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SURBANA Jurong and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) are developing an integrated urban power generation system that can harvest, store and use cold energy from the regasification of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The new system will also have the option of using liquefied hydrogen as an additional source of energy, said the Temasek-owned urban and infrastructure consultancy, NTU and the National Research Foundation (NRF) in a joint statement on Tuesday.
Called Cryo-Polygen, this solution combines the concurrent generation of electricity, gas, cold energy, steam and hot water into a single plant operation.
It is meant to produce efficient, cleaner and more sustainable energy.
A pilot testbed will be built on the NTU campus by 2022, near the Surbana Jurong headquarters in the Jurong Innovation District, to test and validate Cryo-Polygen.
The innovative hybrid Cryo-Polygen system is expected to become commercially available, and will play a part in reducing Singapore’s carbon footprint and helping the country reach its goal of a 36 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.
The cold energy generated from the system can be used to power cold storage warehouses and to cool data centres, industrial parks and buildings.
The project is one of several innovations being developed under the SJ-NTU Corporate Laboratory, which was launched in 2018 by Surbana Jurong and the university.
The lab is supported by NRF and the Economic Development Board. It aims to come up with next-generation sustainable solutions to tackle industrial and complex urban challenges.
Meanwhile, the SJ-NTU team is also studying the feasibility of locating LNG storage and its related facilities underground in the future.
LNG is conventionally stored in large-scale cryogenic storage tanks and in floating storage regasification units near ports, industrial parks and power generation plants.
By storing it underground instead, land above will be freed up for higher value uses. The power supply can also be decentralised and situated nearer to infrastructure that requires cold energy, including data centres, cold storage warehouses and hospitals.
Surbana Jurong’s group chief executive officer Wong Heang Fine described the Cryo-Polygen project as a “game changer” for sustainable innovations to reduce carbon emissions.
Several companies have expressed interest in applying the system to enhance their business delivery, Mr Wong added.
The new testbed to be built on NTU’s campus will have a climate-change demonstrator plant, which shows how cold energy can be harvested, stored and optimally used to refrigerate a container at sub-zero temperatures.
Spearheading the demonstrator project will be Surbana Jurong’s senior director of oil and gas, Tan Wooi Leong, and NTU associate professor Alessandro Romagnoli.
The university will contribute its expertise on the recovery, storage and utilisation of cryogenic energy, complementing Surbana Jurong’s industry knowledge and experience in LNG and power systems integration.