3 SAF camps pilot smart meters to track water, power usage

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is piloting the use of more than 300 smart meters at three camps to provide hourly updates of water and electricity usage.

The aim is to provide more specific data so that commanders and soldiers can take action to reduce energy consumption, including by encouraging friendly competition between units in the future.

The trial is expected to take one to two years, with its completion slated for 2023 before full-scale roll-out across all camps.

The meters will be installed at Jurong Camp, Paya Lebar Airbase and Changi Naval Base by next month.

The hope for the project is to spur a "cultural shift" towards greater ownership of sustainability efforts, said the SAF's chief sustainability officer, Brigadier-General (BG) Kelvin Fan.

The pilot programme is part of the SAF's drive to reduce the growth of overall carbon emissions by two-thirds by 2030.

It also aims to reduce water consumption by 10 per cent and waste generation by 30 per cent by 2030.

BG Fan, who is also chief of staff-joint staff, heads the SAF Sustainability Office, which was set up in 2021 to drive the planning and compliance of the SAF's sustainability efforts.

At a media briefing at Jurong Camp on Tuesday, BG Fan shared other updates, such as the setting-up of an external advisory panel for environmental sustainability in February and ramping up solar panel deployment in camps by 2025.

The panel comprises 13 people with diverse expertise, and is headed by Professor Tan Thiam Soon, Institute Professor at the Singapore Institute of Technology.

The panel is meant to provide assessments and recommendations on Mindef and SAF sustainability policies, as well as share knowledge on the latest developments, technologies and best practices.

As for solar panels, about one in four SAF camps will have them installed by this year.

These will deliver 20 megawatt-peak of electricity.

By 2025, two in three camps will have solar panels generating 50 megawatt-peak of electricity.

The smart meters are plugged into water pipes and electricity circuit boards, so that data can be sent to a centralised dashboard.

Before this, electricity and water consumption data was available at the camp level, on a monthly basis.

Ms Jolene Chung, who is deputy head for sustainability strategy with the Defence Science and Technology Agency, said data analytics is used to identify anomalies and trends in usage.

The data collected can also be used to set targets for units to work towards, she said.

Lim Min Zhang

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2022, with the headline 3 SAF camps pilot smart meters to track water, power usage. Subscribe