Seeking Alternative Cooling Technologies for the Tropics - BCA GBIC Innovation Call

Background / Description

The Green Building Innovation Cluster (GBIC) is seeking for alternative cooling technologies for tropical climates through an Innovation Challenge Call. This call is open to all public and private entities. Industry driven proposals will be assessed more favorably. Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), Research Institutes, research start-ups, and non-profit organizations are strongly encouraged to co-create innovative solutions with the industry. Each project is expected to range in total project cost of up to 1 million SGD.

While existing R&D efforts had led to the development of several advanced cooling technologies e.g. decoupling of latent & sensible cooling; hybrid cooling systems with elevated temperature; indirect evaporative coolers, passive displacement cooling systems and/or others, there is room for further improvement and continued efforts to drive R&D towards market-ready solutions. 

Some of the challenges (non-exhaustive) are listed below:

  • Air momentum control with heat-source interaction (for passive displacement cooling/radiant cooling)
  • Complex and costly condensation control (for radiant cooling)
  • Limited cooling capacity  (for indirect-evaporative cooling)
  • Humidity control and Indoor air quality challenges (for hybrid cooling)
  • Maintenance and operation issues due to extending the chilled water pipes into tenant spaces (for passive displacement cooling/radiant coiling)
  • Lack of understanding of concept, design, installation and operation requirements from the industry.


Technical Specifications

The developed prototypes should be tested in a high-fidelity testbed environment, such as the BCA SkyLab and/or demonstrated in an operational environment in an actual building as part of the deliverables.

The energy savings of the technology should be at least 20% better than the current best-in-class conventional air-conditioning system

Please see table below for indicative targets:


GM Platinum Pre-requisite

(for reference)

SLE Challenge Call Targets

Total AC System Efficiency

(air distribution + chiller + pumps + condenser + cooling tower)

≤  0.90 kW/ton

< 0.6 kW/ton

Chiller Plant System efficiency

(excluding air distribution system)

≤  0.65 kW/ton

<  0.5 kW/ton

Air distribution system

≤  0.25 kW/ton

<  0.1 kW/ton




Supporting Documents

Preferred Business Model

  • R&D Collaboration

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