The Stack Archive

Algorithm set to save millions in energy costs

Mon 14 Dec 2015

A new algorithm, developed at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, holds the potential to help companies cut their energy bills by up to 10%, the university announced today.

Created by assistant professor Wen Yonggang at the NTU School of Computer Engineering, the algorithm has been developed alongside Ted Chen, co-founder and product architect at Evercomm Singapore, an NTU-incubated firm, who helped to commercialise the technology.

Chen claimed that it will not be necessary for businesses to update their IT hardware to benefit from the cost savings. The algorithm is instead designed to tap into data from existing sensors in chips, found in computers, servers, air conditioning systems and industrial equipment.

According to NTU, once combined with the sensors, which monitor temperature for example, the algorithm can analyse its operational data and recommend energy-saving solutions.

‘We can find out exactly how much cooling a room needs, whether there is an oversupply of cooling and so adjust the air flow and temperature to achieve the best balance,’ said Chen.

The university added that the technology can cut a business’ energy bill by as much as 5%, even without deploying external sensors.

Chen hopes that the innovation can help companies reduce their carbon footprint and energy consumption, making it easier for them to meet regulations set out in the Green Mark Scheme managed by the Building and Construction Authority.

NTU underlined that the average annual electricity bill for a Singapore company could easily reach S$50 million (approx. £23mn). ‘With NTU’s new analytic engine, such large semi-conductor factories and campuses could save up to S$1 million a year without a need to change much of their hardware,’ said Chen.

Start-up Evercomm already lists a number of semi-conductor manufacturers as clients after two years. One customer, Global Foundries – the world’s second largest foundry – is a heavy electricity user which is now committed to sustainable energy usage through the new analytics service.

Evercomm is also planning to deploy its cost-saving service to public housing estates in partnership with urban development consultancy Surbana.

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