HDB flats could be completely powered by sunlight in future

HDB flats throughout Singapore could be completely powered by sunlight in future.

With the first phase of HDB’s largest solar power project finally complete, three neighbourhoods can now rely on the sun for 80 per cent of their electricity. And HDB hopes to improve that figure to 100 per cent.

Some HDB blocks in Bukit Panjang have each been installed with 30 to 35 kilowatt peak solar panels.

From September to November, similar panels were installed at Tampines and Marine Parade.

The effectiveness of these panels will be monitored over a year, where they power various common services like corridor lights and lifts.

Currently, most solar energy devices are used in colder regions like Germany and Japan.

Ng Bingrong, a senior executive engineer at HDB, said: “Unlike most overseas installations, Singapore’s weather conditions are a bit different. We are hotter, wetter, and we have higher humidity. So these various climatic conditions can affect solar power generations. So these are some of the things we want to study, how we can acclimatise the system to perform better in our context.”

The solar panels can last some 20 years.

Two years ago, the HDB successfully carried out smaller-scale experiments in Serangoon North and Sembawang – achieving some 40 per cent energy savings.

HDB said that by 2015, 30 precincts will have such solar panels installed under a S$31 million programme.

With more than 80 per cent of Singaporeans living in HDB estates, residents hope these solar panels can eventually reduce their electricity bill.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 14 Dec 2010