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HDB flats at new Tengah town may get centralised cooling, AI-controlled energy systems

THE Housing Board (HDB) and energy utilities provider SP Group are embarking on a joint study that may see future residents of the new Tengah town have the option of accessing a centralised cooling system for their flats.

Residents of the town, which will have 30,000 flats, may opt for this service as a more energy-efficient solution than conventional air-conditioning systems, HDB said.

SP Group and HDB signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the World Cities Summit on Tuesday morning for the one-year study, which will start this month.

It will consider if Tengah can be developed as HDB's first Smart Energy Town by tapping, among other things, artificial intelligence (AI).

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An AI system in the town "will utilise smart controls, sensors and algorithms to integrate the various energy solutions in a coordinated manner to generate efficiencies and energy savings", said SP Group in a statement.

The Tengah study "involves developing and test bedding a centralised energy software system, akin to a 'brain' that will collect, process, analyse and learn data on energy consumption at the town, neighbourhood and apartment levels", said HDB in its statement.

Called the Smart Energy Concierge, it aims to enable a more efficient and sustainable model of energy management.

The system will be connected to the energy grid, energy storage systems and solar photovoltaic (PV) generators. It will identify patterns and anomalies in energy flows to minimise disruption to services and optimise energy use.

For example, for power failures in housing blocks, street lamps and traffic lights, energy can be channelled to the affected site from sources such as the grid, energy storage systems and solar PV generators.

An app linked to the system could also be used by residents to view their energy consumption rates and pay utility bills.

HDB also inked two other agreements on Tuesday - one with landscaping firm ISO Landscape to develop a floating solar system for coastal marine conditions, and the other with Robin Village Development to research the use of 3D concrete printing to expand HDB's design and construction capabilities.

HDB's chief executive Cheong Koon Hean said: "Together with our local and international partners, we hope to broaden our knowledge and deepen our expertise in the way we harness technology to develop practical solutions to enhance the liveability of HDB estates and support sustainable development in Singapore."

THE STRAITS TIMES

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