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S$20m initiative to make NTU among greenest universities

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) aims to reduce its energy and water usage as well as carbon footprint and waste output by 35 per cent by 2020.

SINGAPORE: A new initiative will turn the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) campus into a test bed for green ideas, and in doing so, reduce NTU's energy and water consumption by 35 per cent by 2020.

NTU said it hopes this move will transform it into one of the most environmentally-friendly campuses in the world.

The EcoCampus initiative was launched by Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, S Iswaran, on Wednesday.

Typically, the temperature in a room in one of NTU's buildings would be turned up when it is empty, to save electricity.

But the seven chillers which remove heat from buildings on the campus continue to circulate a constant amount of cold water.

In doing so, each chiller consumes about half of a building's total electricity.

A patented technology by Siemens called 'Demand Flow' would regulate the water flow, and improve the chiller plant's efficiency.

It also maximises the amount of cold air generated for air-conditioning, while using the least amount of electricity.

While the technology is in use in temperate climates, Siemens is testing the technology in NTU for use in tropical countries.

Peter Halliday, senior vice president (Middle East and APAC) of Building Technologies at Siemens, said: "In the tropics, we have got cooling all year round. (For) maybe a month in a year... we don't have cooling.

"So then the demands of that system are different (from) a system installed in New York where half the year it is cooling and half the year it is heating. So we need to optimise the solution for the subtropics."

He added the system could reduce electricity consumption by between 10 and 20 per cent for NTU.

Mr Halliday said the technology can also be applied to existing systems without replacing chillers, which means additional savings to companies.

The project is one of 12 green ideas -- out of 33 submissions -- to be rolled out at JTC's Clean Tech Park, as well as on NTU's campus. But over the next two years, more such innovative projects could see the light of day in being chosen to be demonstrated.

Nilesh Jadhav, programme director of the EcoCampus at the Nanyang Technological University, said: "What we trying to do is to have demonstration projects in phase one, which will last for about two to three years. After that, we are going to have phase two, which will be a massive implementation of these technologies on the campus within all the buildings in the campus.

“So in the campus, we have more than hundred buildings and we have road ways and different types of buildings. So we are going to implement these technologies in phase two in a very big way in the buildings to achieve 35 per cent savings."

Mr Iswaran, who is also Second Minister for Trade and Industry, said: "The EcoCampus will create exciting green-collar jobs, raise our international standing and inspire Singaporeans to adopt sustainable practices.

“Many companies are keen to tap on the opportunities in the EcoCampus to refine new technologies and solutions before they scale them up for markets in Asia and the rest of the world."

The S$20 million initiative is a collaboration between NTU, the Economic Development Board and JTC Corporation.

Companies and organisations will also be involved at the projects level. 

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