Home Team Academy's new chillers are cool energy savers

They provide cost savings of about $300,000 a year; can potentially lower global warming

Mr Zulfadhli Fahim Suratman, a building and infrastructure specialist from the Home Team Science & Technology Agency, with the eco-friendly chillers behind him at a Home Team Academy building in Old Choa Chu Kang Road yesterday. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
Mr Zulfadhli Fahim Suratman, a building and infrastructure specialist from the Home Team Science & Technology Agency, with the eco-friendly chillers behind him at a Home Team Academy building in Old Choa Chu Kang Road yesterday. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Efforts to achieve sustainability goals for the public sector are getting a boost with the switch to chillers that can potentially lower global warming, something done at the Home Team Academy (HTA) two years ago.

HTA installed two low global warming potential (low-GWP) chillers for air-conditioning in March 2019.

It also installed a more energy-efficient chiller of a smaller capacity. There were no low-GWP chillers of that capacity in the market at that time, said an HTA spokesman.

The three new chillers together brought about annual energy savings of about 1.5 million kWh, equivalent to the electrical consumption of nearly 350 four-room HDB flats, and provided cost savings of about $300,000 a year, Mr Zulfadhli Fahim Suratman, HTA's building and infrastructure specialist from the Home Team Science & Technology Agency, told The Straits Times.

The installation of the three chillers at HTA cost about $3 million, while the previous chillers at HTA, installed in 2005, had cost about $6 million. The switch is part of a larger plan to reach the nation's long-term goal of net zero emissions as soon as possible.

The use of air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment contributes to emissions of hydrofluorocarbons - greenhouse gases that trap more heat on the planet than carbon dioxide. A low-GWP refrigerant helps to reduce Singapore's greenhouse gas emissions.

Last Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said that in addition to HTA, the Ministry of National Development (MND) and Temasek Polytechnic (TP) are among those that will switch to low-GWP refrigerants ahead of mandatory adoption at the end of next year.

MND will replace three chiller units by the end of this year, while TP will replace five.

"As a campus which serves the training needs of officers from across the Home Team, HTA recognises the positive impact we can make through our environmental sustainability initiative," said Mr Lim Guan Seng, a senior assistant director at HTA.

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    1.5 million

    Amount of energy in kWh the three new chillers managed to save a year.

    350

    Number of four-room HDB flats that would have consumed energy equivalent to 1.5 million kWh.

"The eco-friendly choices that HTA and... officers training at HTA make every day add up to an impactful difference."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2021, with the headline 'Home Team Academy's new chillers are cool energy savers'. Subscribe