2016 was the second year for the Energy Innovation Challenge (EIC) coordinated and executed by the Institute of Engineers and Singapore Science Centre. This year on top of being a Mentor, I decided to help out the working group for National Engineers Day 2016. This year I got to mentor another team of three bright and brilliant kids from Yishun Junior College. The difference in EIC 2016 compared to EIC 2015 was that this year we had an additional non-compulsory SPRING Singapore report element.
Door gift (power bank) for the Energy Innovation Challenge 2016
This year, the students were working on a battery that stores energy based on chemical reactions that could be done in an isolated environment such as a deserted island. Concept was interesting and I personally learned a lot since my work mostly involves physics when compared to laboratory based chemistry. The team received a consolation prize for the effort and at the end of the day the experience garnered in such competitions values more than any monetary gift prize.
National Engineers Day 2016 exhibition and display.
Compared to the work that I had to put in as part of the working committee, mentor ship was relatively easy. Running a national level event is not an easy task but we did it successfully nevertheless.
Lets’ do it again next year if God Permits.
Singapore in recent years have increased spending on the construction of underground and aboveground rail network, new hospitals, schools, office buildings and other key infrastructure. The additional infrastructures supported by building services have directly contributed to the increase in energy consumption. The advent and influx of electronic and digital devices have continuously increased the energy consumed per person over the years. Singaporeans, expatriates, visitors and tourists’ use of portable devices such as mobile phones, tablets and personal computers have also increased extensively for the purpose of entertainment, educational and professional purposes. Mobile devices that consume power have in most cases become a necessity. The energy consumption per device might not seem significant but when combined calculation over 5 million civilians over 365 days a year is considered, it will affect per capita energy consumption. This will translate and reflect on the overall energy usage in Singapore.
Singapore’s energy consumption in 2013 was recorded at 44,923 GWh compared to 35,489.3 GWh in the year 2005. With an increased consumption of more than 26.5% over 8 years and a projection for continuous increase in energy need, there is a need to review energy demand and if required build more power plants. With a global shift in energy generation that leans towards sustainable forms of energy, it would be prudent to design the next generation Singapore based power plants with sustainability as a core vision.
When alternative forms of energy are mentioned, harnessing solar power as a renewable source of energy has always been a viable option. The photovoltaic system could be integrated as part of the electrical installation works for new buildings or by conducting an addition and alteration works for existing buildings. However, it has to be noted that large spaces of area are required to have a substantial harvest of solar energy. Singapore’s limited land space makes it difficult to install large quantity of solar panels.
So what are the other options available for Singapore’s rising energy needs?
Nuclear and maybe geothermal sources of energy seem to be amongst the most viable options. But, are the common people convinced on the safe use of these options?