A big turning point: ST and SP Group design the largest existing tele-cooling system at ST’s AMK TechnoPark
The TechnoPark Ang Mo Kio (AMK) of ST, in Singapore, will boast the largest district cooling system (DCS) in the country, with a cooling capacity of up to 36,000 tons of refrigerant.
It is estimated that it will be operational in 2025, the system will help reduce annual direct carbon emissions by up to 120,000 tonsor the equivalent of 109,090 fewer cars off-road, thanks to the installation of new machines for the abatement of PFC.
The cooling infrastructure will enable the removal of chillers currently in use, making room for a new initiatives for the environment. The positive impact of the plant will therefore have much wider ramifications than just cutting direct emissions.
ST collaborates on the project with SP Group, the Singapore national grid operator, whose team will build and manage the installation. The project is also SP’s first industrial DCS as the company has so far only conducted residential and commercial installations.
The AMK TechnoPark is the first ST facility to benefit from a DCS system, supporting the company’s objectives on achieving carbon neutrality by 2027.
Why a district cooling system?
Composition of a district cooling system
In a DCS, a plant cools the water before sending it to a network of underground pipes that serve various buildings. The system therefore increases efficiency, reduces the environmental impact and saves space compared to traditional systems.
Buildings no longer need chillers, saving energy and maintenance costs thanks to the centralized system. Furthermore, the circuit redirects the water to the system so that it can be cooled again. Water is also stored in the main plant to sustain the cooling effect efficiently even after peak hours.
According to theEncyclopedia of Energythe first significant DCS project dates back to 1962 and was installed in the United States.
The technology garnered some interest in the 1970s, and then returned to interest in the 1990s, coinciding with the need to reduce the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
Now, district cooling systems are making a comeback as a solution to the need to reduce emissions and not waste water. The ST is therefore sailing on this new wave to catch up with its own sustainability goals and working with a local partner to further advance this promising technology.
Why the ST Ang Mo Kio TechnoPark?
Anatomy of a unique project
L’AMK TechnoPark is ST’s largest wafer manufacturing facility. Bringing a DCS system to this particular site will therefore have significant ripple effects.
Traditionally, projects of this size are aimed at urban developments. For example, Deep Lake Water Cooling’s infrastructure in Toronto, Canada has a similar capacity (40,000 tons), but the distribution network covers a portion of the downtown area.
The infrastructure of the ST and SP group is therefore unique because it is one of the first on this scale to cool an industrial production plant. It is also the first in the semiconductor industry. Most competing factory designs fit new chillers.
With this new DCS, ST can reuse space in favor of something much more efficient.
The project will cost approximately $ 370 million, including the construction of the central cooling plant right next to the TechnoPark. In addition to saving energy, removing the chillers within the ST facility will free up space for other environmental programs.
For example, the AMK site is looking into water conservation and solar panels. The SP group is expected to begin construction of the central plant this year and is committed to managing the project for at least the next 20 years. Singapore also hopes this project will inspire other companies.
As Ms Low Yen Ling, Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and Ministry of Trade and Industry said:
“I hope this initiative will inspire many more innovative decarbonisation solutions in other industrial developments and stimulate more companies to seek opportunities in sustainability.”
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