Interviewed by NST: Digitising Energy Usage

7 Sep 2020

While businesses continue to recover from the economic impact due to the pandemic, energy remains one of the top operational costs for business owners that can be controlled. In order to help business owners, control their energy consumption within their buildings, Plus Solar has developed smart energy solutions to help businesses save on their bottom line that turns business insights into valuable intelligence that can advance better business decisions. Known as SOURCE, our founders Ko Chuan Zhen and Ryan Oh Zhi Kang, share how this Fitbit-like technology can help business owners manage their energy consumption and lower their OPEX with NST.

Find the interview coverage by NST below:

Local energy company plus solar has a solution for more efficient electricity use, writes Hanum Afandi

ELECTRICITY is one of the main costs in running a business, but surprisingly, people don’t really have much control over it once it’s turned on. A local energy company, Plus Solar, has created a solution that will allow users, especially businesses, to have total control over their electricity usage digitally. According to Ko Chuan Zhen, the company’s chief executive officer and co - founder, the solution is called “SOURCE”, an intelligent cloud-based and artificial intelligence of things (AIoT) Energy Performance Management system. It connects a company’s energy and operations data in a single platform, generating savings.

“As buildings comprise a large portion of the global energy consumption, SOURCE’s smart energy ecosystem will enable companies to monitor, control and maximise their energy savings and reduce operational costs,” he said.

Furthermore, he said, with the ever-evolving era of digitalisation, industry players will increasingly utilise big data, AI and IoT in order to understand the energy pattern of users. “We know that there will certainly be more usage of IoT in future energy management solutions in order to provide more savings,” he added.


Ko said the idea to create such a solution came from the Fitbit smartwatch he was using, which could intelligently measure heartbeat and monitor health conditions.

“The concept of the watch can be applied to industrial and commercial buildings where legacy systems keep track of energy consumption but are not utilised. This is where we use our solutions to dissect the data to help businesses save energy,” added co-founder, Ryan Oh Zhi Kang.

SOURCE’s smart energy ecosystem maximises energy savings and reduces operational costs, especially in buildings that incur large energy consumption. “It combines the use of the Internet of Things (IoT)which comprises sensors and controllers that enable data acquisition from the premises,” he said. Since every building has a different energy usage, a study needs to be carried out first. “Prior to the installation of sensors and controllers, data will be acquired over a week for large buildings and up to two days for smaller premises,” said Oh.

“We start by monitoring equipment that consumes the most energy. For instance, in a commercial building, we will look at the air-conditioning equipment used, the space and number of people present,” he explained. To optimise human comfort, humidity is taken into consideration. The experts at Plus Solar will combine humidity sensors with temperature sensors and controllers to achieve the proper air-conditioning load balance.

Once the system is installed, for example, in a supermarket, it will allow higher energy consumption at aisles that require chilled air or to dedicate more energy to a particular machine/load at certain peak hours.


One of Plus Solar’s successful installations of the SOURCE system is at Shell MarkMaju Corporation. The system has helped the company to save up to 25 percent in air-conditioning costs. It uses smart pedestrian detection, automated adjustment of the Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning system, CCTVs and AI technology to track the number of people in the premises. The system will then control and maintain a proper climate condition with heat balancing and temperature regulation. The SOURCE system has also been installed at Tan Kiat Huat Fishery, enabling them to track energy usage of their cold storage. Energy efficiency is already up 20percent with the monitoring system.

Plus Solar has also installed solar solutions for buildings with cooling compressors where it has helped lower peak load electricity charges. The compressors are remotely controlled using a dashboard system that utilises AIoT, complementing and adding to the efficiency that solar panels provide.



Eventually, Plus Solar plans to build a full ecosystem that consists of the “Energy Trilogy”—energy generation, energy efficiency and energy storage. “The platform will go beyond energy saving, tying it to business operations and taking it to another level,” said Ko. With all these in place, Plus Solar is eyeing the international markets for expansion, beginning first with the South east Asian countries.

Editor’s Note: For more on Plus Solar’s AIoT solutions which enables you to reduce your operational expenditure by maximising your energy savings, visit SOURCE’s website.

Media Source: NST Online & NST Print – Life & Times BOTS – 7th of September 2020

Author: Hanum Afandi

Photo Credit: Plus Solar

Disclaimer: The contents of the reposted article have been edited to represent Plus Solar’s brand and services to its truest nature.


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