Friday, January 31, 2014

Welcome 2014, the year of the Horse

Goodbye snake, and welcome horse.

Art installations of horses at China Town, Singapore

The Chinese animal zodiac is on a 12-year cycle. The years do not coincide exactly with the Western calendar because the start and end of each year depends on the lunar cycle.

Years of the horse include 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002 and 2014. According to Chinese philosophy, those born with the same zodiac sign as the year's designated animal are going to have a particularly difficult year. But let's hope that everything goes well for us this year.

Happy Chinese New Year and may we continue to live peacefully and harmoniously in Malaysia!

The Green MechanicsTM

Thursday, January 30, 2014

MAHB and SunEdison launched Malaysia's first Airport Solar Power System

Rooftops and parking lots at airports are some of the facilities that are not multi-purpose, but  at Kuala Lumpur International Airport these 'idle' spaces have been transformed into a clean energy generation facility - namely solar power.

That's cool because it demonstrates the corporate sector's support towards the Government's initiative in introducing renewable energy and in the process reduce carbon footprint.

Malaysia Airport lease deal with SunEdison. Photo: Solar International

The interesting part is that Malaysia Airport did not have to dig into its own pocket to finance the project. They rent those idle spaces out to someone who is willing to invest - to SunEdison. The international company must've seen the great potential in renting the airport's rooftops and parking lots for them to take the bold move to invest RM200 million (about US$60 million) there.

KLIA installed Malaysia's first airport solar power system

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) and SunEdison have jointly launched Malaysia's first airport solar power system at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport with a total investment of RM200 million.

According to MAHB chief operating officer Datuk Abdul Hamid Mohd Ali, the solar power system is expected to save the airport about RM2.1 million annually based on its current energy costs.

The 19 MW direct current (DC) system was the largest in Malaysia where it interconnected and combined ground-mount (5MW), parking canopy (10MW) and roof-top (4MW) systems.

"We don't incur any cost for this project because we provide the under-utilised asset, while SunEdison is required to pay lease rental and royalty to us. In return, we buy the electricity at a much cheaper rate," said Abdul Hamid.

MAHB is looking to expand this system at its other airports especially at the short take-off and landing ports (STOL Ports) located in remote areas.

"Solar energy is one of the areas that we are seriously looking into. We may discuss with SunEdison further on the system for the other airports especially in Sabah and Sarawak," he said.

Solar technology manufacturer and provider of solar energy services, SunEdison is the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) approval holder, granted by SEDA Malaysia.

The company is allowed to sell power generated from renewable energy sources to Tenaga Nasional Bhd for a fixed period of time.

"There is an excellent Feed-in-Tariff programme in Malaysia and we are looking forward to help additional airports in Malaysia and around the world," said SunEdison president for Asia, Middle East, South Africa and Australia, Pashupathy Gopalan.

Source: Bernama


This sounds like a negotiated quota. If indeed Malaysia Airport can get other airports in this country installed with solar PV granted by SEDA, and enjoy the current FiT rate, it is a clear act of depriving others in the 'open bidding' system.

First-come-first-served, right?

Japanese bra only unhooks for true love?

For those thinking this is nothing more than a goofy marketing gimmick, there is also a bit of science to it. So, with technology and innovation added in, you'd want to find out more.

Ravijour, a Japanese lingerie manufacturer has designed a bra, called the True Love Tester, that apparently knows "how women truly feel." Our Japanese friends never seem to run out of idea.

Unhooks only for true love. Watch the video here

The heart's changing pattern and the duration of the change, which the makers say will allow it to distinguish between activities as diverse as jogging and flirting.

Makers say it only unhooks for true love

In a long-awaited fusion between hot-blooded hormones and cold-headed engineering, a Japanese lingerie company has produced a bra they claim will only unlock when the wearer is really in love.

The "True Love Tester" uses sensors and a special gadget linked to a mobile device to analyse the pattern and speed of the user's heart beat in the heat of the moment.

If the app determines the woman's feelings are for real, the clasp at the front pops open to allow matters between lovers to take their course.

The bra is a gimmick by lingerie brand Ravijour, which says it is not for sale, but forms part of a publicity campaign for the marque's 10th anniversary.

"We wanted to do something that wouldn't just appeal to people who wear our products, but also to lift the romantic mood between men and women," spokeswoman Yuka Tamura said.

In a promotional video, viewers are shown how the glittering gold lame bra conceals sensors placed inside the cup, which send wireless signals to a smartphone.

The app studies the heart's changing pattern and the duration of the change, which the makers say will allow it to distinguish between activities as diverse as jogging and flirting, where a woman's requirements of her bra are quite distinct.

In a promotional video clip, a toned model stands in a dimly lit studio wearing only her underwear, which keeps the insistent alpha male at bay because he cannot unhook the clasp.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Rooftop solar under the FIT in Sabah - your commitment starts at RM722 per month

One of the earlier service providers and system integrators in Sabah has kick-started their campaign as soon as the FiT mechanism for renewable energy is implemented here.

They held a mini roadshow at Suria Sabah shopping mall earlier this month, followed by a workshop at one of the better known hotel in Kota Kinabalu. I visited their booth but did not attend the workshop.

"Turn the sunlight into cash". Possible if you are willing to invest.

Their brochure illustrates the following investment and income generated from the venture. In this case, it is Solar PV installed on rooftop, with FiT at prevailing rate.

Monthly Repayment (RM)     Monthly
   Income (RM)
12.00 kW 112,000 10 years 1,264.72     1,545.78
9.60 kW   82,800 10 years 1,038.88    1,236.62
7.80 kW  68,400 10 years   858.20    1,004.75
6.60 kW  57,600 10 years   722.70      850.18

From the table, we can work out the estimated income as follows (taking a 6.6kW solar PV as an example):

A solar PV system size of 6.6kW would cost RM57,000 and you would need to come out with 10% down payment. 10 years financing is available and your monthly commitment with the financing bank is RM722.70 and your projected monthly income would be RM850.18 (approximately). Minus the loan repayment, you'd still have a cash surplus of RM127.48

This means that the investment is self-financing and at the end of the 10-year tenure, the generated RM850 is all yours. Good enough to pay up the electricity, telephone and water bills.

In a nutshell, the contract allows you to sell the electricity generated from your rooftop to Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) at a much higher price (actual rate to be known during the application process) for a period of 21 years.

This is not an advertisement and therefore, no contact numbers are given. I have their numbers and the name of the persons to contact should anyone is interested.

TheGreenMechanics: This is just one quotation/projection from a single solar PV service provider. Let's hope more service providers come up with more competitive pricing as prices of solar panels continue to drop.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Malaysia targets to achieve 11% Renewal Energy usage by 2020

By 2020, we are targeting to achieve high income nation status.

And by 2020, for every 10 units of energy that we used, 1 unit must come from renewable sources such as solar, wind, biogas, geothermal, biomass, etc. 11% is about okay? I think, with some 'help' from the fossil fuel sector, we can achieve more than that; a 15% should be more like it.

Some of the renewable energy sources. Image credit: PNOC

11 percent Renewable Energy usage

Malaysian Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry recently unveiled its target of achieving 11% renewable energy usage by individual consumers and the industrial sector by 2020.

Currently the ministry estimates the usage of renewable energy generated by solar, biogas and biomass in the country to be 1.5% and hoped this percentage could be increased every year.

To purchase solar panels and install the system, consumers can apply for loans at the participating banks and the government will bear 2% of the loan interest. This is according to the ministry's deputy minister, Mahdzir Khalid.

To date the country had used only 862.4 megawatts (MW) of the renewable energy, not including hydropower which contributed 3,281MW.

The implementation of the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) system in December 2012 saw demand from the community, that is, 2,760 applications received for the production of renewable energy with a quota of 536MW.

To increase the level of effectiveness and efficiency of the FiT system, the ministry plans to introduce other mechanisms including more competitive bidding and renewable portfolio standard.


Regarding this 'more competitive bidding' thing.

During one of the New Electricity Tariff Roadshows by SESB which was attended by SEDA recently, I asked what sort of mechanism SEDA is applying to acknowledge the interest of bidders who are un-successful in their bid but keep bidding. Aren't they supposed to be getting some 'priority' now when the next RE quota become available?

The presenter, a CCO at SEDA answered that, it is an interesting question; they recognised it and they are working around the issue so that genuine bidders will eventually get their quota.

I hope so.

Source: Bernama

Price of LED light bulbs in Sabah

LED lighting was once considered luxury, simply because the cost to purchase a single LED light bulb can buy you 50 to 60 pieces of incandescent light bulbs of the equivalent lumen (loosely translated as brightness of the bulb).

They are still 'luxury' bulbs today, but prices are dropping fast as more manufacturers are producing better and improved versions. Cree, Philips, Osram, Panasonic, GE, and many lesser known brands are starting to flood the market, which is actually good for the consumers.

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) are the energy saving lamps that did very well in replacing the energy-hungry incandescent lamps as well as the 36W/18W fluorescent lamps in the homes of many.

Philips 24W CFL (equavalent to 125W) was selling for RM21 last year.

The price of CFLs has dropped to almost 50% in the last 2 years. Re-sellers are now offering 25W bulbs (equivalent to 150W) at as low as RM12.50 and other outlets are offering RM20.90 for a pair of 23W CFL. Quite a good deal as it cost you only RM10.45/pc.

Panasonic's 19W CFL (equivalent to 100W) is now available at RM9.50

I bought quite a number of these recently.

Of course there is downside to using CFLs: there is a small amount of mercury in each bulb you purchase. Disposal of spent bulbs would be an issue, not to mention the accidental breakage that would definitely expose you to the dangerous mercury fume.

LED bulbs - safer, more environmentally friendly
With LED bulbs this is a non-issue. No toxic gas, no heat and they last much, much longer than CFLs and incandescent lamps. 

So, how much is an LED light bulb? Well prices vary but one thing is for sure - they are dropping and many average guys would be able to afford them now.

For a start, towards the end of last year, Cree introduced a 75W equivalent LED bulb for US$24.00 (around RM77.00) which is pretty steep.

LED lamps compared with the soon-to-be-banned incandescent lamps:
Saving per year per lamp = 23 kWh (quoting Panasonic)
Saving with 10 similar lamps = 230 kWh,
or RM42.55 / year         - assuming you use not more than 200kWh of electricity monthly.
or RM75.90 / year  - assuming you consume more energy, hence the higher tariff bracket (RM0.33/kWh)

Earlier on, LED bulbs don't seem to be that affordable. This MiNT LED bulb is an example.
7.8W LED bulbs: RM49.90/ pc (Parkson Kota Kinabalu) - as at August 2013

During PC fair at 1Borneo in Novermer 2013, ACI Technology was selling this Panasonic LED bulbs at:
LED 8W (equivalent to 60W incandescent)  = RM35.90/ pc
LED 10E (equivalent to 75W incandescent) = RM40.90

Slightly lower than the one at Parkson.

Recently, I checked and found that they are sold cheaper albeit a lower wattage and lumens.
OSRAM LED 5W bulb = RM29.90/ pc

TheGreenMechanics: Fancy this - Panasonic claimed that their LED bulbs can last up to 40 years before they need to be replaced. What? Are you kidding me? I'd be happy if mine can last 10 years.

Do you think you can find lower priced LED bulbs near you? Please share with us in the comment section.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

What is black box recorder made of?

The 'black box' of an aircraft is built to be virtually indestructible. But let's start by dispelling one myth about black boxes. Flight data recorders (FDR) as they are officially called, are not black, but coloured bright orange so that they an be found easily after an aviation accident.

Just like life buoys and life jackets.

The indestructible orange-painted box. Photo: Curtiss-Wright Controls

Aircrafts carry two black boxes. The flight data recorder continuously logs details like the plane's speed, altitude, time of day and engine parameters. The other unit records the pilots' voices in the cockpit.

The units are built to:-

  • be resistant to fire and water
  • be able to cope with the force of a major impact
  • withstand low air pressures at altitude should the aircraft plunge into the ocean.

Because of this, black boxes require very strong casings. Earlier models were simply made from stainless steel, but now housings also incorporate titanium, as well as an inner layer of heat-resistant material.

Have a good weekend!

Source: Backpage of the SUNLife, January 26, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

Basic solar power system for the grid-deprived homes at RM6,500

Many villages in Tuaran (Kiulu constituency) are still without electricity and I wanted to find out if it was possible to install small "phone charging stations" at the community halls (Balai/Dewan Raya), and perhaps a couple of LED lamps to help the folks communicate via cellular phones.

The idea is to purchase solar panel to power up a converter with an output of 150W to 200W, provide battery for energy storage, a couple of USB power outlets and a switch socket outlet (AC power). Installation was intended to by DIY.

I made some inquiries last year to find out what would be the cost in Sabah; I know one can get a better deal in West Malaysia. This is what I got from an e-mailed reply:

Battery/charger/inverter in a single module offered by Green Electric. No mention of brand of the solar panel.

An All-in-One (battery/charger/inverter) 150W output system + 135Wp solar panel.
Battery: Lithium Ion, which is smaller and more environmentally friendly
The cost of the system is RM5,000 and the cost of a single 135Wp solar panel is RM1,500.

The 500Wh System specifications:
  • 666Wh lithium-polymer battery 
  • Battery charger with state of charge indicator 
  • Automatic switch-over circuit 
  • Note: Min. 1,500 full charge/discharge cycles 
  • 135W solar panel 
Total cost of the solar powered system: RM6,500

The local-based company claimed to have installed quite a lot of them in Tenom and Pitas. As price of solar panel falls further, you can expect to get better pricing this year.

RM1,500 for a 135W solar panel means that the cost per watt is RM11.10 which is pretty steep. I was looking at a mini display at City Mall, Kota Kinabalu the other day and the cost per watt is RM8.00; you can actually buy a 135W solar panel at RM1,080.

About the service providers

Green Electric Sdn Bhd which distributes the DIY kit have installed quite a number of the off-grid solar power systems in Sabah through its system implementer, Compugates Sabah Sdn Bhd. Green Electric acts as designer and consultant, and Compugagates acts as the installer and maintainer of the systems.

TheGreenMechanics: Tthe price offered is expensive. If I were to install a system on a DIY pet project, I would look at a total cost of slightly more than half the price quoted.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sabah power blackout due to Shutdown of 4 turbines by IPP

It's good that Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) has finally came out with a media briefing regarding the state-wide blackout on January 17, 2014. People have been speculating about why and what caused the second massive blackout in 2 years. The previous one was on April 30, 2012.

The slight delay did not help the utility in putting a stop to allegations after allegations from many quarters, some to the point of slandering. Just navigate to the 'News' dropdown menu in the SESB website and you will see I meant. For me, I prefer to wait and get the full pictures from SESB's own press release like the one in 2012.

One of the power plants belonging to Ranhill, located in Teluk Salut. Source: RPSB pdf

IPP to blame for the blackout?

From what was reported today by the local dailies, it seem the blame is on the Independent Power Producer's (IPP). Well it depends on how you look at it.

If one day you find your tap went dry, who will you blame? The Water Department? The water concessionaires who manage the water supply for the department? The Operators who operate the treatment plant? The broken-down pumps? Where does the blame-game stop? Someone has to take the responsibility, or, the blame if you like.

SESB was quoted by Daily Express as saying that the IPP's decision to shut down its gas turbines for safety reasons caused the massive power failure in Sabah and Labuan on that fateful day.

Why and how it happened

Preliminary findings revealed by SESB on Wednesday were that Ranhill's power plant decided to shut down the gas turbines after encountering a technical problem, causing power to fluctuate and trip.

IPP informed SESB that its "diverter damper", the door which covers the gas connection from the turbines to power up a steam turbine at the plant, could not be shut. Out of fear as smoke was continuously coming out from the plant, they decided to shut down the two gas turbines.

In the report, Managing Director Abdul Razak Sallim said the blackout episode could be divided into two events, (1) being a residual overcurrent protection at 10.30am where power was stabilised and (2) a sharp drop in power transmission at 11.11am.

He said in the first event, power generation had stabilised to 633MW, while demand stood at 585.1MW with an excess margin of 48.5MW.

But in the second event which caused the total blackout, power generation stood only at 525MW, while demand remained at 585MW, causing a margin deficiency of (-) 60MW, the problem of which was traced to the Ranhill Power Plant.

SESB not in a position to compensate consumers

The blackout is reported to have left the utility firm with about RM2 million in losses. While it affected more than 500,000 consumers statewide, SESB said it is also a victim of circumstances, and still operating in the red.

So, SESB cannot offer a discount nor reduce the newly-revised tariff as demanded by an opposition Assemblywoman, Christina Liew who earlier said SESB should give a 30 per cent discount.

What's next

A task force committee will, among others, determine whether the issue had been caused by technical or human error. The detailed report would be forwarded to the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry to decide whether to launch an elaborate investigation.

Will Ranhill Power Plant risk a revocation of its licence by the Energy Commission?

"Under the Electric Supply Act 1994 all licenses to IPPs are issued by the Commission, if there are situations where the IPPs can assist supply in times of crisis and had received instructions to do so, but did not do it, their licences can be revoked." - Energy Commission West Coast Areas Director Nazlin Ab Alim Sidiri

The way forward for SESB as to what I understand from my readings:
  • For SESB, TNB and Energy Commission to work together to strengthen its 21 fail-safe system and other efforts to ensure there will be no repeat of a total blackout.
  • For the government to continuously provide allocations (and perhaps allocate more now) to set up a redundancy system or a back-up power line that can serve as a back-up when the main cables are down to improve the State's System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI).

TheGreenMechanics: Two state-wide blackouts in a span of less than 2 years is not good a statistics at all. Not good at all! But in this particular case, SESB can't be totally blamed; to certain extent their hands are also tied with regards to control over the many IPPs in the state.

That said, for the sake of making good what has been pledged to the people, the government, especially the federal government, which has more grip on the parent company, TNB, must take some drastic and bold decisions. If it is just fund you are talking about, then reprioritise!

We cannot just continue to say "This is Sabah, we have to live with it" and accept our fate as so!

Daily Express - read here
Bernama - read here
Free Malaysia Today - read here

Yingli claims top spot as world's biggest Solar Module supplier in 2013

If you are contemplating on installing solar PV system on your rooftop, chances are you may be using solar modules manufactured by Yingli Green Energy.

For the second time in a row, Yingli claimed the top spot last year as the world’s biggest supplier of solar modules, according to market research firm IHS.

Yingli shipped more than 3 GW of PV modules in 2013, expanding its market share to 8.3%. Photo: Yingli Green Energy

Overall in 2013, Yingli was the No. 1 producer in both China and Germany, second in the United States and ninth in Japan. China bested the three countries as the largest solar market in the world in 2013.

In all, the four countries accounted for two-thirds of worldwide PV demand last year, according to the latest analysis reported in IHS Solar PV Integrated Market Tracker – Q4 2013.

Shipping more than 3 GW of solar modules last year, the Chinese maker expanded its share of the market to 8.3%, up from 7.4% in 2012, when it was already the world's biggest solar player.

Chinese firms in Germany busy despite trade dispute

Although impacted in Germany by the anti-dumping trade conflict, Chinese solar suppliers continued to see significant activity in the market, with five out of the country’s top 10 suppliers based out of China and only two local German companies - SolarWorld and Conergy.

In the U.S., the world's No. 3 PV market, Yingli came in second after Arizona-based First Solar. Yingli's total shipments of 479.8 MW represented just 70 MW short of First Solar’s delivery in the U.S. market, which grew more than 50% in 2013.

The only market where Yingli did not rank in top three was Japan, the world’s second-largest PV market, where Yingli came in ninth after homegrown producers like Sharp and Kyocera.

Yingli products in Malaysia?

Yes, definitely. In a statement last year, the company announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Yingli Singapore has signed a framework agreement with RE FIT Solution Sdn Bhd to supply 500 KW of multicrystalline PV modules for the residential market in Malaysia.

Apart from that, the company, through its Singapore subsidiary, will supply 10 MW of its YGE 60 Cell Series panels to solar project at Gemas, Negri Sembilan.

Source: pv-magazine

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Fujitsu offers leasing programme to help Malaysian corporate and SME businesses

For those wanting to start up a business and want to avoid one of the overhead costs, Fujitsu may have just what you need.

Fujitsu has launched a new laptop leasing programme to help Malaysian businesses remain competitive and productive. From as low as RM70.20 (US$21) per month, business owners of all sizes can now equip their offices with Fujitsu Lifebook series.

Fujitsu officials showing the laptops on offer. Photo credit: Chip magazine

The lease runs for three years with an interest rate of 0.5% per annum. At the end of the period, clients can choose to refresh the equipment leased or buy back the leased equipment at fair market value, depending on their needs.

Businesses stand to benefit from:

  • Off-Balance sheet: Rental is an off -balance sheet item that can be treated as an operating expense which will help improve return on equity/assets.

  • Low capital outlay: The credit facilities available to you by the bank can be put into more productive use and for other working capital requirements.

  • Protection against technology obsolescence: Stay on the cutting edge of technology by switching to the latest and most advanced models in the market with our flexible scheme.

  • Flexibility of contract: three options available, to refresh, to extend or to buy-back.

Fujitsu Lifebook models on offer

Lifebook laptops in this leasing programme is available at Fujitsu authorised dealers nationwide, which includes models such as Lifebook AH544, Lifebook E733, Lifebook E743 and Lifebook U772.

TheGreenMechanics: Would be good if this is opened to individuals. Consumers will have more choices and flexibility.

Source: CHIP Magazine

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Solar power saves the day during Australia's record heatwave

I enjoy watching the currently on-going Australian Open with all the top players gathered for a befitting occasion. For folks (including myself) who watch from the comfort of of their home the heatwave would not be an issue but for the spectators at the stadiums, including the players, 42oC is not a comfortable temperature at all to be in.

I read that one can actually fry eggs by cracking and spreading them on to flat metal surfaces. It's that hot!

Maria Sharafova, in one of her winning matches, lamented about the soaring temperature they have to play their tennis, where organiser as well as the players have no definite answer as to when should matches be played under covered stadium.

Temperatures across many parts of Australia have soared past 40oC for the last few days, melting plastic bottles where they stand. Photo credit: MICM Property

Solar power saves the day

While tennis players have wilted and bush fires have raged, solar power systems in Australia have come to the fore this week as the nation battles with the effects of the latest debilitating heatwave.

But it is Australia’s coal-fired power plants that have really been feeling the strain. As the middle of the day sees peak demand for power-hungry air conditioning units, the country’s traditional power supplies have had that demand alleviated by solar power systems.

Throughout the country, both rooftop and ground-mounted solar installations have upped their share of power use and generation, helping to rein in wholesale pricing and reduce the number of power outages.

At the midday peak last Wednesday, findings from the Australian Solar Council revealed that the state of South Australia drew 9.41% of its energy needs from solar systems. That figure was 9.13% for Western Australia, 8.64% for Queensland, 3.59% for New South Wales and 2.8% for Victoria.

Read what pv-magazine reported here. This is where I sourced the content of this article from.

TheGreenMechanics: While there are differences in opinion among energy players in Australia regarding 'unfair' benefit enjoyed by households with solar PV, there is clear indication that having your roof installed with solar power system helps in many ways than one.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Electric Scooter soon in Sabah

Quite recently I posted an article about Toyota's effort to encourage the use of clean vehicles in Japan, in particular electric vehicles.

The electric vehicle is called i-Road and rent starts at 200 Yen (about RM6.60) for the first 10 minutes then 20 Yen for every minute after that. Renting the car for an hour would cost 1,200 Yen (US$12) or about RM40.

With a similar idea, a local electric vehicle company has introduced its environmentally friendly Electric Scooter or e-Scooter to the public.

Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Datuk Ewon Ebin (right) taking a test ride on the e-Scooter.

Coming soon to Sabah

EcLiMO Sdn Bhd, a peninsula-based company will be expanding its business to Sabah in the near future and introducing the electric vehicle to consumers here.

The company invested RM27 million in the EV project and currently, it has leased 600 units of its e-Scooter to several fast food chain outlets such  as KFC, McDonald's and Pizza Hut among others for them to use in their daily dealings.

Electric vehicle   : ECLIMO ES11
Motor power       : 5 kW max
Transmission      : 100% direct drive (zero loss)
Energy  storage  : Lithium battery
Charging time     : 3 hours to fully charge
Max. Speed        : 80 km/h
Distance range   : up to 100 km per full charge

TheGreenMechanics: The idea is not new. During our trip to Shanghai last year a lot of the city dwellers use electric bikes and bicycles to commute and one can see thousands of them parked by the roadside.

Maybe it is not our idea of commuting here in Malaysia.

Google's new smart sugar-sensing contact lens for diabetics

You've heard and probably worn the miniature internet-connected Google Glass. The spectacle enables wearers to see, take picture of, and live-stream subjects in front of them.

Miniaturisation doesn't seem to stop there. Google is now crafting a contact lens that contains tiny wireless chip that could help diabetics manage blood sugar levels. This is good news for the contact lens fans out there.

Prototype lenses being tested at Google X can generate glucose readings about once a second. Credit: Google

Google making sugar-sensing contact lens for diabetics

According to Google the lens works using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material.

"We're now testing a smart contact lens that's built to measure glucose levels in tears," project co-founders Brian Otis and Babak Parviz said Thursday in a blog post.

They said prototypes have undergone clinical tests and talks were underway with the US Food and Drug Administration. The project was described as being in its early days, and partners were being sought to make the lenses marketplace reality.

"As you can imagine, tears are hard to collect and study," the Google X lab team members said.

"We wondered if miniaturized electronics -- think chips and sensors so small they look like bits of glitter, and an antenna thinner than a human hair -- might be the way to crack the mystery of tear glucose and measure it with greater accuracy."

Prototype lenses being tested at Google X can generate glucose readings about once a second. Researchers are looking into integrating tiny lights that would warn when blood sugar levels go above or below threshold levels.

Source: AFP

TheGreenMechanics: With diabetes affecting one in every 19 people* on average, this would definitely help in many ways should it become reality. For good or bad, people at Google have came out with many creative innovations in the past.

* - figure cited by Google.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Babagon Dam siren: Stop spreading rumours and fears

With the social media tools in our hand there are two things that are certain: Good and bad.

In this particular example, I opine that it has done more harm than good because the good intention to inform the public of potential danger from heavy rain and flood was defeated by the spread of fears and rumours among the population around the dam and along the river.

Noisy are you! One of the sirens was erected on the compound of SK Babagon, Penampang

I was lucky enough to have attended one of the many awareness programs conducted by the water concessionaire and there is nothing like what was circulated through the social media. Rumours has it that whenever the siren goes off, the authority is releasing water from the dam.

Nonsense! I understand how the logic of the siren works.

What Ir. Teo Chee Kong explained in the Daily Express, is exactly how it works. The siren goes off when the water at the dam reaches certain level, and that is the time when the water would start to overflow naturally through the spillway and subsequently channeled to the river.

Explanation by water engineer, Ir. Teo. Daily Express, January 16, 2014

It is not a 'release of water'. It is a normal overflow. Think of it as you filling a bucket from your tap. When the bucket is full and you don't stop the cock, you get a spill.

The siren is meant to warn people along the river not to do any activity, because the dam is full and water is about to overflow from the spillway.

Explanation by Kota Kinabalu water concessionaire. The Borneo Post, January 16, 2014

If you like mathematics and logic, this is for you:
  • The dam level is maintained at 130.5 m (from sea level) before it starts to overflow.
  • Level is measured by several ultrasonic level sensors and transducer. 'Several', so that level measured agree to each others. (Statistics say that the more samples you take the lesser mistake you do). More expensive to maintain but this is for safety; why would you want to compromise.
  • When the the level rises by, say 5cm, the sensor tells the logic controller (PLC) to let in electrical current to the motor and subsequently sounds the siren.
  • This happens in a matter of micro-seconds.

If you are interested, google and find out how transducers, ultrasonic level sensors, and PLC work.

TheGreenMechanics: The next time you want to spread news on social network, please check your facts with the authority concerned. You are not helping by fear mongering.

Be vigilant and have a safe week, when it is raining.

Graffiti at the ruins of the former North Borneo Land and Survey building

This was captured with a phone cam last weekend.

This place has been the venue for freelance artists to showcase their passion for painting for sometime now. Previously I posted pictures of some young people expressing their thoughts through painting here.

It used to be the location of the former North Borneo Land and Survey building. The wooden building was built in 1910s but was destroyed by fire in 1992. It remained abandoned until today and in the middle of a busy city, it is an eyesore to passers by. Well, sort of.

Eyesore it maybe, but it is also an attention-grabber in a slightly nicer way now.

Smile....say Konica!

"AMAT - a local did this"


Stay tuned because these paintings change every now and then.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Commercial electric vehicles pioneer, GreenWay hit new landmark

One of the reasons people are slow in adopting or using electric vehicles (EV) is that the charging infrastructure does not come with the vehicle. Typical EV can travel only around 300 km before needing a recharge.

Also, the time needed to fully recharge can be as long as 3 hours. Add these things together and you get a hassleful experience of owning a vehicle.

What if you don't need to recharge but just swap the drained battery at any of the recharging points? And, on top of that you are given the option to lease rather than purchasing the vehicle.

This is exactly what Slovakia's EV pioneer GreenWay is offering to consumers particularly commercial entities.  And GreenWay said it has achieved another milestone in terms of number of miles travelled for the past 6 months which is the world's furthest.

Electric vehicle leasing company GreenWay operates a string of charging stations in Slovakia and neighbouring countries. Photo credit: GreenWay

Leased electric vehicle travelled over 38,000 km a month, more than any other EVs in the world

Slovakian commercial electric vehicle pioneer GreenWay claims the two vans it leased to its first customer in May have since travelled further in a six-month period than any other electric vehicles.

GreenWay, which supplies fully electric vans for business-to-business (B2B) customers in return for a monthly fee, says the vans it leased to pharmaceuticals and medical supplies company Med-art travelled an average of 38,502 km – the equivalent of a round-the-world trip – in six months.

The EV company operates a string of battery replacement stations ensuring drained batteries can be replaced instantly rather than having to be recharged to keep vehicles on the move.

GreenWay says Med-art reported the running costs of its EVs were 'significantly lower' than those of its conventional vehicles because of the long distances travelled – one of the reasons GreenWay targets B2B clients with its 40,000 km and 70,000 km packages.

Med-art also reported no interruption to vehicle availability during the six-month period, proving the vans' reliability, according to GreenWay.

According to GreenWay's website, there are 10 battery changing stations across Slovakia as well as in Budapest, Hungary; Brno, in the Czech Republic; and Vleden, Austria, with a further six Slovakian locations in the pipeline.

TheGreenMechanics: If you think that using electric vehicle is not viable yet, leasing maybe a good start. Leasing will hedge you against the risk of inability to make full use of the vehicle due to slow adaptation and lack of infrastructure. Good for commercial use.

Question is, who will want to start that venture in Malaysia.

Source: pv-magazine

Graffiti at the ruins of the North Borneo Land and Survey building

Due to technical issue, this post has been redirected to an updated entry.

The Green Mechanics

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Tablets that are loaded with both Android and Windows operating system

Mobile devices running on either Android or Windows are already more flexible, and they can be connected with other peripherals easier compared to Apple's. But manufacturers are not stopping there.

Chinese manufacturers are coming up with tablets that would be loaded with both Android and Windows 8. And they will come cheap; that's according to what was revealed during the International CES 2014 last week.

Tablet will load either one of the OSes on reboot and switch between them during operation.

Tablets running on both Windows and Android to cost $250

Four companies, all based in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, said at the show they'll start releasing the devices this quarter, with prices at around $250 (RM800).

Bmorn Technology displayed one such tablet, the W102, that it said can switch between the operating systems on reboot. It has a 10-inch, 1280 by 800 resolution screen, uses a 1.46GHz Intel Bay Trail processor, and comes with different storage and memory options.

Cheng Fong Digital-Tech is planning a tablet that can easily switch between the operating systems with a simple swipe of the screen. The upcoming tablet will use an Intel Bay Trail quad-core processor and has a 10-inch screen.

Bmorn and Cheng Fong sell their tablets to customers in Europe and the US.

Taiwanese PC maker Asus showed a PC convertible that can be used as both a tablet and a laptop, but also comes installed with both operating systems. An on-screen button lets users switch between Android and Windows with only 5 seconds wait in between.

TheGreenMechanics: Chinese manufacturers are flooding the market with cheap Android tablets, under little-known brand names. But they definitely have their market because when the price-and-quality is right they will have buyers.

The new trend of having tablets with both operating systems will sure give consumers more options and flexibility.

Source: MIS-Asia

Cultivate crops and build solar PV on the same farmland

You may have ran out of space (or land) for installing solar PV and you don't want to mess up your roof with the heavy PV modules, but that should not deter you from finding ways to take part in the renewable energy initiative by the government.

So, you started to innovate.

Take a look at this efforts by Japanese farmers. They mixed solar farming with cash crop farming. They keep the traditional farming on their agricultural lands but at the same time reap the benefit via Feed-in Tariff mechanism for generating electricity from solar.

Makoto Takazawa owns a 34.8kW 'solar sharing' farmland in Chiba Prefecture. Photo via REW

How did the 'solar sharing' concept started

Akira Nagashima, a retired engineer, studied and found that the rate of photosynthesis increases as the irradiance level is increased; however at one point, any further increase in the amount of light that strikes the plant does not cause any increase to the rate of photosynthesis.

By knowing that too much sun won’t help further growth of plants, Nagashima came up with the idea to combine PV systems and farming. He devised and originally patented special structure, which is much like a pergola (shaded walkway) in a garden.

He created a couple of testing fields with different shading rates and different crops. The structures he created are made of pipes and rows of PV panels, which are arranged with certain intervals to allow enough sunlight to hit the ground for photosynthesis.

The concept of co-existing farmland and solar PV was first developed by a retired engineer, Akira Nagashima. Photo via REW

Takazawa's solar sharing farm. Photo via REW

Installation cost and FiT rate

In the case of Makoto Takazawa (the first picture above) the cost of the system producing 35,000 kWh annually is about ¥12.6 million (around $126,000). Having secured the first available FIT rate of ¥42/kWh for 20 years, he will earn ¥1.6 million (around $16,000) annually while only making ¥100,000 (around $1,000) annually from farming.

Converted to Malaysian Ringgit, that would be about RM392,000 in installation cost. FiT rate is around RM1.308/kWh and he gets RM49,800 annually from this venture.

Reference and source: REW

TheGreenMechanics: Living in the countryside isn't a bad idea. I wouldn't mind spending my retirement years that way.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Toyota unveiled zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, start selling in 2015

I hope Toyota does it right this time around by building a nice looking green vehicle.

The Prius and Prius C don't look that appealing aesthetically. So is Honda's Insight which is quite unsightly. Mitsubishi's iMiEV zero-emission electric vehicle is lacking the appeal of a mid-size sedan.

The yet to be named Toyota fuel cell vehicle is at least looking good from the many pictures captured by reporters covering the currently on-going Las Vegas 2014 International CES. 

Toyota showcased two fuel cell vehicles at the show:-
  • The FCV concept, and 
  • The fuel-cell powered prototype 

The fuel-cell prototype has been used for extensive on-road testing in North America for more than a year, so, there should be some baseline for the Japanese auto giant to move forward from.

The hydrogen fuel cell car seen at 2014 International CES. To be launched next year in the US, Toyota said this would be "the car of the future." AFP photo

'Camouflaged to hide its identity'. The prototype that has gone through extensive on-road testing. Photo credit: Toyota

Toyota announces hydrogen powered vehicle at CES 2014

Toyota will launch a new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in 2015, but at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the auto giant gave a preview of it.

Toyota says that fuel cell electric vehicles will be in our future sooner than many people believe, and in much greater numbers than anyone expected.

After testing the prototype on North American roads for more than a year, Toyota claims that it consistently delivers a driving range of about 300 miles (480 km) and only takes 3 to 5 minutes to refuel the hydrogen tank.

Media reported that California has already approved more than $200 million in funding to build about 20 new stations by 2015, a total of 40 by 2016, and as many as 100 by 2024. It is only appropriate that, when the Toyota fuel cell vehicle launches next year, it will initially be launched in California.

Further readings at ClimateProgress

TheGreenMechanics: With hydrogen fuel cell powered car, what is emitted into the atmosphere is just water vapour. No smoke and no CO2.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Employees' salaries must be increased by 6% following GST implementation

Why not.

This is the time to start raising the salaries of employees as the sentiment would be that, it is in anticipation of the GST implementation. You do it any other time and people (unscrupulous traders/service providers) start to increase the prices of goods or services, giving this excuse: " you just had your salary revised; you can afford it".

Do it in the name of "mitigating the effect of the GST implementation" and people will be skewed to think that increase of prices of goods would be a 'double blow' and therefore would become an unlikely scenario.

Double blow because -
Firstly the GST, subsidy cut, revision of electricity tariff,
Secondly increase in the prices of goods (anticipated).

Daily Express, January 8, 2014

KPMG says 6% would be a good starting point

KPMG Malaysia, a global audit, tax and advisory services company, is urging both the public and private sectors to gradually increase employees' salaries, in view of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that will be implemented in April 2015.

Newly-appointed Managing Partner Johan Idris suggested a six per cent increase in employees' salaries per annum, to help tide over the high cost of living in Malaysia.

"Six per cent would be a good example to begin with, especially after the GST implementation, new electric tariffs, petrol subsidy cuts and new toll rates," he told reporters, after the launch of the second-edition of the Study on Non-Executive Directors 2013 — Profile and Pay publication.

Johan said that the GST implementation was inevitable, as Malaysia was a developing and a highly-subsidised country.

"As a developing country, many foreign companies come in to conduct business here, and they also enjoy the same cost structure like the locals.

"So, by implementing the GST, which will also be levied on foreign companies and expatriates here, the government can spend revenue accrued appropriately, to help balance its budget," he said.

Source: The Edge Malaysia

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Huawei phone that can charge other phones

Not my idea of buying a phone.

But if you are in a mood to share juice, then Huawei's Ascend Mate 2 might just be your answer. It is so big (it comes with a 4050 mAh battery) that you can actually connect another phone to it and get it charged.

The Ascend Mate 2 features a 'reverse' charging facility, allowing it to charge other devices.

Huawei's Ascend Mate 2 - The battery stores 3 times the amount of energy stored in an iPhone.

Ascend Mate 2 is a 6.1-inch phone and it charges other phones

Huawei, China's largest cellphone manufacturer, is releasing a phone that can be thought of as the inflight refueling system of the mobile world: it can be used to recharge other phones.

The Ascend Mate 2 has a 6.1-inch screen, making it more than twice as big as an iPhone 5. It's almost the size of a tablet, giving rise to the half-joking term "phablet." It's the successor to a phone of the same size launched last year.

The huge size of the Ascend Mate provides space for a large battery, with roughly three times the amount of energy stored in an iPhone battery. Huawei claims it will last for 3.5 days of "normal" usage, or half that for heavy usage. Through a USB port, this battery can be used to charge smaller phones.

Specifications of the Ascend Mate 2

Phone name - Ascend Mate 2
Processor - Snapdragon 400, 1.6 GHz quad-core
Graphic processing unit - Adreno 306
RAM - 2 GB
Storage - 16 GB
Screen size - 6.1-inch
Thickness - 9.5mm
Weight - 202 g

Camera (back) - 13-megapixel, autofocus, HDR-capable, f/2.0
Camera (front) - 5-megapixel, f/2.4

Cellular - 4G LTE, capable of 150Mbps download
Battery - 4050 mAh, lasts 3 days on normal usage

If all you want is a long-lasting smartphone battery, this is the deal.

TheGreenMechanics: Now, that's what I call a 'phablet'. Move over Samsung Mega!

FiT and SAVE roadshow in Kota Kinabalu

For consumers in Sabah and FT of Labuan who are new to the FiT implementation, this would be a good opportunity to learn and ask questions on how you can take part in the renewable energy program in Malaysia.

Also, you can find out how you would benefit from the Feed-in Tariff mechanism. Apart from that, you will get a tip or two on how to save/conserve energy through energy efficiency.

Daily Express, January 8, 2014

While not in any way affiliated to any of the sponsors/organisers listed above, I personally recommend interested individuals and organisations to make at least a visit to the mini roadshow, to get the feel and get yourself updated with the latest development in the RE industry in Malaysia.

The tagline 'Jimat Tenaga, Jimat Wang, Janakan Tenaga' is not the typical catchline you see on many adverts. They are viable and several financial institutions are already providing financing for RE ventures for individual.


January 13, 2014 - Mini roadshow, or expo at Suria Sabah, Ground Floor
January 14, 2014 - Workshop at Promenade Hotel, Kota Kinabalu.

What you can do is to visit the mini roadshow and if you are interested with what you see, sign up for the Workshop the next day. This is not a walk-in workshop and you have to register in order to participate.

Find out more at CETDEM (Centre for Environment, Technology & Development, Malaysia):
Tel: 03-78757767, Cellular: 017-2587293
e-mail: f&
Contact person: Ms Barbara

Have a fruitful workshop! By the way, January 14 is a Public Holiday, so, working individuals should be able to make it.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Melaka launched first Electric bus, travel 300 km

Thumbs up to Melaka.

The historic state has came up with a common but fine idea on sustainability - zero emission public transport. With 300km of traveling distance, the bus will travel from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan before needing a recharge. (That is, if it was made available in Sabah).

Thumb up! Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron at the launch of the state's first electric bus.
ABN-news pic.

First electric bus to hit the roads on 7 January 2013

Melaka's first electric bus will hit the streets on Wednesday in Bandar Hilir area as part of a trial service for three months, said Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron.

The service was free for users during the duration of the trial as a promotion exercise, and also to study the most suitable routes and reasonable fare rates for the journey.

The electric bus that operates under the state government subsidiary, Panorama Melaka Sdn Bhd, will take the route through historical areas and tourist attractions in Bandar Hilir such as the Stadhuys Building, Heroes Square, Bukit Senjuang, Mahkota Parade and Kota Laksamana.

"Once we are able to access suitable routes we will determine how many buses we will use in the future, for the time being we will start with one," he told reporters after test driving the bus in Seri Negeri.

The bus which costs RM1.35 million, adopts green technology from China and can travel as far as 300 km before needing a recharge and can accommodate a maximum of 60 passengers at a time.

"The state government will also create a 'soft policy' where, any vehicle using green technology will be allowed to pass through the heritage areas especially in front of the Porta de Santiago (A-Famosa) and the Declaration of Independence Memorial building," said Idris.

Source: BERNAMAPhoto:ABN News


Sure, the initial investment is high. But that  is a bold move to towards independence from the finite fossil fuel.

Less noise, no fume and no toxic smelly exhaust, and potentially provide spin up businesses. I'd say great initiative Melaka.

Next, they could put up solar PV panels on the bus roof and that would help recharge the battery while the bus is on the move or while parked waiting for passengers.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Colourful nightview of the Supertrees at Garden by the Bay

The Supertree Grove is already a magnificent sight from both above (through the FlyerTM or Observation Deck) and from down below the 'tree' itself. But wait until you see them during the night.

They are showered with various light colours, a still picture would not do them justice; you have to take video of them or sit back and view them in person to appreciate the creativeness of those who put these things together to work the way they do.

I have taken some long exposure shots of this garden and they can be viewed at JD-Floyd Pictures.

One of the lights on display starting early evening.

More pictures at Night view of the Supertree Grove at Garden by the Bay.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Changing your incandescent and CFL light bulbs to LED

You may have heard that the federal government has started phasing out incandescent light bulbs (filament bulbs) since 2011 and they are supposed to be banned completely this year (2014). The policy to phase these bulbs out is being implementation in two phases:

  • Phase 1 (2011) - ban on the sale and import of 100-watt incandescent light bulbs
  • Phase 2 (2012 - Dec 2013) - ban the manufacture, import and sale of the 100-watt lights.

No news on smaller wattages yet, but they are also expected to be banned in time to come. What is clear now is that we can still see tonnes of RM1.50 to RM2.00 apiece 60W, 75W and 100W incandescent bulbs at shopping malls.

Learn from others

The following video clip explains similar situation in the US but is very relevant to consumers in Malaysia as well. The Federal Energy Independence and Securities act began in the US in October of 2012, where 40W and 60W incandescent light-bulbs were phased out beginning January this year.

I saw this from Inhabitat and I thought I should share it with you, fellow readers.

Come on, give it a go. Go ahead watch it. It's only 6 minutes and it might give you an idea on how to lower your energy consumption by switching from incandescent light bulbs and CFL to LED. You may also learn a thing or two on how to recycle your old incandescent bulbs.

LED light bulbs are now readily available at local electrical stores and their prices are dropping at a faster rate than CFLs'.

Source: Inhabitat

TheGreenMechanics: The price of a typical 60W equivalent LED light bulb (6W to 8W) is now down to as low as RM25.00 so I may consider this as replacement for the 40W fluorescent tubes in the near term.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Ford uses solar panels for its Electric Concept Car

With solar panels made available in various shapes and constructions, I've always thought that they may one day make their way into the auto industry.

We've heard of golf buggies being powered by solar PV panels but not a working, commercial size passenger car.

The wait should now be over. Ford Motor Co., the second largest U.S. automaker, has come up with a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that uses solar panels in the roof to recharge itself.

300W to 350W solar panel fitted on its roof

Photo credit: Ford

Ford Concept Car fitted with solar panels

The C-Max Solar Energi will be on display at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that begins Jan. 7, Ford said in a statement.

The vehicle can travel about 21 miles (34 kilometers) using only electric power and has a total range of about 620 miles. It has 300 watts to 350 watts of SunPower Corp. solar cells in the roof and may portend a future of mass-produced rechargeable cars that don’t need to be plugged in.

The concept includes a canopy-like parking structure that uses Fresnel lenses to focus sunlight on the car and boost efficiency of the solar cells. It was developed with the Georgia Institute of Technology and shifts the car’s position throughout the day as the sun moves across the sky.

The car also has a standard port to connect to a charging station. Ford estimates it sold more than 85,000 hybrids and electric vehicles in 2013.

Toyota Motor Corp.’s Prius hybrid electric car has an optional solar panel that powers a fan to circulate air within the vehicle when it’s parked in direct sunlight. Nissan Motor Co. offers a Leaf electric vehicle that uses a solar panel that helps keep the car’s battery charged.

Source: Renewable Energy World

TheGreenMechanics: Kudos to Ford!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Hyundai installed South Korea's largest rooftop solar PV

What comes to your mind when someone mentioned Hyundai?

I don't know about you, but I tend to associate it with Korean cars such as Elantra, Sonata and Santa Fe because these are Hyundai cars that ply on our roads everyday.

Their cars have come a long way in terms of design and sportiness since the arrival of a former BMW designer at Hyundai, along with the arrival of a former Audi designer at their sister company, Kia.

Apparently Hyundai is not just about cars - they did not joke when they said they wanted to fight global warming by reducing carbon footprint. The Korean giant car maker, had last month installed the country’s largest rooftop PV installation!

South Korea's largest rooftop PV installation: 40,000 panels producing 11.5 million kWh of electricity per year from solar has been installed  on top of Hyundai manufacturing plant in Asan City of South Korea.

Photo: Hyundai plant in Asan
Photo credit: Green Packs

Hyundai plant in Asan city to generate energy from its roofs

The South Korea's largest car maker, has this week installed the country’s largest rooftop PV installation  atop its production plant in Asan, a city some 95 kilometers south of the capital, Seoul.

Spread across 213,000m² and covering 68% of the ceiling space, the installation will be capable of producing enough clean PV energy to power 3,200 local households annually, delivering enough clean electricity to mitigate 5,600 tons of carbon emissions a year.

Korea Electric Power Corp. has agreed to purchase the electricity generated to distribute in the local Asan area.

The panels provide an additional benefit for plant workers, too, as they help reduce temperatures inside the plant during summer, reducing reliance on air conditioning and helping to improve efficiency and working conditions.

Source: Hyundai Blog

TheGreenMechanics: What a way to make cars!

Sustainable Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay

Located within Garden by The Bay, the Supertree Grove houses unique trees of up to 16 storeys in height. There are 11 Supertrees embedded with sustainable functions and cycles in energy and water throughout the garden.

You can walk along the 128-meter long skyway (bridge) that is suspended at 22 metres high. During a DukwTour (a war-time boat ride) along the Marina Barrage, we were told by the Captain that the Supertrees are powered by solar photovoltaic cells installed on their flat tops.

Panoramic view from the Observation Deck of Marina Bay Sands

If you are not a hotel guest, you can opt to view from here. You can go to the Supertrees for a fee.

Beside the Supertrees are the two conservatories: The Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome

 View from SkyparkTM  at 57th floor

Chill out on a cafe on top of the highest Supertree (about 50 m high)

View from our hotel room at 27th floor

128-metre suspended skyway connects two Supertrees

Take a walk here if you happen to be staying at Marina Bay Sands hotel.

Still in a Holiday mode, so, pardon the exasperated number of pictures. Happy new year & happy Holiday!