Technical Report - [Edited]
This report responds to a call for proposals by identifying the importance of University Students being aware of energy conservation. It then describes a means of raising the awareness of SIT students on energy conservation. Ideally, students should possess basic knowledge of energy conservation and practice energy saving techniques which will in term benefit both the campus and public in reducing energy usage. However, students lack the knowledge and awareness on energy conservation as they prioritize convenience and comfort at the expense of energy conservation.
This report aims to propose to the SIT Estate Division to implement an Eco Tree (self-sustained by solar panels) with an Eco Gallery (containing information on energy conservation) constructed below the Eco Tree to raise the awareness of students on energy conservation. Benefits of implementing the proposed solution are discussed, along with potential issues and other considerations faced in the implementation. An alternative solution is also presented for consideration, along with its respective limitations.
The report also explains how several methods of research were employed to obtain information on the existing situation. Primary research includes conducting an online survey regarding awareness on energy conservation with students, receiving a consultation from an electrical and electronics engineering professor in SIT@Dover and an interview with Professor Jawn Lim from the SIT campus development requirement team division. Secondary research includes obtaining statistics from websites.
Singapore is a metropolis city-state without any natural resources, and it depends heavily on external trade agreements to bring in natural resources to power the city. Natural resources have been one of the sources of conflicts between countries due to scarcity. According to Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Teo (2017), Singapore must be proactive in finding energy resources to survive. To overcome potential conflicts and such scarcity, Singapore has been constantly investing in sustainable methods to reduce the usage of natural resources while maintaining the ability to power the city.
Gardens by the Bay (GBB) is one of Singapore’s heavily invested projects for promoting environmental sustainability and energy-conservation. According to Moorhouse (2015), the 12 Supertrees in GBB are self-sustainable as the structures are powered by solar panels where they store the solar energy during the day so as to reuse it during the night.
As technology grows more important, Singapore has integrated technology into daily learning to expedite the students’ full learning capabilities. Due to students’ reliance on technology to improve their learning capability, this has resulted in an increase in the demand for energy (See Appendix A). However, students are unaware of just how much energy they use on a daily basis due to a lack of education on energy conservation, which would contribute to Singapore’s overall energy usage.
Students have a high influence on the future, as they will either pass on the good habits of conserving-energy or the bad habits of prioritizing comfort and convenience at the expense of energy conservation to future generations and bring such habits to the workplace. According to Agarwal and Sing (2017), research was performed by National Environment Agency (NEA) and National University of Singapore (NUS) on whether school students were able to create an impact on the reduction of energy consumption. The project was carried out with 30 primary and secondary students. After a span of three months, there was a 1.6% reduction in electricity consumption in the students’ households. Empowering students on energy-conservation will be Singapore’s key in setting a future trend in energy conservation.
Benefits of Proposed Solution
The proposed solution posts three main benefits to society, the future of sustainable development and the behavior of students. The explanation of the three benefits are reflected below:
5.5.1 Eco-tree to educate students on energy conservation
The eco-tree is essential to provide energy conservation messages to educate students on importance, and provide techniques how to identify possible energy wastage. Upon identifying the energy wastage, students can apply the techniques or influence other students to conserve energy. In the long run, students will cultivate the good habit of conserving energy and assist in the new SIT campus in reducing energy waste.
5.5.2 Eco-Tree reaching beyond SIT
Constructing the Eco-Tree would allow it to go beyond SIT as an example of how conservation of energy is a human factor and should be undertaken by everyone. This could result in eco trees being implemented in other campuses or even public places to further spread the importance of energy conservation.
As people rely heavily on technology for learning, our team decided to conduct research on which generation has the biggest influence in making a significant impact in conserving energy, as well as how the government raises awareness of conserving energy through the creation of Supertrees, using primary and secondary research.
Our team decided to conduct an online survey on how much do students know about energy conservation. The survey was carried out on 1 November 2017 and a total of 45 students participated in it. More than 50% of the students were aware of energy conservation and know that SIT@Dover has implemented energy saving measures on the campus. Although the majority of the students felt that there is a need to conserve energy in the campus, they did not know about the 5 aspects of energy conservation. We provided 5 possible ways for students to decide which measures will they be able to learn more about energy conservation, and setting up a gallery was the most favorable idea. In addition, we sought advice from Professor Zhou Yi from SIT@Dover regarding our proposed solution, the Eco-Tree. He advised the use of a capacitor to store the converted electrical energy harnessed from the solar panels to power up the Eco-Gallery during night time. An interview was conducted with Professor Jawn Lim on the implementation of the Eco-Tree in the new SIT campus at Punggol. Professor Jawn Lim had shared several limiting factors of installing the Eco-Trees in the new campus as it is constructed over a protected nature reserved which are guarded by NPark authorities. The possible areas for installation may be limited and required further studies on soil stability to ensure the soil can uphold the eco-tree.
Statistics on students’ dependency on technology for daily learning was obtained from Indiana University (See Appendix A), as found by how majority of the respondents found technology improved their learning capabilities. and this shows that students are growing more dependent on technology in recent years and is expected to grow in future. Information about the importance of energy conservation and Supertrees in the Garden by the Bay were taken for our references.
82% understand course materials and ideas
78% demonstrate understanding of course content
89% learn, study or complete coursework on their own70% learn, study or complete coursework with other students