Local firms tie up to raise the cool factor at NDP

Innosparks general manager Gareth Tang (left) and SP Group managing director Jimmy Khoo with an Airbitat unit, one of 29 that will be plugged into the Underground District Cooling System, which serves Marina Bay Sands.
Innosparks general manager Gareth Tang (left) and SP Group managing director Jimmy Khoo with an Airbitat unit, one of 29 that will be plugged into the Underground District Cooling System, which serves Marina Bay Sands.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

This year's National Day Parade (NDP) will be a cool experience for some members of the audience.

They will be able to watch the parade in cool comfort, thanks to a collaboration between two homegrown engineering firms.

Spectators will hardly raise a sweat when they queue up to clear security and collect their funpacks - for cool air of 24 deg C will be blowing at them from outdoor cooling units set up at the NDP.

Special needs spectators can also look forward to having the units in their seating area at the Floating Platform.

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The two Singapore companies, ST Engineering and SP Group, are jointly sponsoring 29 cooling units at this year's parade. They announced their partnership at a launch event held yesterday at The Float@Marina Bay.

SP Group managing director Jimmy Khoo said: "We are choosing to launch at the NDP because this technology is Singapore-made, by two Singaporean engineering firms. The NDP is a perfect opportunity to showcase Singaporean companies solving an issue that is very relevant in Singapore."

Under the partnership, ST Engineering's Airbitat cooling system will be plugged into SP Group's Underground District Cooling System, which has been serving Marina Bay Sands since 2010.

This is done using a hybrid technology which draws water that has already been used to cool indoor spaces and pipes the water into the Airbitat system. This water is then used to cool the air in outdoor spaces.

The system allows the Airbitat system to keep users cool at a cost 10 times lower than that for traditional air-conditioning units.

The 29 units will each cost about a dollar to operate for the full day of NDP activities.

Mr Gareth Tang, 37, general manager of Innosparks, a lab under ST Engineering, said each unit can cool 40 to 50 people across a 25 sq m radius.

The units will also be used at this weekend's NDP rehearsal.

The hybrid technology system uses 90 per cent less energy than conventional systems, said Mr Khoo. This system can be used in any outdoor area in a district served by an underground water cooling system, he added.

ST Engineering and SP Group said the hybrid system can also be used in outdoor spaces for events as well as al fresco dining areas such as cafes and coffee shops.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2017, with the headline 'Local firms tie up to raise the cool factor at NDP'. Print Edition | Subscribe