Elkem educates future promoters of sustainable energy
Following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March last year, Elkem decided to donate a 15 kW solar system to Ishinomaki Commercial High School. One of the goals behind building a solar cell system was that it could awake interest and fascination for renewable energy among young students today, so that they may become future promoters for sustainable energy.
With this in mind, Elkem Japan wishes to use the solar system as an educational tool for the young generation, helping them recognise the important role renewable energy will have in the futures’ energy mix. Together with the school and its Japanese partners, Elkem has set up a work-study programme for Ishinomaki’s students, consisting of both workshops and lectures on themes such as energy, environment, silicon, solar cells and solar panel assembly.
The first of many lectures was held last month at Ishinomaki by Elkem trainee Ingeborg Odland and Business Manager Hironori Yoshizawa in Elkem Japan. The main themes were energy, environment and silicon, with particular focus on solar energy. On May 21 a representative from Kyocera – a Japanese company that had an important role in setting up the schools solar cell system – held a lecture about solar cells, energy and solar-panel assembly.
ESS™ outperforming virgin polysilicon
The solar system was put into operation by the end of 2011. Since its start-up, it has already generated 6,300 kWh, consequently reducing CO2 emissions by 2,700 kg. The system consists of three 5kW subsystems which are made of 100% ESS™, 60% ESS™ and 100% virgin polysilicon respectively. The systems are measured for performance on a regular basis, and so far the ESS™ based systems are showing higher performance than the one based on virgin polysilicon.