Annual Report 2016
Country Reports


Dr. Narasimalu Srikanth, Mr. Mahesh Ramanathan S, Ms. Mary Ann Joy Quirapas and Dr. Michael Abundo Energy Research Institute @ Nanyang Technological University (ERI@N)

ERI@N, supported mainly by the EDB, focuses on the areas of sustainable energy, energy efficiency infrastructure and socio-economic aspects of energy research. Its mission is to be a centre of excellence for conducting advanced research, development and demonstration of innovative solutions, which have both regional and global impact.

The Institute has considerable expertise and strength in areas of offshore energy, which includes wind, wave and tidal energy and complementary technologies, such as energy storage, micro grids, and smart energy systems, and collectively provide an integrated set of expertise from materials design & synthesis, device fabrication and modelling, and systems integration and optimization.

ERI@N’s Wind and Marine (W&M) research programme is aimed at improving the performance, lowering costs and accelerating deployment of offshore renewable technologies specific to the tropics, where unique technology challenges exist. It advances the technology development and commercialization through early collaboration with industry. It works closely with government agencies to understand regional needs, and with local and global renewable energy firms to identify technology gaps.

The W&M key research, development, and demonstration efforts of the team include the following:

  1. Tidal, wind and wave energy resource assessment towards Singapore and other regions of South East Asia;
  2. Test-bedding activities of marine renewables (e.g. Sentosa Tidal Test Site and Tanah Merah Wave Energy Test Site);
  3. Renewable Energy Integration Demonstrator-Singapore (REIDS) – Offshore;
  4. Advanced materials and coatings development towards tropical needs and
  5. Regional and international collaborative projects related to resource mapping and test-bedding of ocean energy systems.

Renewable Energy Integration Demonstrator-Singapore (REIDS)
REIDS aims to power Pulau Semakau, an island south of mainland Singapore, which serves as a landfill, purely through renewables, including ocean energy. First of its kind in the region, the hybrid micro grid will facilitate the development and commercialization of energy technologies suited for tropical conditions that will help address the growing demand for renewable energy technologies in Asia. REIDS will integrate multiple renewables and novel technologies such as power-to-gas technologies and smart hybrid grids, and enable the development of solutions suited for small islands, isolated villages, and emergency power supplies.

REIDS Onshore:
Renewable energy towards remote islandic conditions: The REIDS onshore project aims to solve engineering,  economic, environmental and societal energy transition challenges for off grid communities. It customizes grid science towards remote islandic needs and integrates various renewables. Technologies deployed at the test bed include solar photovoltaic, wind, tidal, energy storage, bioenergy, innovative water desalination, hydrogen production, etc. Presently, work is in progress to make the island energy self-sufficient with its renewable sources.

REIDS Offshore:
Environmental Impact assessment activity in Singapore: The offshore renewable energy integration and demonstration (Offshore REIDS) project, also termed as Tropical Marine Energy Centre (TMEC), has been initiated by ERI@N and financially funded by the ClassNK firm (a Japanese classification society) and seeks to pave the way for establishing the world’s first scaled marine renewable energy testing facility for tropical needs. In March 2015, the feasibility study for the test sites was officially launched and is expected to be completed by December 2017. During this project, the resource mapping methodologies are well utilized to identify the ocean energy potential of the southern islands of Singapore that have been identified from the Maritime port Authority of Singapore (MPA). Presently, an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the test sites is being carried out to understand the impact of ocean energy system deployment on marine life and environment. The EIA includes investigating the baseline conditions, possible effects of the test sites in the surroundings, and other associated research, such as underwater acoustics, water purity, sea level changes, tidal flow effects, etc. Geotechnical and geophysical surveys are also being planned. The outcome of this project will be extended towards Singapore’s guidelines and standards development by working with Spring Singapore to support local supply chain’s marine energy resource mapping guidelines of new regions, such as our neighbouring region of Southeast Asia and other tropical islands and remote coastal regions. Overall, the present project aims to develop technologies and deployment methodology for meeting energy needs towards the remote island region.

Flexible Distributed Generation using tidal in-stream energy system for remote island applications: Among the government funded projects is the “DG-TISE: Flexible Distributed Generation using tidal in-stream energy system for remote island applications”. This research grant aims to develop energy generation and micro grid systems for research work in the country (EDB, 2014). DG-TISE aims to develop “a novel sensing and signal analysis system which will provide a tidal energy resource measurement method to account for the geographical sea bed conditions and tidal current measurements”, and to evaluate and test bed a commercially ready turbine in Singapore waters. Research outcomes show promising turbine rotor designs that are efficient in low tidal flow conditions and robust towards environmental challenges, such as seaweed entanglement and biofouling resistance.

Sentosa-ERI@N Tidal Test Site

33313-singapore-1.jpgFloating hinged turbine support frame to house tidal turbines and vortex induced vibration devices (Left), Scaled (1:3) tidal turbine in tow tank (Middle) and successful deployment of the turbine at Sentosa Test site. (Right)

The Sentosa Tidal Test Site is a joint collaboration between Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) and ERI@N, funded by the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s Core Innovation Fund. This project aims to display tidal energy extraction as a feasible and sustainable energy generating technology in Singapore and to provide opportunities to develop local technologies to harness the energy available in the narrow channel between Singapore and Sentosa. In November 2013, ERI@N and SDC officially launched the Sentosa Tidal Test Site (NTU, 2013).

ERI@N Tidal Turbine System
In the interest of promoting sustainable energy solutions to achieve energy security with reduced carbon footprint from tropical regions, the Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University (ERI@N) works with international partners in developing and test bedding tidal in stream energy systems for island conditions with micro grids architecture.

Recent developments include the deployment of scaled tidal turbines supported from the floating barges. Figure 2 shows the successful deployment of the first tidal turbine installation at PT BUMWI’s woodchip factory located in the remote Pulau Amutu Besar, Bintuni Bay, West Papua, Indonesia. The project was developed through a collaborative effort of Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), along with Green Forest Product & Tech Pte. Ltd. (GFPT), and its exclusive supplier PT Bintuni Utama Murni Wood Industries (PT BUMWI), together with SCHOTTEL HYDRO, OceanPixel, Aquatera.

This project is one of the pioneering tidal turbine deployment in Southeast Asia and may act as a model for smaller scale energy developments in coastal areas throughout Southeast Asia. This project also shows that successful deployment of ocean renewable energy technologies could be possible through regional and international collaboration with the involvement of academic and industrial partnership. The island micro grid is currently using diesel generators to power its operations.


Successful development & deployment of a barge based tidal turbine by ERI@N along with its industrial partners: Schottel Hydro, Ocean-Pixel, Aquatera.


A hybrid renewable energy solution, including tidal energy, will improve the operations of the island in terms of having a cleaner and relatively cheaper energy source. The continued monitoring of the deployed solution and of the project’s impact to GPFT and PT BUMWI’s locality will be a key in scaling up such initiatives. The present test bedding effort shows that a similar approach towards adoption of ocean renewable energy is achievable to empower remote islands in the Southeast Asian region. Taking this inspiration, there is now some traction in developing similar projects in locations such as those in Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, and the Philippines.