BCA pilots smart portal to boost chiller efficiency


10 September 2016

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has announced the implementation of an integrated Internet of Things (IoT) solution for chiller plant efficiency.

The pilot project, which centres on the development and use of a new Chiller Efficiency Smart Portal, will cater to 30 commercial and institutional buildings over a two-year period.

Powered by Microsoft Azure, the Portal harnesses the power of IoT, data analytics and cloud computing to monitor chiller plant performance and provide actionable insights which enable energy savings, according to BCA.

“Monitoring by itself does not save energy, it must trigger an action,” said Ang Kian Seng, Group Director, Environmental Sustainability Group, BCA. “This Chiller Efficiency Smart Portal will empower facilities managers to target specific areas for improvement and optimise their energy efficiency.” The Portal also provides productivity tools to monitor a portfolio of buildings; and analysis tools to compare energy use and performance trends, he said.

Designed to be universal to cater to different chiller plant systems, the system uploads chiller plant performance data such as power, water flow rate, temperature, to the Portal which is hosted on Microsoft Azure, according to BCA.

Through machine learning and automatic base-lining, BCA said the Portal can help detect chiller plant performance deviations that may potentially result in energy wastages. Upon detection of such irregularities, building managers and owners will be alerted via email or SMS, and be shown reports of the chiller performance summary, to help them take proactive and pre-emptive actions to optimise chiller performance and save energy.

In addition to delivering actionable insights to facilities managers and building owners in a timely manner, the Portal also provides them with a dashboard of the chiller plant performance data collected from the portfolio of buildings under their management, said BCA.

With easy access to comparisons of chiller plant performance trends across multiple buildings, facilities managers and building owners can make quick and insight-based decisions on scheduling preventive maintenance, and to negotiate performance-based contracts with their chiller service providers.

The two-year pilot will be implemented in phases until end-2017. When completed, BCA hopes the Portal could be an integral part of Green Mark - a green building rating tool designed for buildings in the tropics and sub-tropics - to encourage buildings to re-certify and improve efficiency continually.

“This digital transformation will not only strengthen BCA’s push towards becoming a global leader in green buildings, it is also a significant step towards building a better and more sustainable future for the people in Singapore,” said Foo Jong Tong, Public Sector Director, Microsoft Singapore.