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Singapore Power x Singapore Poly

Singapore Power's $1 million, five-year sponsorship of SP's solar car powers up the project.

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Singapore Power x Singapore Poly

  1. 1. Singapore Power began its sponsorship of SP's solar car project, SunSPEC, this year. Its $1 million sponsorship fuelled efforts in building the 220kg, two-seater SunSPEC 4 that represented Singapore at the World Solar Challenge (WSC) 2015. This sponsorship will also fund the project for its WSC entries in 2017 and 2019. The SunSPEC team at the finish line in Adelaide, Australia. On the far right is SP Board of Governors chairman Bill Chang (in brown shirt), who flew down to visit the team. Singapore Power x Singapore Poly Singapore Power’s $1 million, five-year sponsorship of SP’s solar car powers up the project
  2. 2. Previously an internally-funded project, the SunSPEC car project received a boost from this new support. Academic schools EEE and MAE are now able to procure higher-performance car parts and solar panels than in the past. "The funding provided for better car parts, and it also had a second major impact during the race itself. At each competition, our car needs support maintenance vehicles. In the past, we were using a minimal budget for these things due to constraints. This time round, we had much better storage equipment and used two trailers instead of one to support the car," says Steven Chew, Senior Lecturer, EEE. The sponsorship was timely. Earlier this year, on 25 August, the SunSPEC 4 was destroyed by a fire at T11C. As the car was meant to be shipped on 16 September in time for the 18 October competition, this effectively ended hopes of the team re-building the car in time to compete. When Singapore Power heard about the fire, the organisation encouraged the team to re-build, and offered to pay for air freight that would cut travel time by 2.5 weeks. This galvanised the team. In four weeks, they re-built the car which originally took them eight months to create. It went on to drive 3,000km across Australia and crossed the finish line in Adelaide. Singapore Power x Singapore Poly Singapore Power’s $1 million, five-year sponsorship of SP’s solar car powers up the project
  3. 3. Singapore Power x Singapore Poly Singapore Power’s $1 million, five-year sponsorship of SP’s solar car powers up the project SP spoke to Singapore Power Group CEO Wong Kim Yin to hear his thoughts on the project: 1.What motivated Singapore Power to work with Singapore Polytechnic on the car? I joined the Board of Governors of Singapore Polytechnic at the beginning of the year. In one of the earlier meetings we talked about SunSPEC 4, and it became apparent that the car could use some additional resources. Singapore Power is a power company. We want to promote sustainability and the adoption of renewables. So it makes a lot of sense for Singapore Power to sponsor the car. Singapore Poly is SP. Solar Power is SP. Singapore Power is SP. It seems fate has brought us together (laughs). Singapore Power Group CEO Wong Kim Yin (in white shirt) speaking to students and PCEO Tan Choon Shian (far left) at a welcome back party for the SunSPEC team.
  4. 4. Singapore Power x Singapore Poly Singapore Power’s $1 million, five-year sponsorship of SP’s solar car powers up the project 2. How did you feel upon hearing about the fire? My first instinct was, "Is everybody safe? Did anyone get hurt?" When I was told that everyone was safe, I felt relieved. Then I started thinking, "If the car is destroyed, how can we make the best out of the situation?" Realising that it was a final-year project for the students, we thought that we could encourage them to re-build the car. At the time, things seemed a little bit hopeless. Even if the car could be re-built, it would not be ready for the race. But in my mind, I felt that even if we missed the beginning of the race, as long as we could re- build the car, there would be closure and the team could have their final-year project. We thought they just needed a small push. One thing I considered was, "How can we cut down the time constraints?" The team was originally planning to put the car through marine freight. So I asked, "What if we sponsor air freight? How much time would that cut down?" The team said two weeks. That was the push that gave the team hope to say, "Let's try." I think that was the turning point in the event, from a point of despair, to a glimmer of hope, and latching onto that hope to channel energy towards it and make things a success.
  5. 5. Singapore Power x Singapore Poly Singapore Power’s $1 million, five-year sponsorship of SP’s solar car powers up the project 3. What are your thoughts about the team's performance? I told the team to come home safely and bring the car back safely. And they met that expectation and exceeded it as well. For me, that's the most important thing – the students gained an experience that they can remember for the rest of their lives. They've demonstrated resilience and a can-do spirit that the school, Singapore Power, and even Singapore can be proud of. I hope they remember this experience and draw positive energy from it, so that every time they encounter a setback, they can bounce back. For the next car, we still want everyone to come back safely. We want the car to come back safely. These things are non-negotiable. I think we're hopeful that we can start preparing again and learning from this experience, to bridge the gap between the top-performing car and ours. Hopefully with resources from Singapore Power and the expertise from Singapore Poly, we can up the ante and improve the performance even as we strive to keep the team and the car safe.
  6. 6. www.sp.edu.sg Singapore Polytechnic 500 Dover Road Singapore 139651 tel. (65) 6775 1133 fax. (65) 6870 6189
  7. 7. www.sp.edu.sg Singapore Polytechnic 500 Dover Road Singapore 139651 tel. (65) 6775 1133 fax. (65) 6870 6189

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