The Built Environment Application Platform (BEAP) takes forward the Common Spatial Data Infrastructure (CSDI) development strategy and provides a centralized platform for the development of applications covering aspects on city planning, infrastructure/engineering and environment to improve efficiency, transparency and support for decision making in planning and development, fostering interdepartmental cooperation and synergy. To tie in with the rapid urbanization around the world, the BEAP provides a valuable tool for users to help shape a better world and provide high quality services. The BEAP is developed on a cloud-based GIS solution to accommodate for different components to avoid single point of failure and enable future expansion. With the innovative use of various actionable datasets, the team developed 10 prototype applications to demonstrate the capabilities of the BEAP utilizing a digital twin approach and emerging technologies such as AI and BIM. In fact, the BEAP has already brought a significant amount of savings for its immediate users, which can further benefit a wide spectrum of stakeholders, from city-wide management to individual building owners, and ultimately citizens. It is envisioned that the BEAP can extend its services to not only the local Hong Kong context, but also to other cities in the world.
Island in Blue – a project revealing the possibility of future living style on the ocean.
Facing the serious global threat – sea level rise, due to the warming climate, engineers need to plan ahead for the future challenge. Island in Blue is a “floating island” in the sea to live in the future serving as a lifeboat for people living in low-lying areas. This project performs as a small pilot scheme discovering the feasibility.
The pilot Island can not only be a trial for the future living in the long run, but also facilitate the investigation works of ocean scientists or any other professionals to stay in the sea for a long period of time. Economically, the pilot Island can turn into a hotel for boosting tourism and economic activities in the coastal area.
On the Island, a major power source is solar energy provided by sufficient sunshine on the sea. The green technologies like smart glass, grey water reuse, etc. are applied. With the use of renewable energy and green technology, Island in Blue provides a low-to-zero carbon lifestyle as a self-sufficient structure.
Hong Kong’s rail system which offers connectivity throughout the city has a good performance record in terms of reaching destinations on time. However, rail systems are not foolproof and may suffer from disruptions, such as technical failures and accidents, leading to delays. At present, there exists no conclusive technological response platform for mitigating the impact of such mishaps and offering relevant, real-time recommendations for optimizing the handling of incidents. The thesis project explores a solution in the form of a recommendation engine which can simulate various scenarios and thereby propose effective responses to potential mishaps. The report therefore, acts as a platform for discussing the potential application, benefits and challenges of utilizing technology in transport systems and in particular, railway networks. The work discusses the available technological choices and various development approaches and compares them, also discussing relevant works of literature offering domain expertise, constraints faced during the project and remedial measures taken to tackle them. Future prospects of the project include automation of the entire rail network, from automated generation of timetables to driverless trains. For the purpose of this project, the authors have partnered with the Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTR) Limited of Hong Kong.
In the last decade, electricity generation in Hong Kong has been maintained between the levels of 35 to 40 TWh per year. However, a significant portion of this is subject to overconsumption and non-consequential usage of electricity by each household in Hong Kong. This has led to significant wastage of electric power. Studies on this matter conducted by The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong estimated that Hong Kong pays $767 million more on electricity per year because of their habit of wasting power. But, what if we could track our energy consumption on a real-time basis and take necessary action with help of the data received? And why limit ourselves just to power consumption? Enter CONSTANCE. A software application that will help you keep track of all your household necessities like electricity, water supply, gas, etc. CONSTANCE will give you simple and efficient real-time updates of your consumption patterns. This app will help you take the appropriate actions to save these valuable resources from being wasted. The application draws data directly from the service providers, apartment meters as well as from smart appliances to provide information directly to the user. The user, by referring to the given data, will be educated on when and how their electricity, water or gas is getting wasted.
Recent high-profile mass shootings that resulted in massive casualties and property loss have garnered public attention and interest in solutions. As such events increase in frequency around the world, they continue to baffle public officials and the media who often portray them as the governments’ failure in forewarning; yet no tightened social stability policy nor weapon control is seen at the moment. This project aims to prevent mass shootings by identifying weapons and suspicious personnel in the crowd through patrol drones. Embedded with a camera, a wireless charging pad, and a Raspberry Pi board, patrol drone will fly through the pre-planned waypoints, and provide real-time weapon detection with high accuracy at low cost. It will report all suspicious targets and find a charging station automatically when needed. Manual intervention could be kept to a minimum. Our team finds a huge market potential in the wide application of patrol drones, such as meteorological research, real-time air quality monitoring, crowd control. This project will prove that patrol drone is possible, and expect an advent of its widespread usage.
With more than 42,000 buildings in the private sector, Hong Kong’s buildings sector is responsible for 90% of the city’s electricity consumption and 60% of greenhouse gas emissions. If this trend continues, Hong Kong will continue to become an ‘urban heat island’. In order to achieve the city’s goal of reducing carbon intensity by up to 70%, our team has developed a Smart Adaptive Façade System that can be attached to existing and new buildings and reduce HVAC load by up to 50%. The system can be retrofitted into existing structures through a steel anchor which is connected to the façade support frame which will enable Azumos façade panels to be integrated. Photodetectors in the system will then respond to changes in the direction of sunlight and instruct the panel to filter the solar radiation reaching the building to minimize HVAC load. Solar panels can also be incorporated into the panel, allowing the building to harvest renewable energy. Utilizing our Façade System, both building owners and occupants will reduce their operational cost and improve their indoor environment. Additionally, the retrofit also depicts their corporate social responsibility in tackling climate change and commitment to provide a positive impact to the environment.
The most imminent threats to the environment include excessive waste production and ramifications from the extraction, usage, and purification of fossil fuels. Alternative fuel, while viable, strains our agricultural resources and entails diminished biodiversity. Hence, the only sustainable solution is the repurposing of waste, such as sewage, due to its rich nutrient profile and ability to support algal blooms. Microalgae can be an effective tool in the next generation of wastewater treatment, performing the same function as the currently deployed bacteria. These microalgae can further be genetically modified to effectively remove organic nutrients from the sewage medium and act as a powerhouse to produce the biofuel of our choice ranging from biodiesel to biogasoline. The entire process takes place in a greenhouse, which enables the control of all limiting factors: CO2, temperature, and sunlight to ensure optimal conversion levels. The demand for fuel in human society will never cease to exist, our superfluous waste may just be the only remaining sustainable source we can rely on.
COVID-19 virus appearing at the end of the year 2019 has caused serious damage worldwide with more than 20 million infected cases and 740,000 deaths. To avoid the virus spread, quarantine has been adopted by many countries and regions as an effective method. Current quarantine policies inherit shortfall and need further improvement in two aspects. Firstly, current quarantine scheme adopts strict restrictive measures, which primarily slows down the virus transmission but meanwhile brings huge negative effects of economic loss. Secondly, the reliabilities of current quarantine methods need further improvement. Quarantine without reliable localization potentially provides loophole which results in spreading of COVID-19. To address the captioned shortcomings, a new directive namely Optimized Dynamic Geofencing (ODG) is proposed. ODG replaces the traditional narrow quarantine confinement in a small room/area by a dynamic geofencing area for quarantine. ODG trades off between COVID-19 control and negative consequences. The developed ODG provides a new directive for COVID-19 control and prevention which saves lives and meanwhile reduces economic loss.
Despite the leaps of advancement in harvesting solar energy, some bottlenecks still limit them from becoming truly sustainable. Two such bottlenecks that need to be overcome are the intermittent energy supply, and effective thermal management of these solar systems. Phase change materials (PCMs) offer a promising solution to both these bottlenecks as they allow for an effective energy storage medium and can serve as excellent thermal management systems. The PCMs employ phases transition (normally solid-liquid) to store large amounts of energy and which can then be extracted when the material solidifies. However, the inherently low thermal conductivity of PCMs restricts their applications as an effective medium for energy storage. Incorporation of thermally conductive nanofillers has been employed for the enhancement of PCM performance but at the expense of high filler loadings and loss in storage capacity. We present the use of hybrid nanofillers with different aspect ratios and their synergistic approach for thermal enhancement of PCMs. Along with a novel system comprising of these enhanced PCMs for passive cooling of solar cells and simultaneous energy production via an Organic Rankine cycle.
Defect inspection is one of the most important tasks in industry manufacture. However, only flat products currently can be inspected by robotic camera system. My project wants to address this problem in terms of free-form shiny objects. In order to deal with this kind of shiny objects, we adopt a robotic system, consisting of a high-resolution line scan camera and a co-axis lighting. In order to meet the condition of the system, we need to divide the free-form object into different flat patches. At first, we will sample points from the CAD file and filter out some useless points. Next, we will adopt K-means, an unsupervised learning algorithm, to finish segmentation task. And then we can plan the path in different regions. In addition, we use a RGB-D camera with a novel registration method to localize the part in robot’s frame. Experiment results show that all the defects on the shiny part can be captured. With the gray scale images, we can use canny algorithm in Opencv to detect edges and then reconstruct the defects to original CAD models.