Global energy consumption is on the rise. However, there are technological innovations crafted precisely to raise energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. In Singapore, a multi-plant district cooling system has been built, thereby allowing the country to benefit from economy of scale in energy production.
'Multi-billion dollar city within a city' in equatorial climate
Hailed as the ‘multi-billion dollar city within a city,’ Marina Bay is a 360-hectare extension to Singapore’s existing business district and downtown area. Built on reclaimed land at the southern tip of the island-state, Marina Bay and its distinctive signature skyline has already become the city’s new business, commercial and entertainment hub.
During the 1990s when the Marina Bay project was initiated, district cooling was quickly identified as the energy-efficient and cost-effective method to provide buildings in the area with an optimal indoor climate. Singapore has a hot and humid equatorial climate, in which daytime temperatures are rarely below 30 degrees Celsius.
Producing chilled water for the vast cooling system
Singapore has the distinction of having the largest and most ambitious district cooling project ever undertaken.
Phases 1 and 2 of the district cooling system provided 1.1 million sq m of accommodation with cool air via two chilled water production plants and a 5 km piping network. In time, the network will be expanded to five inter-connected plants with a total installed capacity of 900 megawatts (MWr), capable of providing energy-efficient cooling to 8 million sq m of floor space.
Among the landmark buildings cooled by the network are the Marina Bay Integrated Resort (a vast commercial complex comprising a casino, hotel, conference center, museum and theaters), the Marina Bay Financial Center, One Raffles Quay (an iconic office building which headquarters five major banks), and the Asia Square office, hotel and retail scheme.