Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University



APU Student Claims Top Prize at Solar Power Product Idea Contest


Nov 30, 2009

On Friday, November 13, 2009, the "2nd Applied Solar Power Product Idea Contest" was held in Kumamoto Prefecture for university and engineering technical college students. The APU team, represented by MIYAMOTO Tsumugi (APM3, Japan), took out the Excellence Award.

Held by the Kumamoto Techno Industry Foundation (Trust) and the Solar and Green Energy Business Promotion Association, this contest aims to increase people's awareness of solar energy, new-generation energy and the environment, and promote solar cell research in higher education institutions. Teams that made it through the initial screening stage were issued with a solar cell with which to create their prototype and vie for the top place at the second judging stage.

Ms. MIYAMOTO, FUJII Takatoshi (APM3, Japan), ITO Yuna (APM3, Japan) and KOJIMA Kotaro (APM3, Japan) participated from APU in this contest and are all members of APM Professor NAKATA Yukihiko's seminar. Professor NAKATA, who also serves as AP-IMAC Director and is currently involved in investigative research at Stanford University, is also involved in solar cell and new-generation energy research. Under the theme of "Double Effect: Solar Power and Healthy Plants – solar panels and a simple watering device", team members created a gardening watering device that can used on apartment balconies – traditionally a difficult place to fit solar panels.

FUJISHIMA Masao of local Oita Prefecture manufacturer FUJISHIMA Glasshouse provided specialist knowledge and technical support with this project. FUJISHIMA Glasshouse is involved in the development of solar powered LED street lamps.

Ms. MIYAMOTO spoke of her joy at receiving the Excellence Award, "We went through a trial and error process of seeing just how much we could get out of the solar panel and had many team meetings. We managed to put the whole thing together with expert technical advice and ultimately come away with the Excellence Award. While this experience taught us the difficulty involved in realizing an idea, it also gave us a wonderful experience."

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