Built Environment & Climate Change (Environmental Engineering)

Site Screening & Selection

Thermal Power Plants

Majority of coastal lands in Peninsular Malaysia were formed due to sedimentation build-up and do not have good geological attributes for future power plant development.

Land use developments are also concentrated along the coastal land. By undertaking this research projects, TNB has undertaken a series of research projects to develop a systematic process that can provide guidance on the screening, identification and acquisition of suitable coastal sites for future development of gas, coal and nuclear power plants in Peninsular Malaysia. Application of this systematic process is important to help safeguard future energy generation requirements in Peninsular Malaysia.

Sediment Disposal Area

Hydroelectric dam forms an integral part of the overall energy generation mix for Peninsular Malaysia. Unfortunately, increasing deforestation, agricultural and commercial development activities at its catchment resulted in increase in annual sediment settlement in its reservoir hence constant dredging work is required. TNB has undertaken a series of research projects and has successfully developed a systematic process that can provide guidance on the screening, identification and acquisition of suitable nearby sites to deposit dredged sediments from the reservoir.

Pollution & Emission Modelling (Measurement / Control / Reduction / Prevention)

Air Pollution Modelling for Thermal Power Plant

Power Plant emissions resulted from the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, gas, and oil. These emissions include sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter, and other hazardous air pollutants i.e heavy metals, all of which are subjected to the environmental regulations. The Ground Level Concentration (GLC) of emission dispersion from power plant stack must meet the standard imposed by Department of Environment (DoE) at the ambient or recipient areas. TNB has undertaken research on air dispersion air modelling to predict air quality impacts from a project that is still in the planning stage and for which an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is being conducted, to support the rationale behind the changes of the required buffer zone for any proposed development of power plant, to evaluate and optimize the selection of the appropriate mitigation and emission controls measures and to quantify potential health benefits of emission reductions.

Foam Formation & Its Mitigation Measures

The presence of foam dispersed from power plant outfall could deteriorate the aesthetic value of the nearby seaside and may cause complaints from the residents especially fishermen. TNB has undertaken research projects on physical and numerical modelling to determine the formation processes of Cooling Water Outfall Foam discharge from power plant outfall, evaluate and assess its impact to the Marine Environment and propose the mitigation measures. Numerical modelling simulation using 2D and 3D modelling coastal hydrodynamic modelling software and physical modelling has been carried out to test various mitigation measures to reduce/eliminate foam formation. The result shows that an the orifice structure is an effective hydraulic approach to eliminate or minimize foams at cooling water outfall subsequently help TNB to make informed decision to adopt the most recommended design and to avoid trial and error subsequently thereby saving cost and time.

Prediction Emission Monitoring System (PEMS)

Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) is the emission monitoring system that currently being used by all TNB thermal power stations to quantify its emissions for complying with Malaysian Clean Air Regulation. CEMS is the Hardware based system installed at combustion equipment stacks and in the field which incurred significant cost of capital investment, operation and maintenance as well as loss of valuable data in the event of CEMS breakdown. TNB has undertaken a research into the development of Software based emission monitoring system known as Predictive Emission Monitoring System (PEMS) that was installed, tested and certified by Department of Environment (DoE) as an alternative emission monitoring system to CEMS. PEMS advantages are significantly reducing initial, on-going and maintenance cost because PEMS completely eliminate the need for additional hardware (mechanical & electrical) instead of a CEMS such as stack modifications, sampling probes, heated sample lines, supporting equipment such as cylinder gas storage and delivery systems, air clean-up package, and specialized data acquisition system components.

Heavy Metal Pollution & Risk Assessment

Scoping & Measurement

This involves survey site location, sampling (various types of environmental samples), analytical measurement, in-situ measurement, sample exposure, data collection, analyses, statistical analysis (PCA) and reporting.

Management & Reporting

This involves:

  • Heavy Metal Pollution Assessment within and surrounding study area
  • Risk Assessment (Human Health and exposure) within and surrounding study area
  • Bioavailability and mobility of heavy metals within and surrounding study area

Vegetation Management

Rentice Management

Most overhead distribution lines are installed across vegetation areas including forests, idle and agricultural lands. Therefore, maintaining the lines-to-vegetation clearances is crucial due to safety reasons.

Controlling the growth of perennial shrubs, trees and bamboos under the transmission lines is vital as these types of vegetation can grow tall and cause flashover of the high voltage power lines. Frequent trimming of these plants needs to be performed in order to maintain the minimum clearance. Manual cutting activity of plant maintenance is time consuming, cost and labour intensive. Hence, a cost effective technique needs to be developed for the mentioned purposes.

Online Monitoring & Reporting

Vegetation Management Tracking System (VMTS) is a system to monitor, control and manage all aspects of the Vegetation Management (VM) and Maintenance program. It disseminates fast, easy access of information to the decision makers and help them to make precise decision for VM and maintenance program.

Scheduled Wastes

Scoping & Measurement

Our research in this focus area consists of the following:

  • SW Documentation Review
  • Compliance Internal Audit
  • Preliminary Screening Site
  • Sampling & Gap Analysis
  • Identify Potential Impact
  • Review & Access SW Remediation

Compliance Management & Reporting

We develop a new guidelines for TNBD’s scheduled wastes management by reviewing and improving on their current documentation processes, practices and procedures.

To disseminate Schedule Wastes Awareness information to all TNBD’s operational staff through Scheduled Waste Management Awareness Training.

Alternative Water Resource

Scoping & Measurement

The focus areas include:

Exploration of Water Source

  • Reclamation of water any industrial sector – Research on water balance (data collection i.e water consumption, water losses and measurements i.e water flow measurement)
  • Groundwater Exploration – The research comprehensive of site survey (inland/ coastal area), geophysical survey, borehole study, risk assessment of water quality study and design and fabricate of tube well system
  • Rain Water Harvesting – The research comprehensive of site survey, rainfall data collection and design

Design, Fabricate Water Treatment & Control monitoring system

  • This research integrates information on reclaimed water, groundwater, desalination, rainwater and river water

Water Footprint

  • This research on the water footprint integrates information on water audit, water balance, data collection, proposed reclaimed plant, study boundaries, stress measurement & mapping as well as water impact.

Compliance Management & Reporting

The focus areas include:

Management & Reduction

  • Cost benefit & Lifecycle (LCA) analysis
  • Zero Water Discharge

Climate Change

Clean Development Mechanism(CDM)

One of the 3 flexible mechanisms in the Kyoto Protocol that aims to reduce GHG and is relevant to Malaysia is CDM. The CDM allows industrialized countries with emission reduction commitments by investing in projects that reduce GHG emissions. TNB has registered Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project at the Ulu Jelai Hydroelectric in Pahang. The 372MW Ulu Jelai Hydroelectric Project is estimated to generate an average of 374GWh of electricity per annum. Its clean technologies will contribute to the elimination of the equivalent of 250,387 tonnes of CO2 a year, or 1,752,709 tonnes over a seven-year crediting period.

Carbon Footprint Assessment

The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in Malaysia is from burning of fossil fuels such as for electricity and transportation. Most electricity generation technologies generate carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions. In carbon footprint assessment, the GHG emissions were accounted from stationary combustion (power generation and backup generator), mobile fuel combustion from company-owned vehicles, fugitive emissions from Sulphur Hexaflouride (SF6) and Hydroflourocarbon (HFC) from electrical equipment, direct discharges of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from fire safety systems, indirect emissions from the use of imported energy and losses.

TNB Research Sdn Bhd (TNBR) has started the TNB preliminary assessment of carbon inventory for its power plants in 2010. The purpose of the assessment is to develop a methodology and establish a GHG baseline for accounting Green House Gas (GHG) emissions from TNB’s G,T and D, to develop Carbon Footprint Monitoring Tool and to identify potential mitigation measures.

Vulnerability & Adaption Impact Assessment

TNB Research Sdn. Bhd. (TNBR) was appointed to prepare a report on the vulnerability and adaptation of climate change effects to the energy sector (electricity and oil and gas sector) which is an input to Malaysia National Communication report to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

In this study, the assessment of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change for the energy sector was conducted based on the Hydroclimate and Sea Level Rise data with power plants, substations and transmissions assets using the ArcGIS 10.1 or Google Earth. This study has listed out the vulnerabilities of climate change which is concurrent with the most probable adaptation measures that can be taken if the events does happen.