This year’s Budget proposed to allocate over $600 million to refurbish about 240 public toilets in the next five years. As early as January this year, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) already started searching for appropriate new technologies to manage washroom facilities in Hong Kong, and uploaded the wish for washroom improvement onto the EMSD’s E&M InnoPortal, with the aim to help client departments enhance the cleaning management of washrooms and improve the quality of public services.
This June, the EMSD took the lead to install Internet of Things (IoT) sensors in a washroom on the 4th floor of the headquarters building and develop the smart washroom management platform, which provides real-time environmental monitoring for users and cleaning staff. The Smart Washroom Management System collects information with the sensors installed across the washroom, and monitors the use of the washroom (such as toilet cubicle occupancy, queuing situation and indoor air quality) through data analysis. Such information will be reflected real-time on tablet computers or mobile phones by means of the IoT platform and mobile applications, notifying users of available washrooms nearby and their cleanliness as well as the estimated waiting time. Other smart functions include interaction between sensors and air-blow deodorising disinfection equipment, automatic detection of the remaining amount of consumables such as toilet paper and liquid soap, automatic detection of water leakage on the floor, etc., which allow cleaning staff to obtain the relevant information for cleaning and timely replenishment of consumables, optimised cleaning plan in the long run.
We can estimate the flow of people and analyse the waiting time according to the sensors installed in the washroom, thus facilitating the diversion of users. The floor plan of the washroom also helps users quickly know about the use of the washroom.
Representatives from client departments visited our smart washroom during the Innovation & Technology Seminar in June this year to learn about the relevant IoT concept. They showed great interest in the application of the Smart Washroom Management System and were eager to know more about it.
如欲了解更多有關醫院機電系統應用創新科技的情況，歡迎致電 3155 4000 與高級工程師
Walk with the Hong Kong Children’s Hospital
During the construction stage, the EMSD served as a technical consultant, providing attentive engineering consultancy services to the medical staff from different departments of the hospital. Through advance involvement, we were able to understand the client’s needs as early as possible and solve any problem with operation and maintenance that might arise from the original design in the future.
We have introduced to the HKCH the latest innovative technology – the Building Information Modelling – Asset Management (BIM-AM) System to make 3-D building models to facilitate asset management and remote diagnosis of different engineering systems in the future. For new hospitals to be built, we may integrate the 3-D models of the new hospitals with the Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) system set up in the EMSD Headquarters before the construction stage. In this case, medical staff can assimilate into a virtual environment to preview the interior design, layout and spatial arrangement of the medical facilities in order to perfect the design solution. With this system, maintenance staff can also practice simulation maintenance in zones that are not easily accessible (such as operating theatre), get familiar with the environment and repair procedures, thus better preparing for the actual maintenance work in due course.
We have also worked with the HKCH to develop new technologies. Examples are the baby tagging system and the medical equipment (such as electric bed and respirator) asset management system. Besides, we have introduced an indoor positioning system, which uses Bluetooth Low Energy Beacon, to increase maintenance efficiency. By working with mobile apps, the system can provide positioning navigation for indoor maintenance, push notification of operation manual and safety messages to the maintenance staff.
Early this year, the EMSD and the Flood Control Section of the Drainage Services Department (DSD) jointly launched a trial scheme to develop a Smart Drainage – Flood Monitoring System in Sha Tin and Tai Po with the application of the Government-wide Internet of Things (IoT) Network (GWIN). The client department was very satisfied with the good results of the trial and decided to further extend the trial to ten locations which are more susceptible to storm surges and overtopping waves. LoRa, the IoT communication technology used by the GWIN, has the advantages of wide coverage, low power consumption, low costs, easy installation and maintenance, etc. Besides, the GWIN also supports hundreds of different types of sensors, which can be used for a wide array of applications to help promote innovation and technology development of the client department.
In the short period between mid-July and end-August, the EMSD successfully installed a number of IoT sensors at seven storm surge spots and three overtopping wave spots across the territory. The loT sensors are on live with the GWIN, enabling the DSD to effectively monitor real-time information of the rise and fall of water level at these locations and obtain more data on water level, which will facilitate early implementation of contingency measures for this year’s typhoon season to better protect the lives and properties of the public.
The sensors not only monitor the real-time water level round the clock, but also remotely adjust the data sampling frequency (ranging from one to ten minutes) according to the operational need, and continuously transmit the hydrological information of each monitoring spot to the EMSD Headquarters through GWIN base stations for display on the newly installed flood monitoring system. Furthermore, EMSD plans to install an additional set of backup IoT sensors at each monitoring spot to enhance the reliability of the system. With the data on rising water level trend and alert level provided by the newly installed flood monitoring system, DSD colleagues can quickly assess the risk of flooding for early deployment of emergency response teams to assist the residents and handle the flooding cases.
The EMSD has been collaborating with the academia and the trade, and leverages the E&M InnoPortal to promote and drive the research and development and application of E&M innovative technologies. On 6 August 2019, the Environment Bureau (ENB) and the EMSD jointly organised the first green-themed I&T Day, showcasing the innovation and technology (I&T) achievements in energy conservation and renewable energy of more than 30 local and Mainland exhibitors. Experts from Hong Kong and the Mainland as well as representatives from our client departments were invited to present on four topics, namely, Green Transformation, Tomorrow Low-carbon City, Sustainable Innovative Drivers and Big Data for Smart Environment. The event attracted over 700 participants from government departments, public organisations, I&T and E&M trades, as well as universities and research institutions in Hong Kong and other cities in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), with a view to promoting the application of new green technologies and introducing advanced energy-saving I&T solutions to various stakeholders and client departments in order to drive low-carbon transformation.
In his welcome speech, the Secretary for the Environment, Mr. Wong Kam-sing, said that the ENB has set out energy-saving and carbon reduction targets for Hong Kong in the Energy Saving Plan for Hong Kong’s Built Environment 2015~2025+ and Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2030+ respectively, and smart applications of I&T would help mitigate climate change. The Government will play a leading role and work with the community to promote energy-saving initiatives and renewable energy development.
Following the signing of memoranda of co-operation (MoC) with five local universities and seven research institutions this June, the EMSD also signed the same with the Guangdong Provincial Association for Science and Technology and the Guangdong Productivity Centre respectively on the Green I&T Day to extend I&T collaboration to the GBA for the first time and foster I&T exchange between Guangdong and Hong Kong. Moreover, we signed an MoC with the Guangdong Academy of Sciences in mid-August to develop more I&T solutions in a bid to support the application of innovative technologies by client departments for the enhancement of service quality and efficiency.
「機電 • 啟航」為機電業注入新動力
To cope with the long-term development of Hong Kong, the EMSD is committed to recruiting young technicians and enhancing their technical standards by strengthening the training and collaboration of E&M talents in Guangzhou and Hong Kong as well as encouraging trainees to participate in both local and international skills competitions, with a view to providing better quality E&M services to clients and members of the public.
Setting up Guangzhou-Hong Kong E&M Talent Training Bases
Two Hong Kong training bases were particularly set up in the EMSD Headquarters Building, and we invited national team players and experts from the Mainland to conduct joint training with the Hong Kong team in our Refrigeration and Air-conditioning training base for WorldSkills Competition in July. This summer, EMSD trainees were also arranged in batches to study, exchange and share views in four technician colleges under the HRSSGZ in Guangzhou, so that they can accumulate experiences and better equip themselves.
Training Talents for Skills Competitions
This August, our technician, Mr. Chan Yu-tai, and technician trainee, Mr. Kwok Chun-ming, represented Hong Kong to attend the 45th WorldSkills Competition held in Kazan, Russia. They won Medallions for Excellence in the “Electrical Installations” trade and the “Refrigeration and Air-conditioning” trade respectively. They said that participation in international competitions has helped improve their skills and widened their exposure, and they have benefited a great deal from it.
“E&M Go!” Injects New Impetus to the E&M Trade
Our officiating guest, Mr. Matthew Cheung, the Chief Secretary for Administration, said in his welcoming speech that the E&M trade is the basis of various industries and the driving force for the sustainable development of Hong Kong. The Government expects that it will invest more than $1,000 billion in total on infrastructure in the next ten years, of which 40% will be put in the E&M trade, offering lots of opportunities for the trade. Moreover, in recent years, the E&M trade has been rapidly moving towards high-end technology by combining innovation and technology, which helps youngsters unleash their potential and enhance their upward mobility. Mr. Cheung encouraged young, new members of the trade to shine on the road ahead and create their own new world.
Mr. Cheung Yuen-fong has been appointed as Acting Deputy Director/Trading Services of the EMSD with effect from 15 September 2019. He is responsible for leading the operation and future development of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Trading Fund (EMSTF) to provide cost-effective, diversified and quality E&M engineering services to client departments and public organisations, with a view to creating public value and improving people’s quality of life.
At the same time, Mr. Wong Wai-kwong, Chief Engineer/General Engineering Services, has held a concurrent post as Acting Assistant Director/2 of the EMSD. He is responsible for overseeing the E&M engineering services that the EMSTF provides to such customers as the public health organisations, municipal services venues and government offices.