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Punggol Digital District powered by first-of-its-kind Open Digital Platform

Punggol Digital District will be Singapore’s first business park to offer businesses ‘plug and play’ digital infrastructure through the Open Digital Platform (ODP), a smart city platform co-developed by ST Engineering, JTC, the Government Technology Agency, Cyber Security Agency of Singapore, and Infocomm Media Development Authority.

Punggol Digital District has adopted the first-of-its-kind Open Digital Platform which promises to transform user and community experience in the future.

Open Digital Platform will enable different systems to work together and smarter

“Tech businesses often lack access and capability to reliable large scale data. They also face challenges when trying to integrate across proprietary systems as they are often in silo operations and are costly to integrate. In Punggol Digital District (PDD), the Open Digital Platform (ODP) is the solution. The interoperability layer in ODP allows district systems to work with each other. Without this layer, such “conversations between systems” will be impossible as they traditionally operate on different communication technologies” explained Mr Ryan Lee, Director, Smart District Division, JTC.

Mr Ryan continued to explain that “like operating systems in your smart phones, the ODP is the equivalent of the operating system in PDD. It is a secured platform connected to a network of sensors and systems in the District. This platform will collect the data from these sensors, make sense of it, and create quality experiences.

Examples of such data would include building data (e.g. lifts, lighting, mechanical & electrical systems, occupancy) and environmental data (e.g. temperature, rainfall). The data will be utilised to allow JTC to optimise its operations.

Beyond operational management, collected data in the ODP is also made available to companies, students & publics to test out new concepts of living, working and delivering services in PDD – a real world live environment. For those more conservative, there is also the PDD virtual environment.

With the repository of real-time district data, the ODP is also able to re-create a virtual PDD twin that allows businesses and students to perform simulations and rapid prototyping in a risk-free and lifelike environment, reducing the cost of experimentation and the Time-to-Market.

PDD is Singapore’s first business park to offer a plug and play digital infrastructure through the ODP. If successful, ODP can be adopted and scaled through other parts of Singapore, where relevant.

“Data Bus” within Open Digital Platform

The Open Digital Platform aims to integrate all the different systems by having a well-defined “data bus”.

Mr James Tan, Deputy Director, Smart Nation Platform Solutions Group, GovTech explained that the data bus within the ODP serves as a high speed interoperability information highway. It is relies on a “publish/subscribe” architecture instead of a standard request/reply communication.

A publish and subscribe architecture allows for high speed real time data streaming with low latency and overhead.

It also has an auto-discovery feature which provides the ODP plug and play capabilities similar to plugging in a USB device into a windows PC. (There are no requirements for a data publisher to negotiate data structures with a subscriber.)

Besides communication, the data bus also features a data schema that documents the relationship of assets within the district. For example, the fan coil unit is “part of” the aircon system. The fan coil unit “has control” over the compressor. This data schema allows the ODP to gain predictive and preventive capabilities.”

Punggol Digital District to be Sustainable and Smart

Punggol Digital District aims to achieve 30% higher energy efficiency than standard commercial buildings and zero water wastage among other things.

Mr James Tan, Deputy Director, Smart Nation Platform Solutions Group, GovTech highlighted that “Sustainability is high on the targets for Smart Cities. Other than installing smart systems that reduce carbon footprints, the ODP aims to link these smart systems together by making them even smarter.”

He gave the example of the same set of sensors within a system (eg, solar panel sensors) can detect atmospheric brightness and publish the information to the ODP. In turn the District Cooling System, Lightings, Blinds, Motorised Shades, can adjust their system accordingly. Water pressure sensors also reduce water wastage when they detect a leak automatically by turning off a valve automatically.

The ODP also features a digital twin where simulations can be conducted to optimise the solar energy harvesting, improve traffic flow within the carpark (reduce carbon footprint), optimise cooling and lighting requirements etc.

“As of March 2020, we have just finalised the system design and architecture, and established the data standards for ODP. In the next 2 years we will complete the development of the platform and test it at JTC Summit. Once the systems are installed in PDD, we will progressively integrate them to the ODP and commission the system before the launch of the district in 2023.”

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