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THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER August 2017 | MCI (P) 003/03/2017

COVER STORY: Singapore’s first dual-mode desalination plant breaks ground


RAILWAY & TRANSPORTATION ENGINEERING: Charged in a flash ENERGY ENGINEERING: Optimising energy efficiency at DUBAL INFOCOMM TECHNOLOGY: The great cloud migration



16 Singapore’s first dual-mode desalination plant breaks ground The underground facility will treat both seawater and freshwater, whilst the open green space on the rooftop will support recreational activities.



20 Charged in a flash Batteries in a flash-charged bus are optimised by generating a model, through semi-empirical means, and using it to perform scenario analysis. 24 PT FKA Global cuts tollway development costs in Indonesian road project The use of advanced software has yielded several benefits.



President Er. Edwin Khew Chief Editor T Bhaskaran Chief Executive Alvin Charm 02


Publications Manager Desmond Teo

Media Representative MultiNine Corporation Pte Ltd

Assistant Publications Manager Fenda Ngo

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

Publications Executive Queek Jiayu

Cover designed by Irin Kuah Cover images by Keppel

Editorial Panel Er. Chong Kee Sen Dr Chandra Segaran Dr Ang Keng Been Mr Kenneth Cheong Mr Gary Ong Design & layout by 2EZ Asia Pte Ltd Printed in Singapore


26 Optimising energy efficiency at DUBAL Best practices and initiatives adopted by the Dubai-based aluminium company are shared.


32 The great cloud migration Manufacturing firms are leveraging digital technologies for improved outcomes.


34 HP launches Virtual Reality solutions and services for businesses They are expected to have a range of applications. 36 Partners team up to join the race to Mars The objective of their project is to simulate life on the Red Planet.






The Singapore Engineer is published monthly by The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES). The publication is distributed free-of-charge to IES members and affiliates. Views expressed in this publication 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 time, IES will not be liable for any discrepancies. Unsolicited contributions are welcome but their inclusion in the magazine is at the discretion of the Editor.




Professor Subra Suresh to helm NTU Professor Subra Suresh, 61, an eminent American scientist, engineer and entrepreneur, will succeed Professor Bertil Andersson as the 4th President of Nanyang Technological University (NTU). He will begin his presidency on 1 January 2018, when Prof Andersson retires from the role. Prof Suresh joins NTU from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) where he was President for the last four years. Amongst the most distinguished scientists in the US, he was handpicked by former US President Barack Obama to head the National Science Foundation, the agency charged with advancing America’s science and engineering research and education, from 2010 to 2013. Before this, he was Dean of Engineering and Vannevar Bush Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In the past quarter century, Prof Suresh has had many high-level interactions with Singapore, such as serving on the advisory boards and councils of various A*STAR Institutes, holding the inaugural Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Chair for visiting appointments at NUS, and as the principal faculty coordinator from MIT for the formation of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) centre in 2006. SMART was the first centre in the National Research Foundation’s Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE).

In this capacity, he worked closely with the MIT and Singapore research communities, and crystallised and presented the vision for the SMART centre and its role in the CREATE campus in July 2006 to the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council, chaired by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Photo: National Science Foundation

The eight-member search committee chaired by Mr Koh Boon Hwee, Chairman of the NTU Board of Trustees, unanimously selected Prof Suresh for the role, and his appointment has been strongly endorsed by all members of the NTU Board of Trustees. The current NTU President, Prof Andersson, warmly welcomed Prof Suresh and expressed his confidence in the future of NTU under Prof Suresh’s leadership. Prof Andersson joined NTU in 2007 as its first Provost and was appointed President in 2011. Under his leadership, NTU jumped from 74th position in 2010 to an all-time high of No. 11 globally to be the highest placed Asian university in the QS World University Rankings this year, among many other achievements.

Drone-detecting radar acquired by Singapore Aveillant, the advanced radar technology company based in the UK, has sold a Gamekeeper counter-UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) radar to ST Electronics (Satcom & Sensor Systems) (STEE-SatComS). Following the deployment of a similar unit in Monaco, this sale represents the second installation in a major urban environment. It is also installed at Charles de Gaulle Airport in France. Aveillant CEO David Crisp said: “We’re delighted to partner with STEE-SatComS ... in the innovative use of technology for drones and UAV detection (and) are pleased that the unique capabilities of Aveillant’s radar are gaining traction internationally.” Gamekeeper forms the core detection and tracking capability for a comprehensive counter drone detection system. The unique radar technology provided by Aveillant will give 3D tracks and target classification information, which can be used to direct other sensors or countermeasures. The Gamekeeper radar is designed to detect targets with a minimum cross section of just 0.01 square metres and has a range of up to 5km. Aveillant’s unique Holographic Radar technology does not scan across an area as a traditional radar does, but continuously floodlights the entire volume of airspace, gathering 3D position and motion information



from all targets, all of the time. This gives a detection and tracking capability beyond that possible with other radars. It was first deployed in Singapore during this year’s National Day Parade celebrations, tracking the movements of unauthorised drones around the Marina Bay Floating Platform. There is an increasing global concern about drone incursions into unauthorised areas, A Gamekeeper radar unit. including airport approaches, major sporting events, and crit- Photo: Aveillant. ical infrastructure. There is also a growing recognition that commercial use of drones is likely to become commonplace, and that for safe operations, the positions of such drones will need to be tracked by radar. According to Aveillant, it is estimated that by 2020, the global market for drone detection systems will exceed USD 11 billion.


ST Dynamics tops CAAS challenge to automate baggage handling process The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) announced on 17 August 2017 the winner of its inaugural Aviation Challenge, which seeks to develop innovative solutions to automate labour-intensive processes in airport operations.

Baggage Transfer System

A team led by Singapore Technologies (ST) Dynamics, in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries, emerged on top of five finalist teams with its prototype, utilising bar-code readers, fully Autonomous Baggage Tractor automated baggage The components of ST Dynamics’ prototype. Image: CAAS sorting and transfer systems, robotic arms, and a multi-flight baggage handling software suite to ease the workload of baggage handling workers.

Robotic Arm

Baggage Trolley Offloader

The solution also includes unmanned autonomous baggage tractors (ABTs) to transport the baggage trolleys between the aircraft and baggage handling areas, and a Baggage Trolley Offloading system to automatically transfer baggage of incoming flights onto the airport arrival carousels. The offloader system, for instance, is able to lift a fully loaded baggage trolley, tilt it and offload the entire trolley’s load of bags onto the baggage conveyor belt in less than two minutes just by simply pushing a button. Commenting on the win, Mr Paul Tan, Vice President of Technology Development at ST Dynamics, said, “We are delighted to see our ideas come to life as part of the Aviation Challenge. Our solution, developed together with our partner Israel Aerospace Industries, integrates seamlessly and safely in the operating environment. It reduces operator fatigue, enhances workplace safety and increases productivity by simplifying existing tasks.” He added that their prototype also includes a central fleet management system that is able to manage and optimise the use of available resources, thus reducing business costs. The winning team received their cash prize of SGD 500,000 from Second Minister for Transport, Mr Ng Chee Meng, who was the guest-of-honour at the award ceremony.

Mr Ng Chee Meng (5th from right), and Director-General of CAAS, Mr Kevin Shum (6th from right), with representatives from the participating teams of the first Aviation Challenge. Photo: CAAS

“The Aviation Challenge is a good initiative to encourage the development of technology to improve productivity and enhance efficiency in a tight labour market. We believe the projects developed … will advocate change to the traditional modus operandi and transform the future of the aviation industry,” said Mr Denis Marie, Senior Vice President Apron Services & Security Services, SATS. The second Aviation Challenge will look at solutions for automating the process of consolidating cargo into larger pallets and containers for transport in aircraft and the reverse process of taking apart cargo from these pallets and containers. The second challenge is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER August 2017



On-road testing of autonomous vehicles On-road testing of autonomous vehicles

to expand beyond one-north

Having deemed that autonomous vehicles have demonstrated a certain level of capability, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced in June the expansion of the current autonomous vehicle (AV) test bed in one-north to neighbouring areas such as NUS, Singapore Science Park 1 and 2, Dover and Buona Vista. This will add another 55km to the existing AV trial routes and allow AV trial participants to experience more on-road scenarios which will help accelerate technology development. To conduct trials in the mixed-use, residential estates in Dover and Buona Vista, the trial participants will first be required to demonstrate to LTA and the Traffic Police their readiness to handle more dynamic traffic environments in autonomous mode.

Signboards have been put up in the test areas to inform the public that trials are being carried out. All AV test vehicles will continue to sport decals and markings for easy recognition by road users. “To achieve our car-lite vision, it is imperative that we facilitate and pave the way for the future deployment of shared autonomous transport modes. Deploying AVs for shared transport will help enhance our first- and last-mile commute and bring greater mobility to the elderly and other commuters who may have difficulties in taking public transport today,” said LTA’s Chief Technology Officer, Mr Lam Wee Shann. A map of the expanded test area can be found at

nuTonomy and Peugeot partner up to test fully autonomous vehicles in Singapore Massachusetts-based tech start-up nuTonomy, a software developer for self-driving cars, will collaborate with French auto maker Groupe PSA in its next stage of testing for fully autonomous vehicles (AV) in Singapore. Through this strategic partnership, nuTonomy will integrate its sophisticated software, sensor and computing systems into customised Peugeot 3008s for on-road testing. The vehicle was recently named 2017 European Car of the Year. The AV system integration is expected to have been completed, with on-road testing of the self-driving 3008s beginning in Singapore in September. Seamless integration of AV software with vehicle hardware is viewed by both companies as a critical step toward deploying driverless cars at scale, over extended life cycles. Also, the partnership provides an opportunity to study autonomous vehicle system performance, as well as the end-to-end user experience of an on-demand AV mobility service in urban use cases. Dr Karl lagnemma, CEO and Co-founder of nuTonomy, said, “We’re confident that working with Groupe PSA will bring us closer to our goal of deploying a safe, efficient, fully autonomous mobility-on-demand transportation service



Customised Peugeot 3008s will be integrated with software, sensor and computing systems from nuTonomy for fully autonomous on-road testing in September. Image: Groupe PSA.

for urban driving environments. We look forward to future collaboration opportunities with PSA.” Following the initial phase of this partnership, the companies will consider expanding their on-road AV testing initiative to other major cities around the world. nuTonomy has been conducting public trials of an on-demand AV mobility service in Singapore since August 2016. Its founders and the LTA have been R&D partners in the development of commercial AV services since 2010.


JTC takes the lead in solar leasing In June, JTC awarded Singapore’s first solar leasing contract to clean energy firm Sun Electric that allows for full export of solar energy to the power grid. Under this 15-year contract, Sun Electric can install solar panels on the rooftops of 27 JTC buildings to generate up to 5 megawatt-peak (MWp) of electricity and export it directly to the power grid. Through its Open Innovation Call in 2015, JTC began the test-bedding of the new solar leasing model by installing solar panels on the rooftops of two of its industrial buildings to generate electricity for export into the power grid. The success of this test-bedding led to JTC calling a tender in 2017 to deploy this new model. Under the contract, Sun Electric will supply, install and maintain solar panels on the rooftops of JTC’s buildings, and will pay JTC a monthly rental for the rooftop spaces. The firm will be able to export the electricity generated by the solar panels to the power grid, and sell them in the open energy market. The contract also

permits JTC to exercise an option to include more properties and purchase the generated solar power for its own use. The occupants of the 27 JTC buildings involved will be able to purchase the generated solar power from Sun Electric or retain their existing power supply. This is different from the solar leasing models currently available in Singapore, which is more restrictive in the relationship between solar-generation companies and owners and tenants of the buildings on which their solar panels sit atop. “We conceptualised this alternative model to overcome some of the challenges faced by the local solar market, such as roof constraints and high capital costs. By leading the way with this new SolarRoof model, we also hope to encourage more solar installations in Singapore, since building owners will now be able to generate revenue from the use of their roof space, regardless of their own energy demands,” said Mr Png Cheong Boon, CEO of JTC.




Strong growth for

Mobile Elevating Work Platforms The global Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) fleet grew strongly in the past year, with the US market exceeding expectations and with steady growth throughout Europe for the first time since the economic downturn, driven mainly by a resurgent construction industry and falling unemployment, according to the latest annual global rental market report from the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF). In the US, the MEWP (previously known as AWP) rental market grew by 8% on 2015, to stand at a value of around USD 8.9 billion (EUR 8.1 billionn), according to IPAF’s Powered Access Rental Global Market Report 2017, prepared by Ducker Worldwide. The size of the US rental fleet grew by 6% to around 561,000 units, and demand was driven in the main (73%) by the booming US construction sector. The US market was characterised by a significant amount of mergers and acquisitions activity, while the wider North American market had to factor in the new government policies and looming ANSI and CSA Standards into the outlook for 2017. The picture for the European MEWP rental market as a whole was also largely positive, growing in value by 4% across 2016, to stand at year end, at approximately EUR 2.5 billion, while fleet size also grew in line with increased demand, by around 3%, again mostly driven by a resurgent

construction sector and improved economic outlook in many European countries, particularly Spain which saw its rental fleet increase in size by around 7%. The research showed that all 10 European countries under study - Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK - are now back to pre-recession levels of activity and market strength. In the UK, the picture was also one of steady growth, with the MEWP rental market growing by around 3%, outstripping the wider construction industry which grew by around 1% for the year as a whole. The worldwide rental MEWP fleet size was 1.25 million units at the end of 2016, with Asia having shown very dynamic growth, driven in particular by booming demand in China, Japan and Hong Kong, while the Latin American fleet size actually contracted slightly, primarily owing to challenging economic conditions in Brazil and the completion of major construction and infrastructure projects related to the FIFA World Cup and Rio Olympics. The report also contains, for the first time, a UAE focus which highlights the fact that the market is growing steadily to stand at USD 93 million, at the end of 2016, driven in the main by some very large infrastructure and construction projects, not least Expo 2020. The MEWP rental fleet also grew substantially in the UAE, to stand at 4,500 units, with boom-type machines accounting for approximately 70% of the fleet. Utilisation stood at 78% and is forecast to increase as the drive to finalise large projects, such as Expo 2020, continues to drive up demand. The IPAF Powered Access Global Rental Market Report 2017 is compiled by Ducker Worldwide and is available in English only. The report can be purchased via


The global Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) fleet grew strongly in the past year. 08


IPAF is a not-for-profit members’ organisation that promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide. Members include manufacturers, rental companies, contractors and users. More information can be obtained from


PUB signs

MEMORANDUMS OF UNDERSTANDING PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, has signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) to deepen Singapore’s collaboration with water utilities for knowledge-sharing and capability building in water supply, R&D and innovation.

Alliances Amongst Global Water Utility Leaders’, and underscores the importance of SIWW as the platform to build connections and networks, and exchange knowledge and best practices.

On the sidelines of Singapore International Water Week Spotlight 2017 (SIWW Spotlight 2017), Mr Ng Joo Hee, Chief Executive, PUB, signed the MOUs with HE Eng. Ali Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Hazmi, Governor, Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), Saudi Arabia, and with Ms Sue Murphy, CEO, Water Corporation, Western Australia. “Water utilities around the world grapple with many common challenges as we work to ensure a safe and adequate supply of water to our customers. Climate change, pollution, population growth and urbanisation, and rising cost of operations compel water utility leaders to work ever closer together to co-create mutually beneficial solutions”, said Mr Ng. “We are excited to collaborate with the SWCC and Water Corporation on various innovation and advances in water treatment and supply. These partnerships also allow us to exchange invaluable operational knowledge and experience, and further strengthen our links to the global water industry”, he added. PUB’s MOU with the SWCC aims to support relations between the Singapore and Saudi Arabia governments, and facilitate knowledge exchanges in the field of water supply, water network management and innovation. This includes areas such as desalination technology, energy reduction, water management systems (SCADA), leak detection, non-revenue water, and automated metering. The MOU with Water Corporation, Western Australia, will promote cooperation and collaboration in the field of urban water supply, wastewater management and innovation, particularly in areas such as climate change adaptation, water quality management, wastewater treatment technologies (in terms of energy efficiency), water reuse, asset resilience, smart water technologies and customer engagement. Both MOUs will also promote staff exchanges to gain insights into partner utilities’ issues, share experiences, and resolve common water challenges. This is in line with the theme for SIWW Spotlight 2017, which was, ‘Forging 10


Mr Ng Joo Hee, Chief Executive, PUB , with HE Eng. Ali Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Hazmi Governor, Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), Saudi Arabia (image on top) and with Ms Sue Murphy, CEO, Water Corporation, Western Australia (image above), after signing of the respective MOUs.


Kurita establishes new R&D base in Singapore Kurita Water Industries Ltd, which is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, has established a new company, Kurita R&D Asia Pte Ltd, in Singapore, to strengthen its global research and development system. Launched at SIWW Spotlight 2017 and supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, the R&D Centre will be opened in January 2018, making it the company’s first R&D Centre in Asia, outside of Japan. As demand for water rises, worldwide, water resources need to be used effectively. In this environment, the Kurita Group is focusing on developing technologies for desalination and the recycling of wastewater. Kurita R&D Asia Pte Ltd is located in CleanTech Park, in

the western part of Singapore. The new company will seek cooperation with research institutions in Singapore to obtain timely information on leading-edge technology and to develop market-competitive technologies through demonstration experiments in the region. In particular, Kurita R&D Asia will explore R&D collaboration with Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) in the areas of membrane technology, water treatment chemicals and water recycling. This follows from a joint R&D project between Kurita and NEWRI at PUB’s R&D facility in Tuas. Kurita R&D Asia will allow Kurita to continue leveraging Singapore as a platform to develop and test its technology, and commercialise it in the regional markets.




Siemens launches first fully integrated

Digitalization Hub in Singapore Siemens launched its first fully integrated Digitalization Hub in Singapore, recently, to bring its expertise and innovations in the Internet of Things (IoT) to the Southeast Asian market. Siemens will be co-creating future digital applications with customers and partners to build a digital ecosystem. The launch took place simultaneously at parallel events in Singapore and at Siemens’ headquarters in Munich, Germany. Singapore’s Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, and the President and CEO of Siemens AG, Mr Joe Kaeser, unveiled a plaque in Munich to mark the opening of the hub, while Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), Mr S Iswaran, and the CEO of Siemens Singapore, Dr Armin Bruck, opened the hub in Singapore.

Photo taken on the occasion of the launch of the Siemens Digitalization Hub in Singapore and the signing of collaboration agreements by Siemens with Singapore partners, shows, standing, from left, Mr Lim Kok Kiang, Asst Managing Director, EDB; Mr Wong Kim Yin, Group CEO, SP Group; Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Trade & Industry (Industry); Mr Joe Kaeser, President & CEO, Siemens AG and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (both of whom attended a parallel event in Munich, Germany); Mr Vincent Chong, President & CEO, ST Engineering; Dr Armin Bruck, CEO, Siemens Singapore; and Dr Steffen Koch, Deputy Head of Mission, German Embassy. Seated, from left, are Prof Lam Khin Yong, Chief of Staff and VP (Research), NTU; Mr Christian Greissinger, Head of Legal, Siemens Pte Ltd; Mr Sim Kwong Mian, EVP, SP Group; Mr Kenneth Chan, SVP, Energy Management, Siemens Pte Ltd; Mr Ravinder Singh, President, ST Electronics; and Mr Steffen Endler, SVP and Head of Siemens Digitalization Hub.

Supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), the hub brings together data scientists, solution architects, software engineers, system experts and domain specialists, from the urban infrastructure, industrial and healthcare sectors. These professionals will experiment, learn, develop and test-bed innovations and future-ready digital solutions that help businesses become more efficient and sustainable.

Sixty specialists from a variety of disciplines will work at the hub, at the outset. The number of digitalisation experts is expected to reach 300, by the year 2022. The key target areas for the hub are urban infrastructure, advanced manufacturing and healthcare.

An integral part of the Digitalization Hub concept is MindSphere, an open, cloud-based IoT operating system that offers data analytics, connectivity capabilities and tools, for developers, applications and services. This platform helps evaluate and process data to gain insights and optimise asset performance for maximised productivity.

Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore will partner with Siemens to create and showcase data-driven innovations for urban infrastructure, such as innovative mobility solutions based on self-driving vehicles, and advanced data analytics for optimising the performance of green buildings.

“Innovations have been a vital part of Siemens’ DNA for 170 years. With this Digitalization Hub, we are creating synergy and an ecosystem for our teams, customers and business partners, to tap into the benefits that digitalisation can bring”, said Mr Kaeser. “Singapore is the ideal location for this hub because of its distinctively advanced industrial and urban infrastructure development, combined with the government’s Smart Nation thrust to enable a digital economy”, he added. “We are pleased that Siemens has decided to establish the Digitalization Hub in Singapore, the first globally for Siemens, that integrates the capabilities from all its business divisions. This will support the increasing opportunities for companies, government agencies and individuals to co-develop innovative digital solutions in the Industrial IoT space. 12

The hub will also help expand the pipeline of digital-ready talent in Singapore”, said Dr Beh Swan Gin, Chairman, EDB.


To mark the launch of the Siemens Digitalization Hub, Siemens signed three collaboration agreements with Singapore partners.

SP Group will collaborate with Siemens to build a next-generation energy management software platform for SP’s 24/7 control centres, to enable more robust planning, surveillance and predictive maintenance of Singapore’s electricity network. They will also create a multi-energy, urban microgrid solution to help consumers save energy and cost. Singapore Technologies Electronics Limited (ST Electronics), the electronics arm of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering), a leading technology, engineering and defence group, and Siemens signed a partnership agreement to co-create and proactively market innovative digital use cases in the field of transportation (roads, harbours, airports and mass transit). The focus is on applications and solutions for connectivity, cybersecurity, data convergence, analytics and contextualisation. These applications will use MindSphere to enable expansion into further market segments.


Intelligent technologies showcased at

ABB’s Data Center Forum in Singapore ABB recently hosted a one-day forum on data centre technologies, featuring leading experts from the industry, and showcasing a range of its innovations and offerings for the data centre and cloud community in Singapore.

data centres with technologies that will prepare them for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Panelists featured top industry minds from Uptime Institute, A*STAR, Nanyang Technological University, DODID and ABB.

The key focus of the forum, which addressed the theme ‘Intelligent data needs intelligent power’, was on digital technologies and smarter infrastructure for the industrial data centre. Many of these build on ABB Ability which brings together all of ABB’s digital products and services, each built from a combination of sector knowledge, technology leadership and digital expertise, to create business value for customers.

At another interesting session, experts from SingTel, CBRE and Talent Matrix, along with Dave Sterlace, Global Head of Technology for Data Centers, ABB, highlighted challenges and resource competencies of data centres.

The event brought together attendees from the business and technology sectors, and provided a platform to discuss solutions for today’s mission critical infrastructure and explore technologies for the next generation data centre. The future data centre will have an intelligent grid connection, will be able to rapidly provision critical infrastructure capacity, and will comprise components and systems with integrated communications, sensing and intelligence. All of this will transform how operators run the facility as well as manage service operations and business risk. A panel discussion on what the digitalisation age means for this industry delved deeper into equipping

“Everyone is depending more and more on data, computing power and connectivity. We all rely on a data centre somewhere and it needs to run efficiently. At ABB, we can help you meet the data demands of today and tomorrow. We believe our industrial heritage, broad choice of electrification and automation solutions, and our commitment to sustainability, will help you grow your business”, said Mr Sterlace in his keynote speech. Attendees experienced firsthand some of ABB’s technologies, from grid to socket, that address data centre customer demands across the entire value chain. At its digital solutions showcase, ABB exhibited products, systems and solutions from power delivery and distribution to automated monitoring and control and services to maximise productivity and efficiency of data centres.

NI announces new PXI remote control

AND bus extension modules NI recently announced the release of a new family of high-performance PXI remote control and bus extension modules with PCI Express Gen 3 connectivity. PCI Express Gen 3 technology delivers increased bandwidth that is critical for data intensive applications like 5G cellular research, RF record and playback, and high-channel-count data acquisition. The PCIe-8398 host interface card communicates over a fully transparent PCI Express Gen 3 x16 link to either the single-port PXIe-8398 or dual-port PXIe-8399 remote control module to offer up to 13.7 GB/s of sustained data throughput. Engineers can use the second port on the PXIe-8399 to daisy chain additional chassis, making it possible to directly interface multiple PXI Express chassis to a single host computer, whether it is a desktop or rack-mount PC. The PXIe-8394 bus extension module supports peer-topeer streaming up to 6.8 GB/s between chassis-separated instruments with PCI Express Gen 3 connectivity such as the second-generation vector signal transceiver. In

addition to multichassis systems, the PXIe-8394 allows high-throughput communication with peripheral devices like RAID data storage arrays or the ATCA-3671 FPGA Module for ATCA. These peripherals typically operate with substantial data sets and can benefit from utilising the latest PCI Express interfaces. Meanwhile, NI also announced the release of the PXIe-8301 remote control module, a solution for laptop control of PXI systems, using Thunderbolt 3. The PXIe-8301 offers PCI Express Gen 3 connectivity through two Thunderbolt 3 ports to maximise performance, and delivers up to 2.3 GB/s of sustained data throughput. Engineers can use the second port to daisy chain additional Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C devices. With its modern connectivity and low price point, the PXIe8301 makes high-performance control of PXI systems more accessible and affordable to engineers performing benchtop characterisation and validation or developing portable automated test systems.







Thailand’s Ministry of Energy

to be the Patron of Asia Power Week 2017 PennWell Corporation, organisers of Asia Power Week 2017 recently announced that Thailand’s Ministry of Energy is extending its gracious patronage to Asia Power Week 2017, the comprehensive conference and exhibition for the power generation industry in Asia. The regional event will be staged from 19 to 21 September 2017, at Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC), Bangkok, Thailand. Asia Power Week 2017 is expected to attract more than 8,000 attendees from over 85 countries and brings together POWER‐GEN Asia 2017 and Renewable Energy World Asia 2017, under one roof, while it celebrates 25 consecutive years as the premier power industry event. “Asia Power Week is a well‐established international event with renown and influence in the energy industry. The Ministry of Energy is pleased to extend its support to Asia Power Week again this year. As Thailand steps up its efforts to grow renewable energy capabilities and become a true leader in renewable energy in the near future, we believe that Asia Power Week will enhance our move towards a sustainable energy future under the Thailand 4.0 policy. Asia Power Week will be the leading force in delivering a platform for the power industry to meet, share information on the challenges facing the power industry and discuss solutions for advancing Asia’s energy future”, said Dr Areepong Bhoocha‐Oom, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, Thailand. “General Nattipon Kanokchot, Advisor to the Minister of Energy, Thailand, will graciously preside over and deliver the keynote at the opening ceremony on September 19th”, said Dr Heather Johnstone, Event Director, Asia Power Week. “It therefore gives us great delight to have the support from the Ministry of Energy again for our return to Bangkok this year. The support from the Ministry affords us the opportunity to attract the country’s most influential partners, organisations and professionals in the energy industry. The Ministry’s useful insights will also help empower our conference. In return, we believe that Asia Power Week will be regarded as part of Thailand’s initiatives to carry out the policy of Sustainable Energy 4.0. The support from the Ministry of Energy will enable us to reach out to the entire industry to encourage networking, business and knowledge‐sharing across the whole spectrum of the power generation industry. 14


This internationally renowned conference is committed to excellence in reaching all aspects of the Thai energy industry”, added Dr Johnstone. This year, Asia Power Week has also gained the participation and support of the Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO) and the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE), in addition to various influential Thai power industry players such as the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), EGCO, RATCH, BCPG, Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA), Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA), the Energy Regulatory Commission (OERC) and Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB). The three‐day event will feature a large exhibition floor, with more than 200 exhibitors demonstrating the latest leading technologies and solutions. In addition, it will offer workshops on the efficient and effective management of carbon emissions and the challenges or risks faced in developing a secure and affordable gas market in Asia. Delegates will also have an opportunity to choose from more than 45 conference sessions under eight main themes, namely, Trends, Projects & Planning; Finance & Investment; Optimizing Plant Operation; Power Technologies; Digitalization; Integration, Storage & Distributed Generation; Renewable Energy Strategy; and Renewable Energy Technologies.

A conference session in progress at Asia Power Week 2016 which was held at KINTEX, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea.


Singapore’s first dual-mode

desalination plant breaks ground Leveraging its close proximity to Marina Reservoir and to the sea, to enhance water supply resilience, the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant is poised to be a lush green ‘gem’ along the Eastern Park Connector Network.

Breaking ground for the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant, Singapore’s first dual-mode desalination plant, were, from left, Dr Ong Tiong Guan, CEO, Keppel Infrastructure; Mr Loh Chin Hua, CEO, Keppel Corporation Limited; Dr Lee Boon Yang, Chairman, Keppel Corporation Limited; Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources; Mr Choi Shing Kwok, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources; Mr Chiang Chie Foo, Chairman, PUB; and Mr Ng Joo Hee, CE, PUB.

Keppel Infrastructure Holdings Pte Ltd (Keppel Infrastructure), a division of Keppel Corporation Limited, and PUB, Singapore’s national water agency, recently unveiled an innovative design for the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant, Singapore’s fourth desalination plant, at a groundbreaking ceremony conducted at the Marina Barrage. The ceremony was officiated by the Guest-of-Honour at the event, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources; Dr Lee Boon Yang, Chairman, Keppel Corporation Limited; Mr Choi Shing Kwok, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources; Mr Chiang Chie Foo, Chairman, PUB; Mr Loh Chin Hua, CEO, Keppel Corporation Limited; Mr Ng Joo Hee, CE, PUB; and Dr Ong Tiong Guan, CEO, Keppel Infrastructure. The first of its kind in Singapore, the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant will be a large-scale, dual-mode desalination plant that can treat both seawater and freshwater. Depending on wet or dry weather conditions, water is channelled either from the Marina Reservoir, or the sea, 16


to the plant, where it will be treated. The plant also exemplifies multiple uses of land, with underground water treatment facilities and 20,000 m2 of open green space, in the form of a gently sloping lawn on the rooftop, for recreational activities. Slated for completion by 2020, the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant will have a sleek, modern design that breaks away from the architecture of conventional water treatment plants. The plant is to be located along the Eastern Coastal Park Connector Network that bridges East Coast Park and Gardens by the Bay East, and against the backdrop of Singapore’s CBD skyline. The desalination plant will also incorporate environment-friendly features such as rainwater harvesting. The rainwater collected will be used to irrigate the green roof and support the facility’s water features and landscaping needs.


Artist’s impression of the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant (aerial view). The plant exemplifies multiple uses of land, with underground water treatment facilities and 20,000 m2 of open green space on the rooftop for recreational activities.

The plant is to be located along the Eastern Coastal Park Connector Network that bridges East Coast Park and Gardens by the Bay East. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER August 2017



“Over the years, we have been making investments in desalination plants to bolster our water security. As a source independent of weather, desalinated water is capable of strengthening our water supply resilience, especially against prolonged dry spells and droughts. We aim to triple its capacity to meet up to 30% of our water needs by 2060”, said Mr Ng Joo Hee, CE, PUB. Desalinated water is a key pillar of Singapore’s water supply, in addition to water from local catchments, imported water and NEWater (ultra-clean, high-grade reclaimed water). There are currently two desalination plants with a total capacity of 100 mgd, and another three plants in the pipeline. The Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant is one of them. “We are pleased to unveil the design of the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant and mark another first in Singapore. Not only is this the first desalination plant in Singapore capable of treating both seawater and freshwater, the plant’s design also blends seamlessly into the environment, allowing the public to enjoy the green space above the plant along with the surrounding greenery”, said Dr Ong Tiong Guan, CEO, Keppel Infrastructure. “By challenging conventional ideas of a desalination plant and re-imagining how an infrastructure facility should look and function, Keppel Infrastructure aims to demonstrate that engineering and design excellence can go hand-in-hand as we push for sustainable urbanisation”, he added. On 20 January 2017, Keppel Infrastructure, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Marina East Water Pte. Ltd, signed a 25-year Water Purchase Agreement with PUB for the supply of water from the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant. The plant, which will be constructed by Keppel Infrastructure, under the Design, Build, Own and Operate (DBOO) model, will produce 137,000 m3 (about 30 million gallons) of fresh drinking water per day.

The design allows the whole plant to blend into the environment. Its private viewing gallery and roof top are accessible from the ground level.



PROJECT DATA Project Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant Location Marina East Drive, Singapore Customer PUB, Singapore’s national water agency Design capacity 137,000 m3/day (about 30 million gallons/day) Expected date of completion End-January 2020 Unique features • The first dual-mode desalination plant in Singapore to be able to treat both fresh and sea water and convert it into drinking water. • The first desalination plant in Singapore to feature public recreational space. It will be topped by a green roof and will have bicycle parking as well as restroom facilities. • The desalination plant will incorporate eco-features such as: - Rain harvesting to meet the needs of irrigation and water features - Lush landscaping which supports biodiversity Project procurement Design, Build, Own and Operate model Project implementation Keppel Infrastructure Holdings Pte Ltd Concession Company: Marina East Water Pte Ltd Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC): Keppel Seghers Pte Ltd Operator: Marina East Water O&M Pte Ltd Signing of Water Purchase Agreement 20 January 2017 Concession period 25 years


Plant operation in the seawater mode

Plant operation in the reservoir water mode

Abbreviations: DAF - Dissolved Air Flotation. MF/UF - Microfiltration/Ultrafiltration. RO - Reverse Osmosis. LPRO - Low Pressure Reverse Osmosis. SWRO - Seawater Reverse Osmosis.

The Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant will be a large-scale, dual-mode desalination plant that can treat both seawater and freshwater.

All images by Keppel THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER August 2017



Charged in a flash by Timothy Patey, Reto Flueckiger and Jan Poland, ABB Corporate Research, BadenDaettwil, Switzerland; and David Segbers and Stefan Wicki, ABB, Turgi, Switzerland Optimisation of batteries in a flash-charged bus.

The city of Geneva, in Switzerland, replaced a diesel-operated bus line with flash-charged battery buses. A bus, shown above, is receiving a 15-second top up charge at a flash-charging station.

With its six trolleybus and four tram lines, transportation in the Swiss city of Geneva already makes extensive use of electric traction. As a further step towards making its public transportation system carbon-neutral, the city has announced it will replace the diesel buses used on Line 23 with a battery-powered electric bus fleet. ABB was awarded orders totalling more than USD 16 million by Geneva’s public transport operator, Transports Publics Genevois (TPG), to provide flash-charging and onboard electric vehicle technology for 12 TOSA (Trolleybus Optimisation Systeme Alimentation) fully electric buses. Their operation can save as much as 1,000 t of CO2 per year (compared with the existing diesel buses). ABB will deliver and deploy 13 flash-charging stations along the route, as well as three terminal and four depot feeding stations. The flash-charging connection technology 20


Bus stop with flash-charging station. The batteries of the bus receive a 15-second, 600 kW boost while at the stop.


used will be the world’s fastest. It will take less than one second to connect the bus to the charging point. The onboard batteries can then be charged by a 600 kW boost, lasting 15 seconds, using time that the bus is at the bus stop. A further four- to five-minute charge at the terminus will enable a full recharge of the batteries.

ELECTRIFICATION OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ABB has developed a modular platform for the electric drive train of city buses. This caters to all e-bus applications ranging from the traditional trolleybus to DC fast-charged or flash-charged battery buses. At the heart of this are ABB’s efficient, water-cooled, permanent-magnet traction motors as well as the compact BORDLINE traction and auxiliary converter. The converter can drive up to two traction motors and all the auxiliary consumers of the bus. On a flash-charged bus, the converter also handles the flash and opportunity charging at bus stops and the DC fast-charging at the end of the line. On an

electric trolleybus, it is supplemented by a double-insulated DC-DC input converter. Adding a battery to this drive train enables the bus to operate free of catenary lines (overhead lines).

CHARGING MATTERS Availability of battery power is essential for an electric bus or tram to fulfil its function. However, after a certain amount of time and usage, a battery needs to be replaced. A challenge for ABB engineers is to predict when this will occur, and to create specifications that ensure availability of power through the product’s and system’s life.

A MODEL INFORMED BY EXPERIMENTS A battery ‘dies’ because it fails to deliver the power required for the specified timespan. More specifically, the decline in capacity (Ah) and rise in internal resistance (Ω) are simultaneous processes that compromise the battery’s ability to deliver power. This is due to chemical and mechanical decomposition of the materials inside the battery. A key challenge in battery integration lies in predicting the rate at which the battery will degrade. One approach is to test the batteries. The batteries are charged and discharged under various conditions, to quantify the decline in capacity and rise in resistance. However, this method alone cannot cover all the use cases of the electric bus. There are too many variables, including temperature, state of charge, depth of discharge / charge, and current. The time and sheer number of experiments required to cover all the use cases are simply too high.

ABB’s BORDLINE CC200 traction and auxiliary converter.

Key technology components of the TOSA bus.

The solution to estimating battery lifetime is to make a model informed by experimental results and a fundamental understanding of the key physical and chemical processes of the battery. This approach is semi-empirical, in that it relies partly on empirical/experimental results. Models based purely on physics are not suitable, as the high number and complexity of the various physical and chemical interactions are too numerous, to run computations efficiently. It is more time-efficient to conduct a series of well-designed experiments and use the results to create a model. The key to building a good model is to design the right experiments. Step 1: Design the right experiments In this phase, the temperatures, depth of discharge, state of charge, and current are varied in a series of battery tests. The THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER August 2017



capacity decline and resistance rise are measured. This will later enable a prediction of how certain charge / discharge events of the battery would impact the battery ageing, over time and through use.

• charging power of 600 kW for 20 sec (to allow for rapid charges), and 400 kW for 5 minutes

Step 2: Develop the model The internal electrical architecture of a Li-ion battery is complex, but electrical response is approximated with a number of resistive and capacitive components. Heat and age modify these components, as informed by the thermal and ageing sub-models.

Three battery scenarios were analysed, using the thermal, electric and ageing battery model to forecast the lifetime and the end-of-life (EOL) properties. Here the EOL is defined as 80% of the initial capacity, or 200% of the initial resistance.

As electric buses are power applications, Joule heating (I2R) is the dominant type of energy loss and dictates the battery cell’s wall and core temperatures during operation. These temperatures are essential for accurate electrical and ageing sub-models. The ageing sub-model is based on the results of experiments and quantification of the decline in capacity and rise in resistance expected from the many possible charge / discharge events. The resulting battery model combines the electric, thermal, and ageing sub-models. The interplay of these sub-models enables the prediction of the change in capacity and resistance, under a given load and temperature, over time. Step 3: Verify the model Experiments at cell level inform and verify the model using realistic load profiles. This is an iterative process involving further refinement. Step 4: Apply the model Once the model has been generated and verified, it becomes an important tool in scenario analysis. The battery’s temperature, voltage, energy, and peak power all affect how a battery system should be dimensioned. While this process is not the final say in how big a battery should be, modelling informs decision-makers and designers on how key variations in battery size and cooling influence bus performance.

SCENARIO ANALYSIS The following scenario analysis considers a 25 t articulated bus with a maximum passenger capacity of 80 people. There are 13 flash-charging stations distributed along the route of 12 km length, providing a charging power of 600 kW for 20 seconds. The terminal-charging uses 400 kW and takes four to five minutes. Key battery requirements for this electric bus include:

For the case of the ‘small energy’ battery, flash-charging the battery at 600 kW would not be possible at end-oflife, as it is beyond the power limit of the battery pack, with a C-rate limit of 8. C-rate is the rate at which a battery discharges, with 1 C-rate representing a complete discharge in 1 hour, and a 10 C-rate representing a complete discharge in 1/10th of 1 h, or 6 minutes. The battery would be able to power the bus for some time using terminal-charging only, but the rise in resistance would be too great (210%), resulting in an eventual unsafe temperature (T > 80°C), internal to the cell, as well as a minimum voltage of less than 600 V, which is insufficient to power the motor and auxiliary systems. For the case of the ‘strong cooling’ battery, it would be fine for terminal-charging only. However, the flashcharging of 580 kW is beyond the limits of the battery pack. The lower coolant temperature, however, is sufficient to maintain healthy voltage and temperature ranges throughout the battery’s lifetime of 12 years. This is a clear demonstration that battery temperature matters for system lifetime performance. The ‘large energy’ battery is the only one of the three considered, that could fulfill both the flash-charging and terminal-charging requirements. For flash-charging, the additional cells in series are simply needed to raise the voltage and lower the current to meet the power requirements throughout the battery’s life. Additionally, this configuration (375s4p) would ensure a healthy temperature window for the entire 10 years of the required battery life. Use of the battery model on these three battery cases is a simple means to demonstrate the impact of battery design on maintaining a reliable system performance at end-of-life. Further design iterations would be done to find the optimum solution, while mitigating all risks through system analysis.

• a minimum charge voltage of 600 V (to ensure sufficient power is available for the motor and auxiliary systems and to match the charging infrastructure)

Furthermore, the battery model informs the public transportation operator on the impact on battery design, of choosing flash-charging or terminal-charging. The bus line operators know their cities and their needs, and are in the best position to decide whether terminal- or flashcharging is most suited. The battery model is a support tool to inform them of the consequences of their system choices on the battery design.

• a cell temperature of max 60° C (to ensure safe operation, as the electrolyte evaporates above 80° C)

(Adapted from the original article which was published in ABB Review 04-16)

• a 10-year lifetime


• an energy of 46 kWh (to complete a journey in one direction, with backup power for exceptional circumstances)



PT FKA Global cuts tollway DEVELOPMENT COSTS

in Indonesian road project Solutions from Bentley Systems propel development and interconnection among Sumatera Island’s provinces. Tollways connect rural Sumatera The Trans Sumatera Toll Road is a 2,770 km tollway being developed by state-owned EPC contractor PT Hutama Karya (HK) for the Indonesian Government. Extending from Aceh to Lampung, this ambitious USD 21.4 billion project will accelerate economic development in Sumatera (knownas Sumatra in English). HK’s team of contractors includes IT service provider PT FKA Global, a Bentley Channel Partner, qualified to set up the BIM technology, centralised data repository and collaboration platform. In addition to significant project delivery time and cost savings, Bentley applications produced the intelligent data HK required for asset lifecycle management upon turnover.

An interchange, along the Trans Sumatera Toll Road, under construction.

Planning project handover

BIM methodology delivers intelligent data

Home to a mostly rural population, Sumatera is heavily forested with mountainous terrain and smouldering volcanos. The Government of Indonesia undertook the Trans Sumatera Toll Road project, as part of a large-scale road construction programme, to spur development on the island. The Public Works and Public Housing Ministry appointed owner-operator HK to develop the tollway and launch operations in sections, including 17 main lines and seven connecting lines. The tollway consists of four main corridors, plus three priority corridors that are part of the Sumatera road network. The four main corridors include sections connecting Lampung and Palembang (358 km), Palembang and Pekanbaru (610 km), Pekanbaru and Medan (548 km), and Medan and Banda Aceh (460 km). The three additional priority corridors connect Palembang and Bengkulu (303 km), Pekanbaru and Padang (242 km), and Medan and Sibolga (175 km). Jakarta-based HK has a history of developing high-priority infrastructure projects for the government and is known as a pioneer in construction technology and methods. To deliver the Trans Sumatera Toll Road, HK was challenged to exercise a collaborative approach with a team of contractors implementing the latest BIM (Building Information Modelling) technology. Upon project handover, it was essential for the team to deliver complete and accurate asset lifecycle data to inform HK’s operation and maintenance of the tollway. 24


As a leading technology service provider throughout Indonesia, PT FKA Global has designed and implemented complex IT solutions for seamless collaboration on government projects. For the Trans Sumatera Toll Road project, FKA Global deployed two Bentley applications and associated mobile apps that became the foundation of HK’s BIM-enabled project delivery methodology. OpenRoads applications enabled construction-driven engineering from basic design through construction and asset handover by contractors. Team members used the full breadth of modelling capabilities, including design modelling, analytical modelling, reality modelling, and hybrid modelling. The innovative 3D technology streamlined traditional engineering workflows to produce high-quality, integrated designs. ProjectWise provided project collaboration and technical data management from engineering and construction through as-built drawing and commissioning. The platform provided a centralised repository for the project’s BIM data management and supported mobile workflows, and enabled collaboration among the owner, contractors, and subcontractors. ProjectWise allowed stakeholders with role-based privileges to share information from any location.

Supporting lifecycle operations and management Bentley technology enabled project team members to share project information across teams, locations, and


disciplines, with precision and security. Accurate and timely engineering content management facilitated the team’s technical communications, design reviews, revision control, and asset data handover. The ProjectWise collaboration platform will carry over into asset lifecycle management, enabling continued centralised control of the intelligent project data. Bentley’s BIM advancements saved project delivery time and costs by enabling the project team to establish faster, more transparent communication among stakeholders. Dynamic 3D modelling enhanced the geometric design process, allowing HK’s team to find the most effective geometry for the complex tollway. The 3D model reviews helped to avoid interferences among disciplines, while the easy conversion of models to shop drawings helped reduce resource hours and errors. Using ProjectWise to give regulators restricted access to safety review documents made for seamless compliance management and fewer delays. As part of the Masterplan for Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesia’s Economic Development (MP3EI), the Trans Sumatera Toll Road will improve access to remote sectors of the second largest island in Indonesia. From

its ambitious start in 2015 to its expected completion in 2025, the tollway’s four main corridors and three priority corridors will improve connectivity and development for the next 50 to 100 years.

BENTLEY PRODUCTS USED Power InRoads Road Design and Analysis Software ProjectWise & ProjectWise Explorer Project and Design Collaboration Software OpenRoads Navigator Civil Design Software for Road Networks gINT Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Software LEAP Bridge Bridge Design and Analysis Software STAAD.Pro 3D Structural Analysis and Design Software

Siemens builds eHighway in Germany Siemens has been commissioned by the German state of Hesse to build an overhead contact line for electrified freight transport on a 10-km stretch of autobahn. The line will supply electricity for the electric drive of a hybrid truck.

bustion engines. That not only means cutting energy consumption in half, but also significantly reducing local air pollution. The core element of the system is an intelligent pantograph on the trucks combined with a hybrid drive system.

Siemens originally presented its innovative ‘eHighway’ concept in 2012.

Trucks equipped with the system operate locally, emission-free, with electricity from the overhead line and automatically switch to a hybrid engine on roads without overhead lines.

The system will be installed on the A5 federal autobahn between the Zeppelinheim/Cargo City Süd interchange at Frankfurt Airport and the Darmstadt/ Weiterstadt interchange. The eHighway will thus be tested on a public highway in Germany for the first time. Siemens will be responsible for the planning, construction and, as an option, maintenance of the system. The system is being built as part of the joint project ‘Electrified, innovative heavy freight transport on autobahns’ (ELISA) of Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). Hessen Mobil, responsible for road and transport management in Hesse, is managing the project. The eHighway power supply system is said to be twice as efficient as power supply by internal com-

Under the eHighway concept, trucks get their power from an overhead contact line. The technology is said to be a reliable and environment-friendly alternative to that for standard truck transport.




Optimising energy efficiency


by Tayeb M M H Al Awadhi, Vice President, Power and Desalination, Dubai Aluminium PJSC, Jebel Ali Driven by a quest for continuous improvement and plant efficiency enhancement, DUBAL has proactively implemented several initiatives to sustain world-class power generation operating efficiency and protect the environment by reducing fossil fuel consumption, thus lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This article shares best practice and initiatives implemented for improving station thermal efficiency during the period January 2011 to December 2015. BACKGROUND Dubai Aluminium (DUBAL), also known as Jebel Ali Operations, is an operating subsidiary of Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA). Having produced its first hot metal in 1979, DUBAL celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2014. The aluminium smelting process requires large amounts of electrical energy. Typically, 13 to 15 megawatt hours (MWh) are required to produce one tonne of hot, molten aluminium. DUBAL’s location in the Middle East ensures an abundant source of energy, primarily from natural oil and gas. Our smelter complex includes a captive combined cycle power plant with a power generation capacity of 2,350 MW (at 30°C), making our operations self-sufficient in terms of energy requirements. The waste heat from the DUBAL Power Plant is used to produce potable water through the DUBAL Desalination Plant. Through combustion, chemical energy in fuel (either natural gas or distillate) is converted into heat energy. This passes through a gas turbine where it is converted to mechanical energy. This mechanical energy is then converted to electrical energy using generators. The resulting alternating current (AC) is converted into direct current (DC) by rectifier transformers, for use in the aluminium reduction process. Currently, the DUBAL Power Plant has 23 gas turbines and seven steam turbines, supplying on-site power for DUBAL as well as externally to nearby customers. The gas turbines have an associated waste heat boiler (WHB) which utilises the heat energy within the gas turbine exhaust to generate steam. The steam is supplied to five condensing-type steam turbines, as combined cycle plants, and two back pressure-type steam turbines, as one large co-generation cycle for the water desalination process, together forming DUBAL’s overall power generation ‘energy cycle’.

Over the years, station thermal efficiency improved from 43.53% to 46.19%.

plants were kept in continuous duty, while the multiple cogeneration units were on standby mode, with demand factor of two units out of five per year. Over the years, station thermal efficiency improved from 43.53% to 46.19% (2.66 % incremental improvement). The result is a remarkable 28.4 mscfd reduction in fuel consumption and 550,875 tonnes less of CO2 emissions. Throughout the following sections, the energy-saving initiatives implemented will be presented in brief.


POWER STATION THERMAL EFFICIENCY Taking the year 2011 as the baseline, station thermal efficiency was set at 43.53% for the constant electrical load demand of 1,890 MW. The large combined cycle power 26


GTX cogeneration plant


The cogeneration concept of the GTX Project (DUBAL’s Gas Turbines connected in variable running modes) is unique. Apart from the installation of limited new facilities, it avails the spare capacity of existing assets, increases flexibility and enhances availability of the operating systems. The new concept ensures utilisation of the additional steam turbine capacities as well as the flexibility of operations between power mode (more MW) and water mode (more water production). When the concept was discussed with the technology providers (Alstom and ABB-GE), it was evident that the idea had never been tried elsewhere. Their commercial proposals also demonstrated a high level of complexity in the idea, due to the complexity of the steam line connections and the control system. But for DUBAL, this project provided a sure way to maintain the fuel-free power levels critical to the commercial success of the aluminium smelter. The actual concept entailed a very complex steam distribution network which could be directed to the different steam turbines. This could be replicated in other power stations with a similar configuration. Project Average Savings (per year): • 200,000 tonnes CO2 • Gas consumption reduced by 10 mscfd



The existing two Alstom 13E2 units, configured in CCPP 22, were upgraded.

Fully operative in March 2015, an advanced technology power augmentation was retrofitted on DUBAL’s existing two Alstom 13E2 units configured in CCPP 22. Looking backward to the performance validation, the first Alstom 13E2 MXL2 upgrade was installed in England in 2012 at the South Hamber Bank. The claimed performance was validated by maintaining 1.0% combined cycle block thermal efficiency improvement, 10 MW increase in each unit and reduced extended life cycle cost. The upgrade package included a new compressor, new turbine blading, minor combustion modifications and EGH spring support. In addition, the upgrade is fully compatible with EV or the new AEV (advanced En-vironmental) burners for operational flexibility. Project Average Savings (per year): • 45,000 tonnes CO2 • Gas consumption reduction by 2.3 mscfd


GE Frame 9B gas turbines were partly uprated.

DUBAL’s GE Frame 9B gas turbines were partly uprated into the next generation GE Frame 9E gas turbines, creating the new classification type GE Frame 9BE gas turbines. The five units run with an average duty factor of two per year. The performance guarantee given by GE was for each unit to gain 14.2% in electrical output and 2.60% in heat rate. The actual results achieved have exceeded those levels. The project was installed during major or HGPI outage periods, so it took a long time to complete the five units. The last two units were uprated in 2011-2012. Project Average Savings (per year for 2 units): • 70,000 tonnes CO2 • Gas consumption reduced by 3.5 mscfd

Erection of one unit of the Hepa H filtration system

The Hepa H filtration system was introduced and installed on all the large gas turbines units at the DUBAL Power Plant. Previously, the old inlet air filtration was either multi-stage static filtration or single-stage pulse filtration, which required multiple replacements. The installation project was conducted along with a major maintenance outage plan and was installed in-house with the support of OEM suppliers. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER August 2017



FRAME 9E EVAPORATIVE COOLERS The concept of evaporative coolers is to run gas turbines in hot dry conditions, but spray water post the inlet structure, which will evaporate. The latent heat absorbed for the evaporation of the water will reduce the temperature of the compressor inlet. By experience and theory, as the ambient temperature increases, the electrical output and thermal efficiency of gas turbines are reduced. The aim is thus always to reduce the temperature of the inlet air stream.

The clean condition of the internal components indicates that erosion, corrosion and fouling of components had been virtually eliminated.

After being installed in seven units, the improved performance of the gas turbines was evident. During the first maintenance outage period, it was observed that erosion of the turbine components, compressor fouling, and the corrosion of turbine components had been virtually eliminated. Project Average Savings (per year): • 20,000 tonnes CO2 • Gas consumption reduction by 1.0 mscfd

Frame 9E evaporative coolers


GE installed Advanced Gas Path (AGP) technology on all the old Frame 9E units.

Typical performance design for gas turbines. Electrical output vs ambient temperature.

Similar to the Alstom 13E2 MXL2 upgrade, GE approached DUBAL to install Advanced Gas Path (AGP) technology on all the old Frame 9E units. The idea was that, once the unit reached close to the end of life of component cycle (running post 150,000 hours), it is more economical and advantageous (from a performance point of view) to replace old components with AGP-based ones. DUBAL had tried this technology on GE Frame 9E unit 20 in 2013 and unit 17 in 2014. The claimed performance was validated by maintaining 1.0 % combined cycle block thermal efficiency improvement, and 2.15 % in MW increase in each unit. Project Average Savings (per year for 2 units): • 30,000 tonnes CO2 • Gas consumption reduction by 1.6 mscfd 28


The gas turbine inlet temperature was reduced, even at peak ambient temperatures.


Although the ambient temperature was high, reaching peaks during July and averaging 40˚ C at relative humidity averages in the 60% range, the gas turbine was operating at 29˚ C. From experience and observations, it was noted that for 10˚ C variations in ambient temperature, 10% of electrical output is impacted. Much electrical power can be recovered by a reduction of about 10˚ C during the summer season. Project Average Savings (per year for 9 units): • 155,000 tonnes CO2 • Gas consumption reduction by 8.0 mscfd

OTHER INITIATIVES A few small initiatives have also been implemented at the DUBAL Power Plant. A few examples are presented. 13E2 Gas Turbine TIT Increase The 13E2 combined cycle power plants (GT21-22) were tuned by the OEM for extra power generation. In doing this, the Gas Turbine Inlet Temperature (TIT) was rectified by the control software to increase by about 11° C firing levels. Project Average Savings (per year for 9 units): • 30,000 tonnes CO2 • Gas consumption reduction by 1.5 mscfd Margin / Outage Management Within the Power & Desalination Department, the generation margin is managed by running smaller units and

cycling large units to optimum efficiency levels. Moreover, the maintenance outage is managed by period reduction and allocation in the best slots. A sample plan is given below. Project Average Savings (per year): • 10,000 tonnes CO2 • Gas consumption reduction by 0.5 mscfd Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE) - Quick Wins Being a member of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE), DUBAL whole-heartedly adopted the directives issued in April 2011 by H H Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum (President of Dubai Civil Aviation, Chairman of Emirates Airline Group, and Chairman of DSCE) to all DSCE member companies, regarding the measures which the Dubai Government is taking to minimise energy consumption in Dubai, in fulfilment of the Emirate’s 2030 Energy Strategy. DUBAL implemented four key energy-saving initiatives, achieving 54,000 MWhr power savings and 27,000 tonnes of CO2 reduction in the period January 2011 to September 2015. The initiatives, all well beyond the requirement of DSC, are: 1) Air-conditioning savings through thermostatic temperature control Air-conditioning (cooling) is the greatest consumer of power in any facility or building. Conversely, thermostatic temperature controlling of air-conditioning minimises the carbon foot print. Therefore at DUBAL’s premises, the air-conditioning temperature setting is

A sample outage management plan




24˚ C during working hours and 27˚ C outside working hours. The initiative was introduced through an internal awareness campaign. 2) Minimising lighting use and heat build-up Several methods have been introduced, eg: • Manually switching off lights, when leaving before week-ends, and switching them on, at the start of the morning shift on the next working day. • Installation of motion sensors at indoor locations with minor usage (substations, offices). • Installation of photocells at external locations, to detect sun light and switch off lights. • Transparent sheets installed in the gas turbine/ steam turbine halls, DAD houses and SW pump house. • Vent fans installed in the GE Frame 9BE Gas Turbine halls. • Sun guard protection provided on windows (mainly at the Head Office). 3) Replacing all fluorescent lamps and floodlights with LED type lamps Savings of between 50% and 75% in power usage was achieved. 4) Solar energy utilisation A mini solar field (90 kW) was built in a residential area.

SUMMARY The outcomes cited in this article, over the period 2011 to 2015, can be summarised as: • Station overall efficiency improved by 2.66 % incremental • Power Plant gas fuel consumption reduced by 28.4 million standard cubic feet day (mscfd) • CO2 emissions to surrounding air reduced by 550,875 tonnes (This article is based on a paper authored by by Tayeb M M H Al Awadhi, Vice President, Power and Desalination, Dubai Aluminium PJSC, Jebel Ali, and presented at Asia Power Week Conference and Exhibition 2016. The paper won a Best Paper Award. Asia Power Week Conference and Exhibition 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.

Kohler launches new large diesel industrial generator line in APAC Kohler has launched an all-new range of large diesel industrial generators into the Asia-Pacific market. The range was first introduced at a special event in Strasbourg, France, recently. The company’s new KD Series includes generator sets in nodes between 800 kVA and 4200 kVA, which are powered by an entirely new line of G-Drive engines, also introduced at the event. The generators will be available throughout the region under the KOHLER brand and are designed to deliver durability and reliability in a variety of emergency and prime applications. Targeted industries include data centres, healthcare, water treatment, oil & gas, telecommunications, mining, and more. Users of the new KD Series generators will find cost savings because the line delivers low fuel consumption at more nodes, between 800 kW and 2500 kW. The new generators are designed to meet global regulations on emissions and are customisable to match an end-user’s specific requirements. Multiple options are available to ensure optimal performance for the most demanding applications. Products are designed for high ambient temperature conditions. Thanks to high technology regulation and monitoring control systems on each component, the KD series offers high power quality and good transient response, in compliance with stringent regulations. When service is needed, Kohler has a region-wide dealer and distribution infrastructure, offering 24/7 parts availability. Distributor technicians are factory-trained to provide fast and accurate assistance and have expertise in power specifications, equipment integration, and more.

POWER-GEN Asia is the region’s premier conference and exhibition for the power generation, transmission and distribution industries. Renewable Energy World Asia is a leading conference and exhibition for the Asian renewable and alternative 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 Exhibition is organised by PennWell Corporation).



The new KD Series large diesel industrial generator from Kohler


The great cloud migration by Roselynda Afandi Manufacturing firms are leveraging digital technologies to streamline operations, improve productivity and reduce time to market. Our world is becoming increasingly connected through the Internet of Things (IoT), as more appliances and products we use are connected to each other through a layer of added intelligence. The explosive growth in connected devices and platforms, the abundance of data, and the rapidly changing technological landscape have made it imperative for companies to adapt their products and services and move from the physical to the digital world. In the field of engineering, IoT is changing faster than ever. Software engineers, mechanical engineers and manufacturing engineers are finding new opportunities in the world of Internet, everywhere. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) are two categories offering applications in the cloud that are closely related to engineering and manufacturing. ERP is used to manage key areas of a company’s business, such as manufacturing planning, inventory and supply chain management, finances, and human resources. CRM is used to manage the company’s interactions with current and future customers, including marketing campaigns, opportunities, sales, and customer support. Cyber-physical systems provide factories with increased connectivity between the management level and the production floor. They are able to monitor the manufacturing process in real-time and make decentralised decisions, based on data fed back through these networked machines. The autonomous networking of machines and systems along with the inclusion of big data analytics, smart sensors and cloud computing applications also help to predict maintenance issues or system failures and react to them accordingly, saving valuable time and money for companies. These technologies are revolutionising the way things are designed and produced, and even product lifecycles. The concerted move to the cloud comes at an opportune time, especially with the anticipated growth of IoT, which will see 20.8 billion connected devices in use by 2020. More than just a depository to store and manage the ever-growing expanse of production data, cloud computing offers new opportunities to optimise design, engineering and manufacturing processes.

The intelligent factory The Smart Factory will help companies improve processes through automation and self-optimisation. Central to 32


Infineon’s plans for digital integration involves increasing automation and productivity, through the adoption of robotics. Image by Fabian Schiffer, Infineon.

the operations of this smart environment are cloud-connected machinery and equipment that leverage collected data to monitor processes and keep production running optimally. The application of intelligence - in the form of sensors, motors and robotics - along the assembly lines also frees up manpower from repetitive tasks, and directs them to more urgent or complex roles. As part of efforts to improve its capabilities, electronics manufacturing firm Infineon Technologies is implementing its own Smart Enterprise Programme (SEP). With a SGD 105-million investment, the company plans to transform its manufacturing plant in Singapore into a Smart Factory over the next five years. Various technologies have already been deployed, including cloud robotics in the form of automated guided vehicles that transport chips across different parts of the facility. With increased automation, Infineon expects to eliminate errors and accidents that typically occur in manual activities such as the handling of materials in and out of storage, and microscopic visual inspection for defects. Beyond work processes, the jobs of the company’s engineers, technicians and operators are also being revised. New workflows and technologies mean that workers are expected to acquire skill-sets in trouble-shooting and operating man-machine interfaces, and ensure that they continually adapt as the system evolves. In the long run, the SEP, supported by a trained workforce, will give the company a leap in productivity, in this case, a chip output four times more, while helping it maintain its competitive edge in manufacturing.


Cross-system integration Tulip, a cloud-based operating system recently introduced a self-service technology that allows engineers to create customised apps that facilitate shop floor operations. Offering manufacturers a high degree of flexibility in creating their own digital solutions, the modular platform ensures customers’ unique, ever-changing needs are carefully addressed. The system makes it easy for manufacturers to connect work processes with machines and back-end IT systems, and feeds operators with real-time data on their smart devices. Insights based on advanced analytics enable workers on shop floors to respond to changes quickly, while they perform their production tasks. With integrated access to previously isolated data streams, businesses are better equipped to monitor operations, reduce downtime, increase savings and support process improvement.

Tulip’s system connects manufacturers with real-time data on shop floor operations, allowing them to capture defects in goods before they leave the production site.

The Tulip system has yielded positive results. In its first four weeks of operation at Jabil, a global provider of intelligent supply chain solutions, production rose by more than 10% and manual assembly quality issues decreased by a significant 60%.

Cloud-based simulations Small and medium-sized companies are increasingly relying on engineering software and high computing power. CloudFlow, an EU project coordinated by Fraunhofer IGD provides both. Forty-six partner institutions from 13 European countries are working together in this project. The idea is to provide these companies with the opportunity, by means of cloud computing, to use simulation software via the Internet on the CloudFlow platform. In doing so, the available servers provide very high computing power to solve complex tasks. One example is the successful experiment carried out by software developer Capvidia and BOGE, a leading supplier of industrial air compressor systems. Through CloudFlow and Capvidia’s cloud-adapted computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations, BOGE was able to improve the characteristics of its air compressors. Using physical mock-ups and acoustics information from gathered data, BOGE’s engineers were able to optimise fan performance, resulting in reduced power consumption and noise emission - both of which are especially important considerations in markets that require silent or ultra energy-efficient compressors. The virtual simulations also help minimise design and engineering costs and time (from a week to mere hours). Such technical/physical improvements depend on cloud-derived information that would not have been obtained through physical experiments. The experiment demonstrates how cloud-based simulations in the development phase go a long way in ensuring better economic predictions, faster time-to-market and higher quality air compressors. BOGE estimates that the

Using cloud-based simulation software on the CloudFlow platform, BOGE succeeded in improving the characteristics of its compressors.

successful application of computational fluid dynamics can increase its revenues by about EUR 2 million over the next few years.

Evolution of digital ecosystems No doubt, the power and influence of digitalisation is now getting the attention it deserves. Entire industries are scrambling to keep pace while emergent technologies continue to provide ways for businesses to shape a new future for themselves. To survive, this requires embedding the ability to track, understand, evaluate and harness emerging technologies and innovation that are taking place within and across various platforms, as part of a company’s strategic process. Supply chain ecosystems and the processes that span them will be among the biggest beneficiaries of cloud-powered IoT solutions. Cloud deployment of software will not only gradually become the default, but it will continue to push the boundaries of connectedness and efficiency, by empowering engineers, operators and whole businesses, to build more coordinated data ecosystems and create more transparent and organised supply chains. (Roselynda Afandi is a freelance communications specialist covering technological trends in sectors like healthcare, logistics, engineering and industrial automation). THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER August 2017



HP launches Virtual Reality solutions and services for businesses The new VR portfolio includes a professional wearable VR PC. commercial-grade reliability, but also world-class partnerships with Intel, NVIDIA, Technicolor, HTC Vive and others, to create a complete VR ecosystem. HP is investing in immersive Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies to give customers and partners tools for commercial VR use cases. Thirteen immersion centres will be opened later this year - in Palo Alto, Houston, Boise, Fort Collins, Stockholm, London, Paris, Barcelona, Boeblingen, Beijing, Sydney, Tokyo and Singapore. They have been designed so that customers can have an immersive experience using HP VR technology and learn how best to deploy VR devices within their businesses to streamline workflows. The new HP Z VR Backpack is a professional wearable PC.

Positioning itself as the partner of choice for businesses looking to reduce concept to production cycle times, improve training procedures and deliver fully immersive customer experiences, HP has unveiled the new HP Z VR Backpack, a professional wearable PC. “Virtual Reality is changing the way people learn, communicate and create”, said Xavier Garcia, Vice President and General Manager, Z Workstations, HP Inc. “Making the most of this technology requires a collaborative relationship between customers and partners. As a leader in technology, HP is uniting powerful commercial VR solutions, including new products like the HP Z VR Backpack, with customer needs, to empower VR experiences our customers can use today to reinvent the future”, he added.

The HP Z VR Backpack The HP Z VR Backpack solution provides the freedom to move and maintain total immersion with high visual performance and docking capabilities, making it a manageable, powerful desktop PC experience. The HP Z VR Backpack is a catalyst for more powerful VR experiences across many enterprises and businesses including the following use case examples: • VR can be used to deliver safe and effective simulated training for personnel who have to work in hazardous environments, personnel in the medical field and personnel engaged in heavy equipment operations. In all these environments, effective VR training solutions can be provided using the HP Z VR Backpack. • In architectural design of buildings, virtual walkthroughs at scale can be provided, for client reviews. • In product development, new product styling can be

There are great opportunities for business to use commercial VR in product design, architecture, healthcare, first responder training, automobile engineering and entertainment. Emerging technologies like VR create breakthrough experiences for customers, from reinventing the buying experience in automotive showrooms to changing the way hospitals train their staff.

HP’s approach to VR HP technology not only provides 34


HP Z VR with Z31xDreamColour display


reviewed, and executive agreement and sign off can be obtained in virtual product showrooms. • In commercial entertainment, new location-based entertainment centres featuring exhilarating Virtual Reality experiences can now be realised with the HP Z VR Backpack. With the workstation-class HP Z VR Backpack, the full potential of VR is brought to-life. HP’s fully immersive and untethered VR Backpack is light with an ergonomic backpack design and swappable batteries, to provide

freedom within an immersive experience. It has high-end processing power and a high-fidelity graphic solution to help prevent disruptive dropped frames, so users can work in VR for as long as needed. The Intel Core i7 vPro processor provides the power to process applications quickly and includes the vPro chipset. The HP Z VR Backpack is said to be the first wearable VR PC in the market with the NVIDIA Quadro P5200 with a huge 16GB video memory. Further, its docking solution lets digital creators quickly transition back and forth between high powered desktop for content design and wearable VR PC to validate creations. The HTC Vive Business Edition HMD (sold separately) is part of the HP VR portfolio. HP Z VR Backpack is expected to be available in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, in September.

The HP VR Product Portfolio HP’s versatile, high-powered devices empower customers to create and consume VR content. HP’s commercial grade products are designed for mission-critical business applications that require high levels of security, manageability, reliabilty and ISV certified applications.

HP Z VR Backpack used by product designers

The HP ZBook 17 Mobile Workstation delivers power and performance and can be configured with the optimal horsepower and graphics solutions to bring VR content to-life in a smooth 90 FPS VR experience. HP Z Desktop Workstations are designed to create visually stimulating, accurate and compelling VR content. They feature the latest processors and graphics cards and are built to stay quiet, cool and reliable for graphics-intensive tasks. The HP EliteDesk 800 G3 Tower, a VR-certified PC, features high performance and expandability in a redesigned 26% smaller chassis for the modern workplace.

HP Z VR Backpack used for training

The OMEN X Compact Desktop brings gamers an immersive experience. The factory-overclocked GPU from NVIDIA and versatile form factor mean that it can dock and undock quickly for gaming anywhere or can be used as a backpack for an untethered consumer VR gaming experience.

HP Z Workstation VR Product Family




Partners team up

To join the race to Mars The objective of their project is to simulate life on the Red Planet. HP and NVIDIA teamed up with Autodesk, Fusion, Launch Forth, Technicolor, Unreal Engine and VIVE to launch HP Mars Home Planet - a global project using VR to simulate what a human population of one million could look like on Mars. From buildings, vehicles, farms and clothing, this co-creation project by professional creatives from around the world explores how life could be sustained on the red planet given its climate and atmospheric challenges. The HP Mars Home Planet project advances work initially done for Mars 2030, a VR experience created by Fusion with the US-based National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Now, HP and its partners are uniting engineers, architects, designers, artists and students to imagine, design and experience, through VR, humanity’s future on Mars.

Planet’s Mars Urbanization Challenge, where participants will focus on transportation and infrastructure concepts for a specific location. NASA identified Mawrth Vallis Mars Valley in Welsh - as a potential landing site on Mars. Following the conceptualisation phase, 3D modelling and rendering will be completed - resulting in a VR experience of life on Mars. Participants of the project will use best-in-class Autodesk software to make anything - from 3D models of Martian buildings and cities to vehicles and infrastructure. With creative and technical leadership from Technicolor, creators will then use Unreal Engine to create a VR simulation of what life on Mars

could be like for one million people. The environment will build on Mars Valley terrain from Fusion’s ‘Mars 2030’ game which is based on NASA research. HP Mars Home Planet is produced and managed by Launch Forth, a product development community made up of designers, engineers and solvers, working together to develop solutions to design and engineering challenges, big and small, enabling participants to team up and collaborate to solve challenges. HP Mars Home Planet is part of HP’s newly announced VR strategy which is focused on enabling brands to reimagine how they innovate and engage customers.

“In 2016, we conquered the International Space Station with our HP ZBook Workstations, powered by NVIDIA Quadro graphics, and now we have our sights set on Mars”, said Josh Peterson, Vice President of Product Management for Workstations, HP. “Through HP and partner technology, we are unleashing engineers, architects, designers and students to help anticipate and solve the real world problems we will face to inhabit Mars one day”, he added. The project looks beyond 2030, to a time in the future where there are families and communities living on Mars. The goal of the project is to engage creative thinkers to solve some of the challenges of urbanisation on the red planet. Ultimately, through the VR experience, people here on earth will be able to experience what life on Mars might be like.

A phased approach The three phases of the year-long programme start with the Home 36


The HP Mars Home Planet Project will use VR to simulate life on Mars.


Energising burning passions

for a sustainable future: WES-CUE & NED 2017 Between 18 to 21 July 2017, IES held the third World Engineers Summit at Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre. Officially known as the World Engineers Summit – Applied Energy Symposium & Forum: Low Carbon Cities & Urban Energy Joint Conference (WES-CUE) 2017, the conference attracted more than 550 participants from some 30 countries around the world, representing a multitude of disciplines and careers – engineers, scientists, energy and urban planning specialists, business leaders, academia, policymakers, and so on. It focused on six key topics: Transport, Building, Industry, Environment, Power Generation & Energy Storage and Urban Planning. Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, was the guest-of-honour at the Opening Ceremony. He also toured some of the exhibits and spoke with engineers from Singapore and the region.

DPM Teo with Dr Jean Venables (4th from left), Er. Emily Tan (6th from left), Er. Dr Lee Bee Wah (8th from left), and other female engineers from the region.

For the first time, the biennial WES series partnered with The Applied Energy Innovation Institute to deliver profound and diverse technical content to delegates. The conference technical committee received a record 288 techni cal paper abstracts, with more than 150 accepted for full paper presentation. The presented papers will be considered for publication in a future special issue of the journal Applied Energy. Four sustainability thought leaders kicked off the conference as plenary speakers: Ms Jean Venables, Vice President of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations and Chair of the Committee on Engineering & Environment; Professor Lui Pao Chuen, Advisor to the National Research Foundation in the Prime Minister’s Office; Dr Richard E. Rocheleau, Director of the Hawaii Natural 38


Prof Lui delivers his keynote address.


Selected from a record-setting 37 entries, the winning projects proved their merit to a judging panel of industry experts in the areas of resourcefulness in planning and solving design problems, the pioneering use of materials and methods, innovations in planning, design and construction, as well as unique aspects and aesthetic values.

Conference participants exchanging ideas and contacts during a break between sessions.

Energy Institute; and Dr Liu Thai Ker, Senior Director at RSP Architects Planners & Engineers and Chairman of the Centre for Liveable Cities. Said Prof Chou Siaw Kiang, Co-Chair for the WES-CUE 2017 Joint Conference and Editor, Applied Energy: “WESCUE 2017 is designed to bring delegates to the forefront of scientific research and facilitate exchange of the latest progress in urban energy systems and policy options.

“The winners of the Prestigious Engineering Achievement Awards 2017 embody the engineers’ spirit of determination and desire to improve lives. I commend all winners for their devotion and determination to break through difficult boundaries to achieve engineering excellence in their projects. Through these awards, IES hopes to recognise and reward these engineers for their achievements and hopefully inspire the younger generation,” said Er. Edwin Khew, President of IES. The Best Paper Award, which went to a team from NUS comprising of Associate Professor Ernest Chua, Prof Chou and Dr Md Raisul Islam, was also presented that evening.

“This year’s summit has played a major role in helping engineers, business leaders, policy makers and other professionals accelerate the transformation of cities into low carbon urban systems and move the world towards a cleaner, more energy-efficient and resilient future.” Prof Yan Jinyue, who co-chaired the conference with Prof Chou and is the Editor-in-Chief of Applied Energy, added that the highly-urbanised nature of Singapore offered an excellent meeting point for the conference theme. Indeed, the many discussions held during the conference breakout sessions saw participants exchange ideas on addressing pressing global issues arising from energy and carbon-intensive urban development, in addition to harnessing engineering innovations to create a sustainable, low carbon future.

Conference Dinner: Lauding the achievements of the local engineering community Marking the mid-point of WES-CUE 2017 was the conference dinner, held on the second night in Hall 4AXF of Suntec Convention Centre. An opportunity for participants to relax and socialise with one another, it was graced by Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli. At the dinner, Mr Masagos presented the IES Prestigious Engineering Achievement Awards 2017 for 12 engineering projects that made exceptional contributions towards enhancing the quality of life and bringing about engineering progress in Singapore (more details on pages 42 – 45). The awards acknowledge the role of the engineering community in designing solutions to Singapore’s myriad problems.

IES Deputy President Dr Yeoh Lean Weng (left) presents a caricature of Mr Masagos to him as a token of appreciation for gracing the Conference Dinner.

Technical visits and side events On the final day of WES-CUE 2017, technical visits to various sites took place. These sites were chosen to showcase some of Singapore’s world-class facilities that make use of engineering innovations to achieve sustainability goals. Delegates visited the Tuas South Waste-to-Energy Plant, the Housing & Development Board’s Centre of Building Research, the Marina District Cooling System at Marina Bay Sands, and Panasonic Factory Solutions Asia Pacific’s vertical farming facility. Alongside the main conference, side events were hosted in conjunction with partner institutions to broaden the domain for open discourse: IStructE Floating Structures Workshop: Organised by the Institution of Structural Engineers, the pre-event workshop was held on 18 July. More than 70 attendees had a robust discussion on the possibility of building floating THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER August 2017



structures on the sea’s surface to address land usage limitations in Singapore. ASHRAE Distinguished Lectures Seminar: Organised by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers on 21 July, the seminar focused on the integrated design, installation and operation of Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning systems and Building Automation Systems to achieve thermal comfort and indoor air quality in buildings.

Seven speakers, each of them having made their mark alongside male counterparts in the industry, were on hand to share their dynamic experiences encountered in the course of their careers and the many ways that helped them pull through their struggles. A lively question-and-answer session followed their presentations. Ms Venables, who was amongst the forum participants, contributed her invaluable insight to the discussion as well. All in all, it was a fruitful session with poignant takeaways for both speakers and participants alike.

National Engineers Day 2017 Co-located with WES-CUE 2017 was National Engineers Day (NED) 2017, Singapore’s largest engineering festival for youths from secondary schools, junior colleges and the various Institutes of Higher Learning. In its eighth year running, the annual event encouraged and nurtured students to explore technological advancements across diverse engin eering fields in a fun and engaging manner. The Tuas South Waste-to-Energy Plant was one of the locations for the WES-CUE 2017 Technical Visits.

Towards a gender-diverse tomorrow Rounding out the roster of side events was the WiSER Forum, hosted by the IES Women in Science, Engineering and Research (WiSER) Committee. The Forum was held to advocate and raise awareness for gender diversity and equality in the engineering profession. Specifically, its focus was to empower aspiring female engineers to take on leadership roles in this field.

This was done through a series of exciting engineering displays, interactive workshops and career talks by working engineers. From programming robots and dabbling in some Formula One-related fun, to showcases of engineering achievements and advancements, a bevy of activities were available for student visitors to partake in. In a first for NED, the newly set up Government Technology Agency (GovTech) organised a half-day hands-on workshop at NED to introduce the basics of data storytelling to students. At the workshop, participating students worked with raw data and applied the latest visualisation grammar and design elements to create their own data visualisation works.

WiSER Forum participants, speakers, and members of the Committee posing for a group photo at the end of the second session. 40



The other major highlight of NED 2017 was the Energy Innovation Challenge (EIC), themed this year around the urban heat island effect. This year’s competition challenged more than 300 students from Singapore and the Asian region to devise smart and eco-friendly technologies to reduce temperatures in urban areas. A total of 111 teams participated in EIC 2017 across four categories: Categories 1, 2 and 3 for students from local secondary schools, junior colleges, ITE and polytechnics respectively and Category 4 for local and overseas universities. They were guided by 54 mentors over a four-month period and gained useful knowledge and skills through a series of workshops and boot camps. The top accolades went to four student teams, who received their prizes on 21 July 2017 from Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative.

They emerged champions from amongst the 72 teams that were shortlisted to display their projects for final rounds of judging and public viewing during the entire NED period from 19 to 21 July 2017 (more details on pages 46 – 47). The winning teams from Categories 1 to 3 earned themselves an overseas educational trip to the Singapore-Suzhou Industrial Park, hosted by China Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park Co., Ltd (CSSD), while the second and third prize winners were awarded $1,000 and $700 respectively. The champion team in Category 4 walked away with an $8,000 cash prize while the second and third prize winners won $5,000 and $3,000 each. The Challenge is jointly organised by IES and Science Centre Singapore and aims to spark students’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics by giving them the opportunity to create solutions targeted at real-world energy problems. It is supported by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore. “EIC 2017 gives participating students a golden opportunity to acquire engineering knowledge and skills and cultivate an inquisitive mind and a passion to inno vate,” said Mr Daniel Ong Chuon Boon, Deputy Managing Director of Jardine Engineering Corporation, Singapore and one of the EIC judges. Many more exciting and memorable moments were captured by our photographers during WES-CUE 2017 and NED 2017. Catch them all on the IES Facebook Page at http://facebook. com/the.institution.of.engineers.singapore/

Students showing keen interest in the Formula One demo track set up at NED 2017.

Ms Randi Vithanagama (standing, left) and Mr Domingo Aw (standing, right) from Republic Polytechnic look on as teammate Helmi bin Norman (extreme right) explains the team’s project concept to EIC Chief Judge Prof Lui Pao Chuen (seated).

The shortlisted EIC teams had the opportunity to explain to the public their proposed solutions to combat the urban heat island effect. THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER August 2017



IES Prestigious Engineering Achievement Awards 2017:

Recipients and project descriptions CATEGORY: APPLIED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT Development of Apparatus and Method to Access Endothelial Function to Better Manage Patients with Diabetes by School of Engineering, Nanyang Polytechnic This project is a joint development by Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) and Tan Tock Seng Hospital to assess the functionality of blood vessels in a non-invasive manner to determine the cardiovascular diseases (CVD) risk in individuals, especially the diabetic patients. The device, VASMeter, is developed using NYP’s patented magnetic based blood flow sensing technology. Through this project, a new CVD risk indicator (RAMDI), is established and has been accepted by the world-renowned European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in May 2017.

EsoGlove: A Soft and Wearable Robotic Glove for Assistance of Hand Impaired Patients during Activities of Daily Living and Rehabilitation by Department of Biomedical Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS) EsoGlove is a soft wearable robotic glove that is capable of supporting individual finger range of motion, and allow at-home hand movement assistance and rehabilitation. The glove will serve as an adjunct to physiotherapists, given growing manpower constraints and greying population. This technology has led to an NUS spin-off, Roceso Technologies - Singapore’s 1st soft robotics company

High Power Mid-Infrared Fiber Laser by Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Fiber laser is an important complex equipment for green and sustainable manufacturing with more precision performance. By employing specialty fiber technologies, state-of-the-art energy was achieved in laser emitting at mid-infrared wavelengths. In the course of this project, SIMTech has also built up local capabilities for optical design, optical fiber fabrication and fiber laser system development.





BCA SkyLab – The World’s First High-Rise Rotatable Laboratory for the Tropics by Building and Construction Authority (BCA) The BCA SkyLab is a state-of-the-art testbed for energy efficient technologies in façades, air-conditioning, lightings and controls. Sitting atop a seven-storey building with a 360-degree rotatable platform, it conducts tests under “real world” conditions at any desired building orientation. SkyLab exemplifies BCA’s goal of making Singapore’s built environment sector a global leader in green buildings for the tropics and sub-tropics.

Littoral Mission Vessel by Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) The Littoral Mission Vessel team adopted the design for support concept to deliver a more capable, faster and mission-flexible vessel. It validated a new operating concept and workflows before construction of the vessel. The user-centric design reduced crew size and workload, and harnessed integration and automation for optimal manning.

Mitigation of Pollution at Kandy Lake and Mid-Canal, Sri Lanka by Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Nanyang Technological University The project team implemented a clean-up of Kandy Lake to improve water quality and provided an aerobic Sequencing Batch Reactor Sewage Treatment Plant at the Sri Dalada Maligawa Temple to mitigate pollution in the Sri Lankan city of Kandy - a UNESCO World Heritage site. Led by NEWRI and the University of Peradeniya (Sri Lanka), with support from the Lien Foundation, the project brought together the community, academia, industry and Sri Lankan government agencies benefitting 400,000 Kandyans. It led to further water and wastewater infrastructure developments, funded by the World Bank and JICA in 2016, with plans for expansion to Kurunegala Lake in 2017.




Singapore Sports Hub by Arup, DP Architects and AECOM Located on a central, 35-hectare waterfront site, the Singapore Sports Hub provides a unique ecosystem of sporting, retail and leisure spaces, at the pivot between Singapore’s expanding city centre and the wider public community. At SGD 1.33 billion, it is the largest sports infrastructure Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) project in the world. At the heart of the hub is the National Stadium – a state-of-the-art 55,000 seat sports venue and air-cooled for comfort to support a wide range of sports and leisure events throughout the year. At 310m, the National Stadium has achieved the largest free-spanning dome roof in the world and a remarkable feat of engineering, optimisation and efficient design.


Island Air Defence – Networked air defence capabilities through technology by DSTA The Island Air Defence (IAD) team developed a fully networked air defence system to protect Singapore’s airspace. It integrated sensors, weapons, commandand-control systems and decision-making tools for enhanced awareness and action. The team also designed open and flexible interface standards and developed blueprints for System-of-Systems level methodologies to deliver a robust, resilient and evolvable air defence system.

The av-Guardian - Guardian for renal failure patients’ lifeline; plug-&-play ready for dialysis of the future by Advent Access Pte Ltd The av-Guardian is the world’s first medical device that introduces the concept of a guardian “guide door” to access a key blood vessel, known as the “AV Fistula”, with greater reliability and less pain, and in a non-invasive manner. In the long run, the av-Guardian represents a proprietary “deviceguided blunt access” technique with the potential to preserve the health of the AV fistula, saving the need for repeated surgeries. Together with other systems that are under development, it will enable patients to be ready for self-haemodialysis, with lower costs and a higher quality of life.




CATEGORY: YOUNG CREATORS AWARD Florisensors – Novel flower-based chemiresistive gas sensors by NUS Chemiresistors are the class of sensors widely used in volatile sensing. All existing chemiresistors are either are expensive, require the use hazardous chemicals and specific physical conditions, or are energy-inefficient. This research presents the development of a novel class of chemiresistors called florisensors made from flower extracts that make them renewable, reusable, reliable, low-cost and environmentally-friendly.

Soft Robotics Technology for Application on Bedside Ankle Rehabilitation by NUS The soft robotic sock for bedside ankle rehabilitation is a novel device to prevent deep vein thrombosis and ankle joint contracture, which are key complications of chronic immobility due to stroke. By using soft fluidic extension actuators, the sock is able to provide compliant robotic assistance to ankle dorsiflexion-plantarflexion and inversioneversion exercises. Therefore, the soft robotic sock allows for effective rehabilitation, starting as early as immediate onset of stroke, and complements conventional manpower-intensive physiotherapy.

(Special Mention) Green and sustainable buildings: For our future by School of Engineering, Temasek Polytechnic The project raised green awareness amongst schools here by encouraging them to “green up” using criteria from the Green Mark for Existing Schools as determined by BCA. Over a period of six months, the team successfully elevated green awareness on the importance of saving energy, water and recycling and achieved Green Mark Awards for four schools: Hong Wen School, Da Qiao Primary School, Chung Cheng High School (Main) and Serangoon Garden Secondary School. As a follow-up and to reach out to a wider audience, the team developed a workshop called “Green Our Little Red Dot (GOL.D) Workshop”, which has been run in a few secondary schools.




Energy Innovation Challenge 2017 in pictures

School visit

The Dab

Good show!



All ready to blow away the competition

All The Red Cards Are Hearts

EIC 2017 Judges


Results Dr Vivian Balakrishnan (fourth from left) poses for a group photo with all the EIC 2017 champion teams. From left: Lua Rong Yi (GMSS), Ahmad Irfan bin Muhd Sharif (ITE College West), Mika Lam (GMSS), Adrian Angelo C. Mangalindan (TIP-QC), Cedrick C. Reyes (TIPQC), Engr. Cris Paulo G. Hate (TIP-QC; team adviser), Myren Licia D. Mendoza (TIP-QC), Izzat bin Mahad (ITE College West), Shao Yakun (ACJC), Mohamad Asyraf bin Mohamad Zailani (ITE College West) and Luo Yixin (ACJC). Category 1 (Secondary Schools) Position


Project Title


Geylang Methodist Secondary School (GMSS)

An Urban City As A Thermal Battery

1st Runner-up

School of Science and Technology

Carbon Helix Project

2nd Runner-up

NPS International School


Category 2 (Junior Colleges) Position


Project Title


Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC)

The Tree Village

1st Runner-up

Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)

An optimised solar-hydrogen cell capable of efficient solar energy storage using optimised design and 2D graphitic holey carbon nitride and its derivatives

2nd Runner-up

Hwa Chong Institution

Green Retractable Exhibition Hall

Category 3 (Polytechnics and Institutes of Technical Education ) Position


Project Title


ITE College West (Team I-15)

Reducing Heat Build-Up in Roads

1st Runner-up

ITE College West (Team I-16)


2nd Runner-up

Republic Polytechnic

Heat Defeaters

Category 3 (Polytechnics and Institutes of Technical Education ) Position


Project Title


Technological Institute of the Philippines – Quezon City (TIP-QC; Team U-08)

Development Of A Clay Soil Array Battery

1st Runner-up

National University of Singapore

Project Verdana

2nd Runner-up

Technological Institute of the Philippines – Quezon City (TIP-QC; Team U-09)

Fibre-Reinforced Composite Thermoelectric Tile Utilising Urban Heat as Renewable Energy Source THE SINGAPORE ENGINEER August 2017




a Smart Nation Mr Tan Kok Yam, Deputy Secretary, Smart Nation and Digital Government Office and Strategy Group, Prime Minister’s Office

The world is changing. Advances in digital technology are affecting almost every aspect of how we live, work and play. The Internet has transformed how we access information and entertainment. A similarly profound change is happening to the way we interact and transact with each other: How we buy things, make payments, plan holidays, keep in touch. And with sensors and robotics, we are witnessing new methods to monitor, control and manage objects, systems and processes. How do we manage the depth, breadth and pace of this ongoing digital revolution? I think we need a combination of digital wizardry, digital engineering and technology leadership. We need “digital wizards” in our midst to master the latest techniques and algorithms; to mine value from the endless sea of collected data. And as more processes and systems become digitised and inter-connected, there is no lack of work for network and cyber security specialists to safeguard us from increasingly sophisticated attacks. Finally, we need the software engineers to design and build platforms and products that will raise productivity and create new revenue streams. Second, we need the current experts in their fields to become “digital engineers”. They know intimately about current systems and processes to articulate problem statements, and can identify where digital interventions might be introduced to best effect. This is true when we overlay digital capabilities in power engineering, transport engineering, process engineering and many other fields. Within the public service, we are making data analytics a widespread skillset, so that in our fields of policy making and operations, we may be boosted by new methods of analysis to better serve the public. Finally, we need “digital leaders” to manage and lead technology change. It is not sufficient to just offload problems onto the IT department, or outsource solutions to a vendor. Deeper organisational questions have to be tackled: How does digital change impact my strategy and business model? Where are the new risks and opportunities? How should we trade off costs vis-a-vis cyber-security and useability? It takes a team effort to muster digital capabilities and rally the organisation forward. This is what Smart Nation aspires to at the national level: To collectively apply digital transformation to improve the lives of citizens, create opportunities for our businesses and workforce, and build a more collaborative society. Engineers and technologists are central to this effort; yet oftentimes, the hurdle is not technology but policy, regulation, organisation and culture. So the best engineers are those who are also great communicators, change leaders and strategic thinkers; just as those who run businesses and manage organisations increasingly need a certain degree of engineering knowledge. This is how we can run faster. And we must. To paraphrase Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, if we succeed, those who come to Singapore will say that they have seen the future here; a future that works.



Annual Dinner ––––––––––––––––––– Inside Front Cover

MultiNine Corporation Pte Ltd ––––––––––––––– Page 31

Building and Construction Authority ––––––––– Page 23

PennWell Corporation ––––––––––––– Inside Back Cover

Cementaid S.E.A. Pte Ltd –––––––––––––––––– Page 09

Prota Asia Pte Ltd ––––––––––––––––––––––––– Page 01

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

SBS Transit Ltd ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Page 11


The Singapore Engineer August 2017  
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