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Blog 2: Background and Updates

posted Jun 23, 2011, 1:06 AM by William Hong   [ updated Apr 8, 2012, 3:40 PM by Thomas Geissmann ]
(2011 - June 23)
Blogger: William
Journey: A bit of a background and sharing updates
Last week I totally just jumped into the picture without actually introducing myself and the essentials of our story. This week I hoped to shed a bit more light on the background of our situation and some updates of the journey. What is the Journey anyway?
My name is William. I am currently doing my post grad in TokyoTech under the tutelage of Prof. Naoya Abe. My goal in life is to contribute to humanity positively. Quite farfetched but somehow it seems to make a good theme for the journey of life. I have currently chosen the path of helping humanity by energizing the rural areas using renewable energy technology. Hence, what this journey is is a pursuit of realizing a good way to provide sustainable power to the people who have least access to it. Through the journey, we hope to do innovative research- to finish our doctorate- and engage in projects which test and develop different ways to positively help society through energy provision. Through, we can have a vessel to accumulate our learnings, thoughts and efforts towards reaching the goal of our journey, making sustainability a choice.
This week we joined an energy efficiency seminar conducted by the DOE. It is part of a national program to train various stakeholders related to energy consumption, production and distribution about energy efficiency and conservation efforts to reach the goal of saving 20-25% of energy through bettering the demand side management efforts of energization. The most significant points in this 2-day session are the following: 
  • All stakeholders can take part in this National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Program, from consumers to distributors and producers of power.
  • Organizations can start EEC efforts through SGAs – small group activities- where trials can be made until the whole organization can adopt the good practices.
  • For more detailed steps, we can refer to the ASEAN Energy Management Handbook, which shares 11 key-steps approach towards EEC.
  • Simple Management and Analysis tools are applicable; ex. 5S, Pareto and checklists
  • “No-investment” works can be prioritized to minimize costs.
  • Identify energy cost centers (most consumption) through sub-metering.
  • Efficient lighting systems, changing incandescent to CFLs are best though done with proper understanding of the needs. A rule of thumb is to divide the Incandescent bulb wattage by 5 to have the equivalent CFL. ex. 60W / 5 = 12 W CFL
  • Other areas for efficiency improvements are, HVACs, motors, and transportation.
This national program is the driving force of encouraging the key energy consumers to conserve and optimize energy usage. We can thus participate in the program by learning the simple steps, starting through small group efforts, and develop from there.
L4R, Lamps for Rent. This week we purchased our AC-DC converter charger, after some hours of hopping from one electrical store to another to find the right specs for the right price. Anyhow, we have a sleek charger box design ready and tomorrow we shall assemble it. (updated: today we finished it, pictures below) We scheduled visiting the island this week but the weather seems to think otherwise. Hence, we will schedule our visit next week. Anyhow, our plan is to start with a few lamps for technical observation for a week. We will aim to measure the luminance of the lamps as well through our top of the line lux meter – nice! We shall see better soon.
The Decision Report. I am still continuing making the evaluation for Pangan-an Island, trying to make a good framework to assess the capacity of the cooperative to handle the project; quite challenging given that there is no template for it. This week, an idea came into mind. Something which can encapsulate what this whole journey is about, what this study, and this doctorate really aims for. How about making a Renewable Energy Systems for Rural Electrification Sustainability Manual? How about topping it off with this revolutionary index, the Willingness to Sustain (WTS)? - more details to come. Try that for an end-goal to this journey. Sir Jun thinks it is worthwhile. He wants it practical and easy to use. I think it is doable. We`ll see more about that soon. I`ve been seeing the picture better by talking to these individuals here in DOE who know these things by heart. All we need is a good way to put their knowledge into writing. I guess that’s what research is all about anyway.
As an end note, I wished to say special thanks to our supporters for the L4R project, most especially to the fine individuals of the International Center for Social Entrepreneurship (ICSE) The L4R project basically came to life with the initial push of the ISCE business plan competition. A new business plan competition opens for 2011, see

Attending the forum needs an ID

Forum setting: the grand ballroom

DOE Team
(with mam Lou and sir Jun)

Testing the lamps at DOE office
(Step 1: empty the batteries)


Workshop at the office....

The creation of the week: Lamp Charger Box. Handy, semi-waterproof, effective, and pink.