity per minute, set forth by the transmission grid utility, has been adopted for new solar PV and wind power plants in this region. Having such strict ramp rate control, together with high fluctuation on renewable resources, we consider that analysis on the lessons learnt from case studies in this region would be valuable to the rest of the Asia Pacific region. Given the nature of wind resources which significantly vary, depending on the specific loca on in a region, the consequent size of ba ery storage systems in wind power plants is extremely different, depending on the specific loca on. Therefore, this study will focus on analysis of ba ery sizing for solar PV plants. 28


This study provides lessons learnt, regarding the real- me power output fluctua on mi ga on for solar PV and wind power plants using ba ery systems. Benefits, drawbacks, and challenges on power fluctua on control using ba ery systems, system losses and key considera ons in the ESS ba ery sizing - based on Mo MacDonald’s past experience - are illustrated in this study.

ESS APPLICATION IN UTILITY-SCALE RENEWABLE ENERGY POWER PLANTS BENEFITS OF ESS IMPLEMENTATION The ESS benefits the grid system, by allowing greater control of the output from renewable power plants. In some countries, where ‘peak’ demand occurs during night me, the ESS can be used to store energy generaon from solar PV plants during day me and inject such storage energy to the distribu on system during night me. This schema c helps reduce the use of conven onal power plant such as an oil-fired peaking power plant. ESS can also be used to maximise genera on from renewable power plants, in cases where the poten al genera on temporarily exceeds the maximum export capability of a plant. The ESS can also be used for ancillary service, including voltage support, frequency control and load smoothing as well as ramp rate control, in order to maintain grid stability in spite of the varia on of solar or wind power genera on. Also, having a stable grid system enables the grid system to increase the propor on of u lity-scale solar and wind power plants.


Controlling power output fluctua on from the renewable power genera on can lower disturbances to the grid and decrease feeder tripping, which consequently decreases revenue loss. In addi on, preven ng plant down me can reduce damage in the main equipment, especially switching devices.

DRAWBACKS OF ESS IMPLEMENTATION Although the ESS benefits the grid system, in terms of addressing the intermi ency of the power supply and providing greater control of the network by providing ancillary services, integra ng the ESS significantly increases total investment cost of projects, which includes capital cost, opera on cost and maintenance costs. ESS has round trip efficiencies of typically 70% to 95% and, as such, will discharge less energy back into the system than what they absorb. As such, the ESS introduces addi onal losses to the renewable power plants and consequently reduces overall performance. Based on Mo MacDonald’s experience, the associated ESS losses can be the largest loss por on in the system. More details about energy losses associated with the ESS are discussed in a later sec on of this study. ESS use in renewable energy applica ons is mostly in the early implementa on stage and s ll requires experienced personnel, close monitoring and regular maintenance. This increases uncertain es and risks, such as system failure which can poten ally cause loss of revenue for power plants.

CHALLENGES FOR RENEWABLE POWER PROJECT DEVELOPERS Developing the system One of the challenges for renewable power project developers relates to efficient design of ba ery capacity, to cost-effec vely meet the transmission grid u lity’s requirements for maximum ramp rate. The severity of power fluctua on against grid stability depends on: 1) Severity of dynamic changes in renewable resources 2) Renewable genera on capacity share 3) Response me of the conven onal power plants to compromise such fluctua on Theore cally, these parameters shall be considered at an inter-minute me-frame. Taking the response me of the conven onal power plants as a ba ery size design criterion, it is observed that the fluctua on control in the lower resolu on, ie intra-minute me-frame (1-minute resolu on) can be used in ba ery sizing design. Given this, Mo MacDonald sees the ba ery sizing for the power fluctua on control requiring an understanding of energy resource pa erns and it is recommended that the developer base ba ery sizing on high resolu on data (ie 1-minute) of renewable resources or power output at the site loca on, wherever possible. In case of significantly dynamic varia on in outputs or a high propor on of renewable energy power plants in the grid system, the recommenda on is to accurately size the ESS, to reduce

the ramp rate in order to meet grid requirement. For u lity scale projects, Mo MacDonald sees the acquisi on of high resolu on wind data (ie wind speed and wind rose) for wind projects to be less challenging than the acquisi on of data for solar PV projects. This is due to the fact that it is standard industry prac ce for wind projects to install a meteorological mast at the project site loca on, prior to the construc on of the project. With an appropriate se ng, high-resolu on data at site can be extracted and u lised for ba ery sizing. In contrast, it is not currently general prac ce for solar PV plants to have an on-site weather sta on, in order to record high-resolu on irradiance data before the plant operaon phase. Even for countries with abundant na onal meteorological sta ons, irradia on data from such public data sources is mostly available at only an hourly, daily or monthly resolu on. This challenge can be mi gated by introducing on-site weather sta ons before the construc on phase of the power plant. Alterna vely, further na onal-level research to characterise the variability in solar resources, by region, could be carried out. Wind turbine generators have rota onal iner a, which means that there are physical restric ons on ramp rates. This is not the case for PV power sta ons. As such, the requirement for ESS for ramp rate control will be greater for solar PV generators than for wind turbine generators, for a similar change in resource availability.

Opera ng and maintaining an ESS Currently, there are a rela vely small number of projects equipped with ba ery storage systems for the purpose of power fluctua on control. Generally, most renewable power project developers are unfamiliar in designing, opera ng and maintaining a sophis cated ESS system. Some of the major considera ons in the design of the ESS are: • Required through cycle efficiency (this varies by technology). • Ba ery cell life me - which will vary by technology, use and installa on condi ons. • The design and opera on of the ba ery management system (BMS). • The design and performance requirements from the power converter systems. Apart from sizing the ESS, developers confront challenges in system integra on and performance simula on. There are many configura ons by which the ESS can be integrated into renewable power plants, depending on the type of technology used, and this certainly affects in-system losses and performance simula on of the project. Since the concept of this type of ba ery applica on is in the early stage of deployment, technical modelling is likely to have high uncertainty, which impacts financial sensi vity scenarios and return on investment. Based on Mo MacDonald’s experience, even though the EMS manufacturer will normally provide the study results of the overall system designed by the developer, THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER April 2017



regarding the poten al capability of the EMS algorithm to reduce fluctua on of power output, no EMS system supplier, so far, provides any form of guarantee on annual curtailment loss. Related challenges include uncertainty in dynamic condi ons, future data forecas ng approach, and the limita on of the EMS algorithm to handle unpredicted changes. Such circumstances certainly pose technical risks to project owners and developers. Safety is also a vital factor to be concerned about. Prevailing safety tes ng standards for ESS focus at the cell and module level, while the majority of safety standards are at the overall system level. Fire, explosion and chemical hazards could occur for large-scale ESS systems and the risk of the hazards at system level should be mi gated by proper safety management. As such, the ESS requires a regular maintenance scheme to ensure the safety and performance of the system. Fire detec on and other hazard detec on sensors must undergo regular inspec on and rou ne tes ng, to minimise the risk of safety-related incidents.

CHALLENGES FOR PROJECT LENDERS Cost-effec ve, modern ESS comprise emerging technologies and project lenders are likely to have limited experience in financing u lity-scale systems incorpora ng ESS. Therefore, the lender will need to be confident that the specific proposed ba ery storage system is economically and technically viable on a u lity scale. Efficiency, reliability and life me of the current ba ery storage systems, over a typical power project life of 20 to 25 years, have not yet been proven. Therefore, a technology review or bankability study of the ESS should be undertaken, to define the risks to project investors and lenders. Such a study would include a review of evidence regarding technology maturity (components and integrated system, including EMS), ba ery performance, ba ery degrada on, system life me and warranty package from the system suppliers.

BATTERY TECHNOLOGIES CURRENTLY USED IN THE ESS Lithium-ion ba ery technologies are increasingly becoming dominant in renewable power genera on, based on our experience, given its high efficiency (in the range of 90% - 95%), rapid response me (in the range of milliseconds), long life cycles and ease of monitoring, as well as the ability in controlling the stage of charge (SOC). These characteris cs are suitable for solar and wind power genera on, where high charge/discharge is frequently required. Other ba ery technologies such as sodium sulphur and flow ba ery technologies may also be considered, where large amounts of energy storage (>3 hours of peak power output) are required. Advanced lead acid ba ery technologies may be considered as an alterna ve to Li-ion ba eries, although these have lost market share to lithium-ion ba ery technol30


ogies, in recent years, due to environmental concerns, poor efficiency and lack of flexibility in opera on, as well as reduc ons in cost of Li-ion ba eries.

ASSOCIATED ESS LOSSES Round-trip efficiency of the ESS using ba eries is the key considera on for selec ng the ESS system, especially in a system that requires frequent charging and discharging. Losses in the ESS can be classified into three main categories, as follows: (1) Losses occurring as the electricity flows into (charging process) and out from (discharging process) the battery. This include losses from inefficiencies of ba ery and key equipment suppor ng the ESS system (such as auxiliary units, ESS inverters and transformer units) as well as cable wiring between these components. (2) Losses from dissipa on of energy while stored in the ESS (in short, due to self-discharging). (3) Losses due to the performance of the algorithm to control the charge/discharge of energy to/from the ESS (EMS-related losses).

BATTERY SIZING ANALYSIS FOR POWER FLUCTUATION CONTROL The ba ery sizing depends on characteris cs of each project, mainly including the nature of renewable resources available at the project loca on and the technology of ba ery used in the project. Dynamic weather condi ons lead to high fluctua on of the renewable energy resource (ie solar or wind), which affects the power output from renewable energy power plants, and the project requires higher ba ery capacity to control ramp rate of power output to meet a given grid integra on requirement. The grid requirements vary in different countries and u li es where the project is connected, and are expected to evolve over me. Ramp rate requirements for renewable projects, where applicable, depend on the size and magnitude of power output fluctua on that the grid system can handle, without affec ng the overall power quality or stability of the grid system. Therefore, grid systems with large propor ons of conven onal power plants are likely to have a less stringent ramp rate requirement than grid systems with lower propor ons, at the same renewable power plant capacity. In addi on, ramp rate requirements also depend on the achievable rate of change in power output from large-scale convenonal power genera on that is used to support changes in output from renewable power genera on. This sec on provides an example of an approach to ba ery sizing, using a solar PV plant in Northern Japan as a case study. Renewable energy power plants with different technologies (ie solar and wind) have different characteris cs of power output, which are related to the nature of the renewable resource and technology. However, the methodology that is required to analyse ba ery sizing is rela vely similar for both technologies. The ba ery op -


The analysis in the sec on employs both technical and financial assump ons.

TECHNICAL ASSUMPTIONS • High efficiency lithium-ion ba ery. • Ba ery installed is connected to the AC system of the genera on plant (following conversion). • Ba ery is equipped with an independent inverter-transformer package. • Changes in plant power output limited at 1% of plant AC capacity per minute. • Ba ery output always reaches ba ery rated power regardless of the state of charge (SOC) and the charging/ discharging dura on.

FINANCIAL ASSUMPTIONS The financial assump ons for this case study are based on our Asian and interna onal project experiences on solar PV and wind powe r plants with ba ery storage systems. Financial Parameters



Capital cost for Lithium ion ba ery



Capital cost of suppor ng components such as inverters, transformers, Energy management system



Ba ery replacement rate

% of installed ba ery capacity/year


Discount rate



Feed-in-Tariff for Japan



Exchange rate



Opera onal period of solar PV plant



Plant power output degrada on



It can be seen that the purpose of ba ery storage in the system is for smoothing power output throughout a day, not only opera ng during peak periods, to achieve compliance in the rate of change in power output s pulated by the grid u lity. If the rate of change of power output from the renewable power genera on project exceeds the regulated level, it is understood that the plant will be required to temporarily shut down or other financial penal es will be imposed. Such opportunity loss, referred to as curtailment loss, will occur when the ba ery size [both ba ery capacity (MW) and me capacity (h)] is insufficient to absorb high resource fluctua ons in some circumstances. The next sec on briefly describes the ba ery sizing analysis in further detail. 0.45 0.4 Power Output (MW)

misa on concepts presented in this sec on therefore are applicable for both wind and solar power plants.

0.35 0.3 0.25 0.2 0.15 0.1 0.05 0







Hour Without ESS





With ESS

Figure 1: Comparison of power output between a solar PV plant with and without ESS


Table 1: Financial assump ons

POWER FLUCTUATION CONTROL SIMULATION In order to quan fy the change in power output profile of a solar PV power plant, a one-day power output profile of a solar power plant, with and without the ESS, has been simulated for each case. With the technical assump ons specified above, the daily charge/discharge amount, and the net power output to the grid can be es mated. An example of power output with fluctua on control is presented in Figure 1. From Figure 1, the power plant with the ESS (indicated by the red line) gives a smooth increase and decrease in energy transmi ed to the grid with a fluctua on rate of less than or equal to 1% of plant capacity. In contrast, the plant without the ESS (indicated by the blue line) involves high fluctua on in power output.

Op misa on of ba ery capacity must take into account many aspects and be tailored to each par cular project, depending on characteris cs of the project and the grid u lity requirements. As men oned earlier, there are many factors that affect the ba ery sizing and hence curtailment loss. In this study, Mo MacDonald provides ranges of curtailment loss derived, based on opera ng power plants. By applying the afore-men oned assump ons, together with our in-house modelling at 1-minute resolu on power output from opera ng power plants, Mo MacDonald has performed simula ons of curtailment loss against different sizes of ba ery storage, in terms of ‘ba ery rated capacity’ and ‘maximum discharge me’. According to this case study, Mo MacDonald has simulated the curtailment loss, based on different ba ery capacity (MWh) cases, as follows: • Case 1 - Ba ery rated power (MW) is equivalent to power plant rated power (100%) • Case 2 - Ba ery rated power is 80% of power plant rated power • Case 3 - Ba ery rated power is 60% of power plant rated power • Case 4 - Ba ery rated power is 40% of power plant rated power For each case, the maximum discharge me is varied from 0.4 h to 0.6 h and 0.8 h. In total, there are therefore 12 ba ery capacity op ons considered in this analysis. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER April 2017



Percentages of curtailment loss over total power output from different ba ery capaci es are shown in Table 2.

Percentage of curtailment loss over total power output Maximum Percentage of ba ery rated capacity discharge me compared to rated plant power output of the ba ery storage Case 1 Case 2 Case 3 Case 4 (100%) (80%) (60%) (40%) 0.8h















Table 2: Percentage of curtailment loss for different ba ery capacity op ons

It is obvious that high ba ery rated capacity and maximum discharge me can significantly lower curtailment loss under the scenario considered. For various maximum discharge mes at 100% ba ery rated capacity, curtailment loss is around 0% to 9% of the project annual output. Curtailment loss increases in the range of 12% to 36% when ba ery rated capacity is reduced to 40% of plant capacity and with maximum discharge me of 0.4 h to 0.8 h. The significant difference in the curtailment loss is due to the varia on of ba ery discharge capacity and of weather condi ons in the region. However, when considering the op mal size of the ba ery system, installa on, opera on and maintenance costs also have to be considered, together with the cost of curtailment loss. The next sec on of this study describes the analysis on associated ESS cost for various ba ery capaci es, to present the financially op mal ba ery system selec on for this case study.

BATTERY SIZING - FINANCIAL ANALYSIS The op misa on of ba ery size for the purpose of power output fluctua on control needs to consider not only the technical perspec ve but also the financial perspec ve. For similar plant condi ons, a larger ba ery capacity opon, that provides greater opportunity to minimise curtailment loss from power fluctua on control regula on, will require greater associated costs when compared with a smaller ba ery capacity op on and vice versa. The undersizing /oversizing of the ESS will affect the project’s internal rate of return. To ensure that the capacity of ba eries and associated equipment is op mised for this case study project, Mo MacDonald has considered the associated costs for various ba ery sizes along with the curtailment loss in monetary units. The combina on of ba ery system cost and the loss of opportunity due to curtailment loss per unit installed ba ery capacity (MWh) reveal the representa ve expen32


ditures to be expected for the ba ery system over the project life me. Considering the overall expenditure in Net Present Value terms, a ‘Levellised ESS cost’ is used as a comparison index in this study, to jus fy the most suitable ba ery capacity op on for a project. The levellised ESS cost for the purpose of this ar cle is expressed by the following formula:

Following the afore-men oned technical and financial assump ons, the example of levellised cost of each ba ery size for a solar PV plant is summarised in Table 3. Note that the cost of opportunity loss is defined from the curtailment loss specified in the previous sec on. According to Table 3, it is clearly seen that, for this sample solar PV plant, one can expect significantly different levellised ESS cost for different ba ery power and maximum discharge me op ons. Obviously for this exercise, the 100% ba ery capacity with 0.8 h maximum discharge me, which provides the best scenario, in terms of curtailment loss minimisa on, is not the cost-effec ve choice for the developer, compared with a lower ba ery size. Even though the larger ba ery size results in lower curtailment loss, the investment and maintenance cost por ons outweigh the savings opportunity from lower curtailment loss. For this example study, the ba ery with 80% to 100% capacity and 0.4 h maximum discharge me appears to be the most desirable ba ery size for the project - with a representa ve levellised ESS cost of mUSD 0.9/MWh to mUSD 1.3/MWh. Levelised ESS cost for ba ery storage system net of curtailment loss (mUSD/MWh) for a standard ESS package* capital cost of mUSD 1.5/MWh Maximum discharge me of the ba ery storage

Percentage of ba ery rated capacity compared to rated plant power output


1.79-1.98 1.48-1.66 1.40-1.58 1.27-2.22


1.39-1.57 1.12-1.40 1.26-1.31 1.22-2.09



Case 1 (100%)

Case 2 (80%)


Case 3 (60%)

Case 4 (40%)

1.18-1.22 1.18-2.00

Table 3: Levellised ESS cost for different ba ery capacity op ons

*Standard ESS package consists of ba ery system (mUSD 1/ MWh) with standard containers, ESS inverter-transformer pack, standard Energy Management System unit (mUSD 0.5/MWh).














1.0 0.9


0.8 0.7

0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0







Figure 2: Levellised ESS cost for a solar PV plant against various ESS package cost scenarios


Due to differences in na onal grid regula ons and requirements, project-specific parameters as well as the technology basis of the project that will shape the power output pa erns to the grid system (eg solar irradiance profiles for solar projects and wind speed and wind rose in wind projects), Mo MacDonald strongly recommends that the levellised cost study be explored project-by-project, where possible, wherein the indica ve levellised cost for a project will differ from those described in this study. Lithium-ion ba ery cost is widely expected to dras cally reduce in the coming years - mainly due to con nuous technology improvement. The annual maintenance cost of ba ery mainly takes into account the cost of ba ery replacement, in order to maintain the overall ba ery capacity at the referenced level. The ba ery cost reduc on trend would be financially beneficial to all par es and hence the lithium-ion ba ery is expected to become a promising basis for ESS suppor ng the renewable power genera on market. Ba ery cost reduc on will definitely offer the opportunity for the developer to move to the larger ba ery size - increasing reliability of the project. This study provides an example of the change in levellised ESS cost for a solar PV plant against various ESS cost scenarios, as graphically illustrated in Figure 2. As expected, it is seen from this exercise that the levellised ba ery cost range for a solar PV project decreases consistently along with the reduc on in ba ery cost, ie from mUSD 1.2 /MWh to mUSD 1.3 /MWh at mUSD 1.6/ MWh ba ery cost to mUSD 0.7/MWh to mUSD 1.1/MWh at mUSD 0.6/MWh.

RECOMMENDATIONS The undersizing /oversizing of the ESS will affect the project’s internal rate of return. To ensure the op misa on of the ESS, the associated costs for various ba ery sizes along with the curtailment loss in monetary units should be considered in depth. Mo MacDonald strongly recommends that the levellised cost study be explored, project by project, where possible, wherein the indica ve levellised cost for a project will differ from those described in this study. The lack of fine resolu on meteorological and opera ng data limits analysis and simula on, resul ng in significant performance uncertainty. Addi onally, understanding of the prac cal ESS control algorithm performance when equipped with u lity-scale renewable energy genera on s ll requires study to reduce uncertainty. These issues affect both the technical and commercial risk profile of a project incorpora ng ESS. Since applica on of u lity-scale ESS occurs within a mul -disciplinary framework, strong collabora on among the grid u lity, developers, ESS manufacturers and

all relevant par es is necessary. Developers may have to share data from opera ng renewable energy power plants with or without ESS for the grid u lity, to study the effects and characteris cs of the renewable projects that influence the grid stability. Also, meteorological service providers may need a dedicated programme for collec ng high-resolu on and reliable meteorological data (ie irradia on for solar power genera on and wind speed and direc on for wind power genera on) that can be u lised in renewable energy plant design incorpora ng ESS, from the feasibility study phase. These ac vi es would further enable the grid u lity to design and manage the grid system to handle power generated from renewable sources and control overall grid stability, and to impose regula on appropriate to the new planned renewable energy power plants and the relevant weather condi ons. It should be noted that the requirement for ESS storage and ramp rate regula on can be reduced in case that the grid u lity benefits from an accurate weather forecast at the project loca on or for the broader renewable por olio on the grid system, and therefore can predict produc on to adjust genera on dispatch accordingly, for example, with a 15-minute resolu on. As an ideal case, Mo MacDonald considers individual ba ery installa on may not be the best solu on as the power outputs from various sources can balance out the fluctua ng output from renewable energy power plants. It would be more cost-effec ve to install the ESS at grid substa ons, which would allow alterna ve solu ons for grid stability. However, in this case, coopera on from relevant pa es is required in terms of financing, construc on, opera on and maintenance of the ESS. This is the op on followed in large parts of Europe and North America, where no restric ons are placed on intermittent generator ramp rates and instead the grid operator manages the changes in genera on using balancing services such as primary and secondary frequency response and fast responding genera on such as pumped hydro. In recent years, a number of network operators have acted to install ESS systems in the network to provide fast frequency response and manage the impact of increasing renewable genera on.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The authors would like to thank Philip Napier-Moore and Douglas Ramsay of Mo MacDonald for their support in reviewing this ar cle, which is based on a paper authored by Na hida Jongsuwanwa ana, Nonthi Cherdsanguan and Vipant Chayavichitsilp, Mo MacDonald, Thailand, and presented at Asia Power Week Conference and Exhibi on 2016, organised by PennWell Corporaon. The paper won a Best Paper Award at the event. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER April 2017




JAPAN’S FUEL MIX AND CORPORATE LANDSCAPE? by Dr Bikal Kumar Pokharel, Principal Power Analyst, Wood Mackenzie, Singapore Japan’s power market has changed radically since the Fukushima disaster in 2011. The nuclear gap was met through demand reduc ons and increased thermal power genera on. While nuclear power is finally returning, it is clear that Japan will not be returning to a pre-Fukushima world. Dozens of new coal projects are being proposed, solar capacity is rising at breakneck speed, and the country is embarking on liberalising the power retail market. This segment of the market is the size of that in the UK, and by government es mates, worth USD 75 billion. The drive towards greater compe on will, for the first me, force Japanese electricity u li es to compete for market share, which will, in turn, create measurable differences between the companies, in terms of costs, efficiencies, fuel mix and fuel requirements. In this ar cle, we will inves gate the implica ons of power market reform, emission commitments and fuel procurement strategies for Japanese power u li es, and present a case study on Kyushu Electric.

UNCERTAINTY LOOMS AS THE POWER MARKET OPENS UP MUCH-NEEDED MARKET REFORM STARTED IN APRIL 2016 Electricity supply in Japan is dominated by 10 regional ver cally integrated power companies - the electric power companies (EPCOs). Each company monopolis cally operates the transmission and distribu on systems in its area and together they account for around 90% of electricity generated in Japan. Japan’s electricity prices are the highest in Asia. Japan’s exclusive reliance on expensive seaborne fuel imports has been one factor in this. However, crucially the power system does not incen vise u li es to make efficiency gains because fuel costs could be passed through to consumers. Hence, Japan’s gas-fired fleet is simultaneously the most efficient at unit level and the least efficient at aggregate level. Top-performing combined cycle plants have efficiencies of above 56%, whereas the bo om-performing gas-fired steam plants run at 37% efficiency, an incredible 30% differen al. Japan currently hosts 44 GW of oil-fired power plants and 8 GW of gas-fired steam plants. Deregula on, if properly implemented, can change this. Compe on can bring much-needed incen ve to become 34


more efficient thereby driving down costs. With the opening up of the retail market on 1 April 2016, non-tradi onal electricity companies have entered the market with new business models that bundle electricity with cell phone plans and internet services. Consequently, within two months of retail compe on, more than a million customers switched retail power providers, with more than 200 new retail power companies registering. However, market reform along with declining demand, increasing capacity and a rapid change in fuel mix are forcing the incumbent u li es to remap their business strategies.

POST-FUKUSHIMA DEMAND DECLINE IS PERMANENT Immediately a er the Fukushima incident in March 2011, Japan managed to prevent rolling blackouts, through temporary emergency measures that eventually had a permanent impact. Setsuden, or ‘saving electricity’, a na onal movement started in July 2011, encouraged Japanese households and businesses to conserve electricity in response to expected power shortages. The movement promoted several power management measures. These included increasing room temperatures and introduc on of casual dress codes to compensate; switching to fluorescent or LED ligh ng; and changes in industrial work schedules to mi gate peak demand, amongst others. Many of these


measures are s ll in place. These energy efficiency measures, combined with con nued awareness of energy usage in the residen al and industrial sectors, mean that power demand will never recover. With this structural shi in demand, Wood Mackenzie’s 2030 demand will be less than actual demand in 2000.


Figure 1: Japan grid power demand Source: Wood Mackenzie

Several incumbent u li es as well as new players are keen to enter the market with cheap resources, par cularly coal. There are currently 23,500 MW of proposed coal projects, of which 4,000 MW are under construcon and 8,000 MW are in the permi ng stage. On the nuclear front, more than 25 nuclear reactors with a total capacity of above 25,000 MW have applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Authority for restarts. In addi on, several gas-fired CCGTs have been planned. At the same me, the development of solar and other renewables has been incen vised through a rac ve feed-in-tariff (FiT) schemes. This has led to an exponen al growth of solar, from less than 200 MW in 2010 to more than 25,000 MW in 2016. Among the renewables, plans for solar PV with FiTs stand at 79,000 MW.

Figure 2: Renewable growth since 2010

Source: Wood Mackenzie

With the opening up of the retail market, u li es are also making aggressive moves to re re oil plants and inefficient gas plants. Tokyo Electric is leading the way with plans to re re 2,400 MW of gas and 1,600 MW of oil plants. But some of these re rals will likely be replaced by cheaper coal capaci es. With declining demand, the reserve margin in Japan in 2016 is already high, at above 50%. If all the planned projects were to come online, Japan will have massive overcapacity, with significant redundant resources. And as more power plants are added, compe on in the market will increase.

Source: Wood Mackenzie

Figure 3: Japan capacity mix and reserve margin THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER April 2017



MARKET IN TRANSITION ASPIRATIONS TO BECOME COST-COMPETITIVE WILL DICTATE CORPORATE STRATEGIES Without nuclear, Kansai Electric will become the most expensive power u lity For Kansai Electric, cost-compe veness will depend significantly on the return of nuclear plants. Nuclear formed 25% of its capacity mix before the Fukushima incident. With power sector liberalisa on star ng in April 2016, the restart of Takahama No 3 and 4 nuclear reactors (2 x 870 MW) in early 2016 was very mely for cost reduc on. But the court injunc on to halt the opera ons of the nuclear plants in March 2016 was a blow to the company which had been hoping to reduce costs and return to greater profitability. This does not create system security issues for Kansai as its remaining plant capacity is sufficient to meet demand. But, without nuclear, Kansai Electric’s average cost of generation will be substantially higher. This is especially as the existing CCGT plants are already operating at high utilisation rates. Therefore, nuclear will largely be replaced by less efficient steam plants using gas or fuel oil. If both the Takahama and Ohi reactors do not restart by 2017, Kansai Electric could become the utility with the highest operating costs. Such a

prospect bodes ill for a company needing to stay competitive in a liberalising market. Eventually, without nuclear restarts, replacement of oil plants with new coal plants will likely be the only alternative for Kansai Electric to reduce costs.

Solar FiTs can become a burden to Kyushu Electric Kyushu Electric’s cost of genera on declined sharply from lower commodity prices and returning nuclear, in 2015/16. On a short-run marginal cost (SRMC) basis, Kyushu outperforms many other regions, and will be 30% lower than the na onal average in 2017. But, as Kyushu will have the highest propor on of solar in its genera on mix, among all other regions, FiTs for solar could present a greater burden on consumers, compared with what the SRMC suggests.

Coal is the main alterna ve for cost reduc on for Tokyo Electric and Chubu Electric Within the Tokyo and Chubu regions, coal accounts for 7% and 12% of the capacity mix, respec vely. The return of nuclear capacity in both regions looks challenging. With most of the genera on a ributed to gas and oil, Tokyo Electric and Chubu Electric have plans to re re expensive gas and oil plants and replace them with alterna ves such as coal and renewables.










0 2010








Steam gas

Source: Wood Mackenzie

Figure 4: Kansai Electric’s shi ing capacity mix




2017 w/o Ohi

w/o Takahama Japan average

Source: Wood Mackenzie Japan Power ModelNote: EPCO = Electric Power Company

Figure 5: Short-run marginal costs (2017)




























5 10


5 2





Source: Wood Mackenzie

100% 13%1


In Japan, the proposed 23,500 MW of new coal plants have mostly been driven by the ini a ve to remain compe ve in the changing market. However, these proposals for coal plants are in conflict with Japan’s COP21 INDC target of a 26% emission reduc on by 2030. Several carbon policies are being considered that could eventually take away the cost-compe ve advantage of coal in future.



3% 15%

26% 44%


Nuclear Renewables


32% Coal


40% 19% 14%





14% 20%


0% INDC target (METI basecase)

50% lower nuclear

7% 0% 50% lower nuclear and renewables

20% 50% higher renewables

Figure 6: Fuel mix in various scenarios (2030)


FUEL PROCUREMENT STRATEGIES NEED COMPLETE OVERHAUL Japanese u li es have historically signed longterm contracts for fuel procurement in order to ensure security of supply. In the developing market environment, procurement strategies will require a total makeover.

A case study: Kyushu Electric


Post-Fukushima, gas demand in Kyushu went Source: Wood Mackenzie 140 up significantly as nuclear 17 For COP21 commitments, plants were forced to shut 32 120 the Ministry for Economy, down. Most of the incre55 100 Coal Trade and Industry (METI) mental gas demand was se69 Demand assumes the contribu on cured from the spot market 80 of nuclear and renewables for immediate consumpLNG 121 60 Demand in 2030 at 26% and 14%, on. With the increased gas 105 respec vely (Figure 6). For 40 demand, Kyushu Electric 76 60 this fuel mix, the emission went to the interna onal 20 reduc on in the power market and secured long0 sector is approximately term LNG DES contracts 50% lower 50% higher INDC target 50% lower 32% by 2030 from 2013 (delivered ex ship) withnuclear renewables (METI nuclear and basecase) levels. This is higher than out des na on flexibility renewables the overall emission reduc(Figure 8). However, power on target from all sectors, demand started to wane Figure 7: Gas and coal demand in various scenarios at 26%. while solar genera on in Kyushu started to increase However, the proposed exponen ally. Subsequently in 2015, nuclear power fuel mix is highly uncertain. Court injunc ons have alrestarted as well. With these changing market condi ons, ready delayed nuclear restarts. Without FiTs for new sothe LNG contracts that will ramp up in the next few years lar capacity, the pace of solar growth from 2017 onwards have become a major concern for will depend on the cost of solar installa on. This uncerKyushu Electric. tainty will have a direct impact on LNG and coal demand. Wood Mackenzie’s power model suggests that an ecoFigure 6 shows METI’s INDC base case fuel mix along nomic dispatch will require less than 1 mmtpa of LNG with three scenarios. The scenarios are varia ons to nupost-2017 while the take-or-pay for these gas contracts clear and renewable contribu ons. The share of gas and stands at above 3 mmtpa. If LNG contracts force gas into coal in these scenarios are the contribu ons required to the power mix, Kyushu Electric’s coal demand will decline maintain the COP21 target of 32% emission reduc ons in the power sector. If the contribu ons from nuclear substan ally un l 2020 (Figure 9) thereby increasing its and renewables decline, gas demand has to increase at cost of genera on. Hence, to remain cost-compe ve in the cost of coal demand to achieve the COP21 emission the market, Kyushu Electric should aggressively trade its targets and vice versa. contractual LNG volumes. This could place a stress on its take-or-pay commitments. Gas and coal demand (in Figure 7) corresponds to the four scenarios in Figure 6. The best case for LNG demand The impact of the changing market is not only limited (lower nuclear and renewables) and the worst case for to annual fuel commitments. Solar PV installa ons will LNG demand (higher renewables) results in LNG demand increasingly alter the seasonality of gas and coal demand of 69 mmtpa and 17 mmtpa respec vely - a massive (Figure 10). Changing seasonality will also make it more differen al of 52 mmtpa. difficult to manage contracts and inventories. Kyushu Such varia ons in gas and coal demand from Japan’s Electric will need to increase flexibility of take-or-pay and COP21 commitments will have direct implica ons for fuel monthly nomina ons. procurement strategies. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER April 2017



Figure 8: Kyushu Electric’s LNG demand

Source: Wood Mackenzie

FOB DES Spot 90% Top Economic Dispatch

Figure 9: Kyushu genera on by fuel type

On-selling and trading of LNG is likely to increase. Kyushu Electric has recently on-sold cargos from legacy contracts as well as signed a ‘por olio’ supply contract with Nippon Gas. It can con nue to on-sell equity and flexible volumes to Japanese buyers and traders or look to increase its trading opportuni es elsewhere. But, for this, it may need to renego ate for des na on flexibility, as most contracts are currently DES with only 0.3 mmtpa on FOB (Free on Board) basis. Kyushu Electric could also benefit from reducing exposure to term contracts through this period, moving part of its coal requirements to the spot market. This will allow it to take advantage of low cost coal while increasing its flexibility. As coal demand grows over the long-term, Kyushu Electric should seek to further diversify pricing op ons, sources and quali es. In other regions in Japan, the forma on of JERA (Tokyo Electric and Chubu Electric alliance) in 2015 is a response to the changing market condi ons. This merger, which has created one of the world’s largest power generators and fuel buyers, revolves around lowering cost and increasing compe veness through supply chain op misa on for both coal and gas. Similarly, Kansai Electric has signed a separate partnership with Engie and Tokyo Gas to ensure stable LNG supply and improve business efficiency.


Source: Wood Mackenzie

Japan is entering a new energy era, where energy security is replaced with flexibility, compe on and profit maximisaon goals. The market in transi on is exposed to a tremendous amount of uncertainty with declining power demand, changing fuel mix and ongoing market reforms.

Source: Wood Mackenzie Japan Power Model

Figure 10: Solar implica ons for Kyushu Electric




Figure 11: Wood Mackenzie Monthly Power Dispatch Model Source: Wood Mackenzie

Coal capacity could go a long way in increasing cost compe veness for genera on companies and mee ng their shor all from nuclear. But this is at odds with Japan’s COP21 INDC targets. If Japan strictly goes ahead with COP21 INDC emission reduc on targets for the power sector, the difference in gas and coal demand levels in 2030 could differ by 52 mmtpa and 61 mmtpa, respec vely. This difference would be dependent on the contribu on of nuclear and renewables to the fuel mix. This adds uncertainty to fuel procurement strategies for power u li es. With the increased penetra on of solar, seasonality of genera on by fuel will increase as well. This will necessitate the replacement of tradi onal long-term fuel procurement strategies with increasingly flexible take-or-pay and monthly nomina ons.

WOOD MACKENZIE MONTHLY POWER DISPATCH MODEL This analysis uses Wood Mackenzie’s power dispatch model which is a linear programming model designed to represent the dynamics of the fuel and power networks. It op mises the flows of fuels (eg gas, coal and diesel) to power plants and the genera on of power to sa sfy demand on a least-cost basis. It takes into account real-world constraints such as gas contracts, gas pipeline capaci es, fuel supply availability, hydro seasonality, power transmission capaci es and genera on capacity of power plants. The monthly dispatch model is a proprietary Wood Mackenzie model, developed in Paragon AIMMS and solved using the IBM CPLEX Op miser. The

model produces fuel flows (along the gas infrastructure and the usage of other fuels) and power flows (power genera on and transmission). Marginal prices are calculated by the model for both gas and power.

REFERENCES 1. Wood Mackenzie Research: 2. United Na ons h p:// 3. Federa on of Electric Power Companies (FEPC) of Japan h p:// 4. Ministry for Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) h p:// (This ar cle is based on a paper authored by Dr Bikal Kumar Pokharel, Principal Power Analyst, Wood Mackenzie, Singapore, and presented at Asia Power Week Conference and Exhibi on 2016. The paper won a Best Paper Award. Asia Power Week Conference and Exhibi on 2016, comprising POWERGEN Asia 2016, Renewable Energy World Asia 2016 and POWER-GEN Asia Financial Forum 2016, was held from 20 to 22 September 2016 at KINTEX, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. POWER-GEN Asia is the region’s premier conference and exhibi on for the power genera on, transmission and distribu on industries. Renewable Energy World Asia is a leading conference and exhibion for the Asian renewable and alterna ve energy industry. POWER-GEN Asia Financial Forum is a conference devoted to all aspects of financing of all types of power infrastructure in Asia. Asia Power Week Conference and Exhibi on is organised by PennWell Corpora on).




SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL ENERGY WEEK 2017 TO BE HELD IN OCTOBER Singapore Interna onal Energy Week 2017 (SIEW 2017), the 10th edi on of the annual event, will be held from 23 to 27 October 2017, at Sands Expo and Conven on Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Organised by Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA), SIEW 2017 will address the theme ‘Rethinking Energy; Naviga ng Change’. The theme reflects the varied global energy landscape and the opportuni es it brings. The global economy is set to pick up, although growth remains uneven. Geopoli cal developments and a possible shi towards more inwardlooking policies could however dampen trade and longerterm growth. Imbalances between demand and supply have con nued to weigh down oil and gas prices, but sustained decline in upstream investments could lead to sharp correc ons in future. At the same me, renewables and grid storage con nue to gain momentum as technology improves and prices fall. However, any poten al dilu on of interna onal climate change commitments could set back efforts to build a sustainable energy future. Against this backdrop, SIEW 2017 will facilitate discussions on staying nimble, naviga ng challenges, and seizing opportuni es in this evolving energy landscape. The highlights of SIEW 2017 include EMA’s anchor events - the SIEW Opening Keynote Address and the Singapore Energy Summit - that will focus on the recovery of oil & gas prices, the growth of renewables and examining energy models for the future. EMA will also host the inaugural Singapore-Interna onal Energy Agency (IEA) Forum at SIEW 2017, to address the important issue of investments needed to meet Asia’s growing energy demand. This is a new ini a ve, following Singapore’s joining the IEA as an Associa on Country, last year. SIEW’s partner conferences, the Asia Clean Energy Summit (ACES), Gas Asia Summit (GAS) and Asian Downstream Summit (ADS), will return to provide, throughout the week, new insights on energy trends. This year’s line-up will include the EU Business Avenues in South East Asia, as part of ACES’ exhibi on, and the Customer Focused U lity seminar, as part of the ADS. A special SIEW 10th Edi on Recep on will also be held this year, to open a week of business networking recep ons. To kick-off the energy conversa ons for the year, Keisuke Sadamori, IEA’s Director of Energy Markets & Security, presented the latest IEA five-year oil market analysis and 40


The SIEW 2017 launch event was held recently.

forecast report ‘Market Report Series: Oil 2017’, at the SIEW 2017 launch event, held recently. Dwight Hutchins, Accenture’s Asia Pacific Managing Director for Strategy Consul ng and Chairman of the Singapore’s American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) also shared his views on global energy developments. Similar conversa ons will be held throughout the year at SIEW Energy Insights forums in Beijing and Tokyo. These events will provide addi onal local and regional perspec ves on global energy issues in the lead up to SIEW 2017.

Singapore Interna onal Energy Week In its 10th edi on, Singapore Interna onal Energy Week (SIEW) is the premier pla orm in Asia for energy insights, partnerships and dialogue, which brings together the world’s leading conferences, exhibi ons, and roundtables in one week and in one loca on. SIEW enriches the global energy conversa on by convening poli cal, business, academic and energy industry thought-leaders to define and advance the world’s leading energy challenges, solu ons and ac ons, across the energy spectrum of oil & gas, clean and renewable energy, and energy infrastructure financing. More informa on on SIEW can be obtained from

Energy Market Authority The Energy Market Authority (EMA) is a statutory board under Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry. Its main goals are to ensure a reliable and secure energy supply, promote effec ve compe on in the energy market and develop a dynamic energy sector in Singapore. Through its work, EMA seeks to forge a progressive energy landscape for sustained growth. More informa on on EMA can be obtained from





ENSURING CYBERSECURITY IN THE INDUSTRIAL SECTOR Industries are rapidly embracing the Internet of Things (IoT). They have consequently become targets for hackers. To find solu ons to cybersecurity issues is a challenge. Mr Vincent Goh, Vice President of Sales, Asia Pacific and Japan, CyberArk, a security company focused on elimina ng advanced cyber threats, analyses the situa on and offers some construc ve sugges ons. Cyber a acks and their consequences In this digital-driven era, industries need to adapt and embrace technology to stay relevant. Adop ng the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) can greatly improve efficiency, scalability, as well as me and cost savings. However, with more devices connected, they will, in turn, possess many vulnerabili es that encourage cyber a acks. When industries embrace IoT, they will have to work with different components which are typically manufactured by different vendors. Vendors will o en have access to these devices as they require constant monitoring and updates. Security for the devices might not be as high as is needed. Cyber criminals might use this chance to a ack the vendors, as a way to gain access to the targeted organisa on. This becomes another gateway for a ackers to exploit vulnerabili es of the connected infrastructure and make their way into the company. A acks on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) have taken place. One of the most sophis cated examples was the disabling of u li es in Ukraine, in December 2015, when a ackers managed to breach strong cyber defences such as firewalls and system logging controls, to get hold of administra ve creden als. The a ack was first launched using spear phishing that harvested user creden als. The a ermath of the a ack was massive, leaving more than 230,000 residents in the dark, for periods of between one to six hours, and disabling two to three distribu on centres. Significantly, a year later, in December 2016, there was a similar blackout in Ukraine, but on a smaller scale, las ng over an hour. The second incident is said to be linked to the earlier one.

Understanding the vulnerabili es The industrial sector is usually widely targeted for a acks, as it possesses a lot of valuable informa on. The mo va on of hackers is usually financial gain and they therefore install computer malware (ransomware) to manipulate and appropriate confiden al data which they then threaten to publish unless ransoms are paid. The use of ransomware by cyber criminals to target industrial organisa ons is a growing trend. The cost of such a acks can be far more substan al than the ransom itself, especially if the infected industry is providing necessi es to the public, such as u li es or resources. 42


Industrial companies must understand that cybersecurity is an important part of their organisa ons. A breach can be very costly for such organisa ons. Besides the financial losses, intellectual property or sensi ve commercial informa on can also be compromised.

Mr Vincent Goh

There are two things that organisa ons must take into account when installing new technologies. They are: • Privileged accounts are the gateway to an organisa on’s assets. They provide access to valuable files, o en with authority to change se ngs. Privileged creden als, such as admin passwords and cryptographic keys, allow hackers who have gained access to the network, to travel horizontally and ver cally, to exploit valuable assets of the organisa on. Although 100% security of the organisaon’s network is not feasible, denying an intruder access to privileged creden als is a cri cal first step in reducing the risk of compromising the organia on’s most valuable assets. Not only is securing privileged accounts a good cybersecurity plan, it is also a good business plan. • Many organisa ons associate the term ‘insider threat’ with a malicious employee trying to take revenge on, or profit from, the company. However, what companies overlook are the innocent mistakes made by good employees just trying to do their jobs. When we take a closer look at the example of the first Ukraine a ack, the hackers disguised themselves as a legi mate system vendor. They sent phishing emails to IT staff and system administrators at targeted organisa ons. The employee, who thought that it was a legi mate email, clicked on the bait and the malware started downloading from the system and there was no turning back. And, according to CyberArk’s Global Advanced Threat Landscape Survey, at least 60% of organisa ons allow third-party vendors to remotely access their networks and, just like employees, they can also be uninten onal insiders.


Securing privileged accounts It is crucial for industrial companies to understand what security measures have been put in place by the vendors and what weaknesses lie within them. This is a two-way effort, where vendors can ensure the integrity of updates before the customer downloads them. On the other hand, customers should ensure that controls are in place and that the creden als are secure. It is important for organisa ons to have control of their creden al management, to determine who has permission to gain remote access to their organisa onal infrastructure. There are five steps an organisa on in the industrial sector can take, to ensure that its privileged accounts are secure. They are: • Proac vely secure all privileged and Industrial Control Systems (ICS) creden als by proac vely scanning all admin creden als for poten al breaches by unauthorised SSH (Secure Shell) keys. Companies should also ensure that they have strong controls and that powerful creden als have only limited access. • Rotate admin creden als a er each use. Frequently rota ng admin creden als will minimise the chance for hackers to breach the system. Hackers may manage to unlock the admin creden als, but with frequent password rota on, the previous creden als will become invalid, thus becoming useless to the hackers. • Establish a single, controlled access point into ICS systems. By doing this, we are minimising the a ack surface area of the cri cal system, by forcing people to go through a single

CyberArk advances insider threat detec on to accelerate incident response CyberArk recently announced advanced insider threat detec on capabili es available through the CyberArk Privileged Account Security Solu on, to automa cally detect and alert on high-risk privileged ac vity during user sessions and enable rapid response to in-progress a acks. With this release, CyberArk is delivering a new integra on that provides deeper insights into privileged ac vity across an organisa on. A new data feed from CyberArk Privileged Session Manager into CyberArk Privileged Threat Analytics, both part of the CyberArk Privileged Account Security Solu on, enables security teams to receive customisable, priori sed alerts with granular detail on high-risk privileged ac vity; watch suspicious sessions in-progress; and terminate poten ally malicious sessions to disrupt poten al a acks. All this is achieved from one pla orm. By helping to priori se the review of privileged session logs, CyberArk can also improve efficiency and shorten IT audit cycles to reduce costs.

mul -layered security. With all traffic flowing in one direcon, it will be easier for companies to monitor and flag out any suspicious ac vi es, before they can harm the company. • Monitor privileged account use to detect anomalies. When a ackers manage to get hold of the creden als, they will begin masking themselves as true users. This can be easily detected with behavioural analysis, as each person’s behaviour is different - for example, different people have different typing speeds and speeds with which they open certain websites when they log in. • Control applica ons to reduce the risk of malware-based a acks. By controlling access to files, even preven ng certain untrusted applica ons from accessing files, organisa ons are already protec ng themselves at the end-point. For example, when a certain untrusted applica on is blocked off, the malware that is associated with it will not be able to infect the files, thus limi ng damage to IT systems.

Summary • Organisa ons in the industrial sector hold valuable informa on and, more importantly, are responsible for the provision of resources or u li es to the public. Therefore, if their informa on systems are compromised, the consequences will be extremely bad. • Privileged account security is very important for the protec on of organisa ons. • Securing privileged accounts is good for cybersecurity and also good for business.

Improving produc vity and cost savings Based on CyberArk’s experience working with customers, an average large corpora on could have thousands of privileged user sessions running on its IT infrastructure each day. With enormous amounts of security data and privileged session recordings to si through, it becomes nearly impossible for audit and compliance teams to iden fy risky or suspicious ac vity. Furthermore, to meet certain global audit and compliance regula ons, dozens of full me auditors who are focused solely on this task are o en required to manually review a certain percentage of all privileged session ac vity. “By delivering an integrated solu on for threat detec on based on privileged sessions, we help iden fy malicious ac vity hidden in a sea of legi mate data, and enable rapid threat response”, said Mr Roy Adar, Senior Vice President, Product Management, CyberArk. “In addi on, organisa ons could poten ally save thousands of man-hours that would have been spent manually reviewing sessions. These me and cost savings are especially important in the context of requirements, like those associated with the Technology Risk Management (TRM) guidelines of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and similar global regula ons”, he added.





MEMBERS’ NIGHT A familiar fixture over the years, the IES Members’ Night is an event where members new and old are able to meet, interact and network, in addi on to expanding their knowledge on a variety of engineering and non-engineering areas of interest. Since the beginning of 2017, three Members’ Nights have been organised, compared to the tradi on of holding it once every quarter. In an effort to steer away from monotony, the latest event, which took place on 5 April 2017, was held at The Bar Room. Located along East Coast Road in the Siglap area, the chic bar was an eclec c mix of industrial-inspired décor and brightly-coloured hues from the various neon signs hung around the establishment, a refreshing change from IES’ Bukit Tinggi premises where such events are usually held. Nearly 40 members were in a endance, with the topic for the night being “Energy Sustainability on HVAC Services in Buildings”. With the generous support from sponsor Samsung Air Condi oners, par cipants were given the luxury of enjoying most of the drinks for free. The Bar Room also prepared a selec on of delectable dishes to keep everyone well-fed. Kicking off the night with the welcome address was Dr Lim Kok Hwa, Chairperson of the Membership Committee. Therea er, Mr Tommy Ong, a senior engineer from Samsung Air Condi oners, shared with members the latest Samsung products and technology for indoor ven la on and climate management.


(Le to right) Dr Lim Kok Hwa, Chairman, IES Membership Commi ee; Mr Tommy Ong, Senior Engineer, Samsung Air Condi oners (AC); Mr Lee Eng Lock, Vice Chairman, M&V Pte Ltd; Ms Agnes Ong, Manager, IES Membership; Ms Lai Siew Lin, Product Manager, Samsung AC and Mr Kenneth Chua, Sales Manager, Samsung AC pose for a group photo.

He suggested some approaches that could be useful for a lay person to build a firm founda on of knowledge before jumping headlong into fanciful and expensive fads such as ar ficial intelligence, big data analy cs, machine learning and so on, in order to select the system that best fits its intended purpose. The Vice Chairman and Senior Technical Director of Measurement & Verifica on Pte Ltd, Mr Lee is well-known around the world for his contribu ons to energy-efficient cleanroom and building design.

The Mul -Split Air Condi oner with Built-In Smart Wi-Fi, for example, has been awarded the maximum score of five cks under NEA’s Energy Label ra ng system. A first for inverter systems in Singapore, this means that the air-con is highly energy-efficient for the cooling capacity that it provides.

Ending things off on a good note, three par cipants managed to walk away with $300 worth of Samsung products in a lucky draw that was conducted at the end of all the presenta ons.

The presenta on from Samsung was the ideal opening act for Mr Lee Eng Lock, the main speaker, whose topic revolved around energy sustainability for HVAC services in buildings.

Stay tuned for more memorable events coming your way in the next few months!






BY STUDENTS FOR STUDENTS In early March, a group of students from a high school science club in South Korea successfully constructed a video game controller that integrated virtual-reality headsets with Arduino kits for a full-body immersive experience. Aiming to introduce the open-source hardware and so ware project package to fellow students and let them dabble in some crea ve thinking and analysis, in turn forging the bonds of friendship, the IES-NTU Student Chapter conducted an Arduino workshop open to fellow student members on the evening of 15 March 2017. With a global, open-source user community that o en collaborates in building digital devices objects that interact with the physical world, Arduino is an extremely popular pla orm for inculca ng and expressing one’s ingenuity (and not just for engineers) in today’s digital age.

Pu ng their thinking caps on. Photo: IES-NTU Student Chapter

Some 30 students a ended the session, helmed by Mr Lu Kunze, the Honorary General Secretary of the student chapter. During the session, the par cipants paired up to work on five “mini projects”, such as turning on a light-emitng diode (LED) and ge ng it to blink. They were guided by Mr Lu, as well as other facilitators from the student chapter, but only just enough to spark off their crea ve thought processes and complete the assigned tasks on their own for a fully-immersive, hands-on experience. Many of the par cipants felt that the workshop’s dura on was just right, and served as a good introduc on to Arduino. Mr Vincent Chandra Hendrata, a second-year Materials Science and Engineering undergraduate, was hooked instantly. “I liked the pace of teaching; it was good. Please conduct more advanced 46


The workshop was a good chance for students to meet and get to know each other be er, with par cipants hailing from the Computer Science, Renaissance Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering degree programmes, just to name a few. Photo: IES-NTU Student Chapter

workshops in the future!” he commented excitedly. Others found the interac ve content suitably challenging to pique their interest, with meaningful ques ons posed by the facilitators during the workshop s mula ng their thinking. The facilitators were also lauded for their helpfulness in assis ng with and answering the ques ons par cipants had in mind.

One of the key sugges ons made by the workshop par cipants was to expand the project tasks beyond LEDs to more sophis cated ones involving different kinds of electrical components such as light-dependent resistors, servos, and so on. The IES-NTU Student Chapter has resolved to look deeper into the feedback that was collected and will strive to make meaningful adjustments for future workshops.



(Le to right) Answering par cipants’ queries during the panel discussion were Mr Nick Ang, member of the Working Group (WG) on Fabric Duc ng Air Distribu on System – Tex le Based Ven la on; Er. Roland Tan, Convenor of the same WG; Mr Chan Kok Way, Chairman of the Building and Construc on Standards Commi ee; Mr Chin Kim Hong, Execu ve Manager (Buildability Development) at BCA and Er. Pang Tong Teck, member of the same abovemen oned WG.

More than 250 par cipants a ended the launch of the Technical Reference for Fabric Duc ng Air Distribu on System – Tex le Based Ven la on on 6 April 2017. The event was organised by the Standards Development Organisa on at The Ins tu on of Engineers, Singapore (SDO@IES) and supported by the Building and Construc on Authority, Air-Condi oning and Refrigera on Associa on (ARA), the Associa on of Consul ng Engineers Singapore (ACES), the Fire Safety Managers Associa on Singapore, the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) and the IES Mechanical and Electrical Technical Commi ee. This is part of SPRING Singapore and the Singapore Standards Council’s ongoing efforts to update the industry and inform the public regarding the introduc on of new Singapore Standards and Technical References developed under the Singapore Standardisa on Programme. Fabric duc ng is used all over the world to improve produc vity, and achieve energy efficiency and thermal comfort.

This Technical Reference is intended to provide recommenda ons and guidelines of fabric duc ng to Engineers, Project Managers, Energy Managers and Facility Managers working for Developers, Building Owners, M&E consultancy firms, ACMC contractor firms, ESCOs and other stakeholders involved in the design, construc on and management of air-condi oning and mechanical systems in the building industry. The guidelines also covered characteris cs of material, fire safety requirements, quality management, design considera ons, installa on and maintenance. Par cipants learnt about the principles, design, opera on and maintenance of fabric duc ng; fire safety requirements for fabric duc ng as well as incorpora ng Design for Manufacturing & Assembly (DfMA) in Buildability. The launch event ended with a robust Q & A session, led by Mr Chan Kok Way, Chairman of the Building and Construc on Standards Commi ee. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER April 2017




The ul mate aim of any urban transport system is to make travel and transpor ng easier, quicker, economical and safer. The list of such defining quali es can only grow when more elements are added, such as comfort, security, stack-holder benefits, elderly-friendly, disabled-friendly, environment-friendly, and resilience to a acks and emergencies. Singapore is globally known for its success in hos ng mul na onal businesses and services. As a top city-state na on in the world, a growth in popula on is inevitable; though living space is limited. Hence, a challenge always prevails in keeping the transporta on system sustainable. The concerns on traffic conges on are being mely responded by decision makers with the use of state-of-the-art technologies. Nevertheless, it is necessary to cope up with the rapid evolu on of plethora of technologies in the domains of informa on, compu ng, sensors (including smart phones and wearable gadgets) and even automobile itself. Such opportuni es should be leveraged in providing sustainable transport op ons, both in supply and demand sides. Technological advancements are faster and hence, o en unpredictable. As such, adapta on of new technology should be as seamless as possible. With this uncertainty, mobility solu ons must be carefully scru nized for their sustainability. There are around 550,000 cars owned in Singapore. In a growing popula on of 5.5 million, this forms a frac on of 10%. The remaining 90% is in need of some form of alterna ve transporta on. There are also people who cannot drive any vehicle, such as children and senior ci zens. This major sec on of popula on requires a sense of sa sfac on in day-to-day travel, without worrying about owning and opera ng a car. Singapore’s GDP is reliant on not only people movement but also freight movement. New possibili es of cargo movements should be envisaged to minimize the interference and capacity reduc on caused by cargo traffic. Some of the areas where Singapore can excel further are: Demand aspects: • Means of reducing travel demand • Collec on of cri cal big data Private transporta on: • Smart cycling and smart walking • Short distance shopping trips using traceable trolleys

Public transporta on: • First-or-last mile connec vity • Demand-responsive transport (DRT) • Personal rapid transport (PRT) Paratransit opera ons: • Careful regulatory measures • Freight transporta on: • Use of rail systems in freight transport (during late nights)

All or most of the above elements can be addressed readily in Singapore as basic supply infrastructure (roads, railways, seaports and airports) and informa on infrastructure (uninterrupted services) are already in place. Singapore could thereby demonstrate to the rest of the world, especially those ci es charged with increasing popula on and blessed with affluence to adapt to innova ve strategies, on how urban transport can be designed and operated sustainably.



Land Transport Authority –––––––––––––––––– Page 09

Sembcorp ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Page 21

Mapei Far East Pte Ltd ––––––––––––––––––––– Page 27

Singapore University of Social Sciences –––––––– Page 01

Mitsubishi Electric Asia Pte Ltd ––––– Outside Back Cover

Singapore Ins tute of Technology ––––––––––––– Page 14

Mul nine Corpora on Pte Ltd ––––––––––––––– Page 45

World Engineers Summit 2017 ––––––– Inside Back Cover


The Singapore Engineer April 2017  
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