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Cost-Effective, Scalable, Smart Energy Management Systems

25/10/2021

Introduction 

Climate change and the growing demand for energy and resources significantly affect global sustainability. Addressing the issue of sustainability requires action and solutions on local, regional, and global levels. 

From an energy perspective, there is a strong dependence on depletable and non-renewable energy sources, which negatively affect the environment and pose severe health and environmental consequences. Accordingly, the monitoring and assessment of energy consumption are critical for achieving global sustainability. This also ensures adequate, reliable, and affordable energy options in line with social and environmental requirements.

Affordable and sustainable energy is a critical driver for the growth and prosperity. To put it into perspective, Singapore faces the unique situation of being extremely vulnerable to climate change while also having limited means to mitigate it. However, they are aware of their vulnerabilities and have continually made efforts to minimize the impact of climate change. An example of such efforts is the recent implementation of a carbon tax and the incorporation of nature-based solutions to deal with the effects of climate change. Additionally, Singapore has made considerable investments in the research and development of solutions to decarbonize its grid, industries, and even building structures.

As a positive outcome, access to sustainable energy and environmentally-friendly electricity improves the well-being and livelihoods of citizens. In addition, it provides employment opportunities, improves the overall economy, and benefits the environment.

System Requirements

BBR Greentech Pte Ltd (BBR), Singapore, focuses on the supply, installation, and leasing of solar panels and grid-connected systems. The group also implements green technology as part of its total solutions package for potential project bids to tap into the rising demand for greener and more sustainable buildings. With a mission to improve sustainability through better energy, environment monitoring, and management; BBR was tasked by Singapore’s National Water Agency to carry out the supply, installation, commissioning, and integration of two 1.5 megawatt-peak (MWp) floating solar PV systems. To accomplish this monumental task, the following criteria had to be met:

  • Provide a full range of hardware and software platforms.
  • Data collection and transmission to cloud-based monitoring systems, including meteorological sensors, inverters, energy meters, and LV transformers.
  • Integrate live monitoring to maximize maintenance response and output efficiency.
  • Cost-effectiveness.
  • Adaptability and scalability.

In the grand scheme, the project correlated with customer’s effort to continuously seek ways to make operations more sustainable, reduce the carbon footprint, and contribute to Singapore’s climate change mitigation effort.

System Description

BBR designed a solution to extract data from meteorological sensors, inverters, and DC combiners and convert it to Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) to safeguard the reliable process of packets. The system uses an energy gateway device to collect Modbus/TCP data from the field. The data is then obtained using Advantech’s data logger (IPC ESRP-UNO-2484). The data is locally stored, and information is processed in the required format to the respective authority.

Furthermore, the data is sent by way of 4G and ICR3231 router to a virtual server where the cloud monitoring system WebAccess/SCADA is installed. Data from the energy meters are collected (ECU-1051) and pushed to the cloud monitoring system. In addition, the data collection, warehousing, alarm notifications, analytics, and dashboard management are carried out using the WebAccess/SCADA solar plant monitoring system. Thereafter, the dataset is analyzed and evaluated using cloud-based algorithms.

The live monitoring technology allows key energy management tasks such as timely scheduling of electrical systems, detecting energy use anomalies, and maximizing solar power output efficiency. Another major advantage is the use of a web-based platform makes immediate access to data possible.

Project Implementation

  • Inverters
  • DC combiners
  • Temperature sensors
  • PV soiling sensors
  • Water quality sensors 
  • Weather sensors
  • Pyranometers

Conclusion

The rapid rise in global energy demand highlights the urgency for immediate environmental actions. Therefore, the development and implementation of innovative technologies are vital for tackling climate change. Businesses and industries are focused on smart building solutions, which makes buildings more energy-efficient by using affordable and environmentally-friendly energy sources.

These systems and solutions will power Bedok Waterworks and the raw water pumping stations at the reservoirs. This also entails an existing rooftop solar array at Bedok Waterworks, which will produce enough green energy to supply 30% of the total energy requirements for the installation.

The monitoring of these type of systems provides real-time information, which allows for proactive and predictive maintenance. The system also provides dynamic energy solutions whilst ensuring adaptability and scalability. A live energy monitoring system provides new ways of making operations more efficient and sustainable while still providing environmental protection through the reduction of CO2 emissions.

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