. . . Energy saving - - Setsuden - INFO

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Energy saving 節電 setsuden

Since the earthquake knocked out a lot of power supply and rolling blackouts haunted Kanto, energy saving has become a hot topic.

Even in Western Japan, where I live, we talk about it and act about it, turning off equipment that is not needed.


Some vocabulary

AEEC Asia Energy Efficiency and Conservation Collaboration Center
ECCJ Energy Conservation Center Japan
a unit established in ECCJ in April 2007 aiming for promotion of energy efficiency and conservation in Asian countries through international cooperation.
source : ECCJ and AEEC

setsuden 節電 conserving electricity
... setsuden moodo 節電モード switch on appliances

shooene 省エネ energy conservation

taiki denryoku 待機電力 standby-power
... 待機消費電力


shooene to itte ugokanu waga nyoobo

“Energy saving”
Says my wife
And doesn’t move.

source : amstel.blog

shared at Joys of Japan, February 2012


The new setsuden culture

While the kanji for "hot" was chosen as emblematic of 2010, setsuden, or electricity conservation, seems to be the keyword for 2011, or at least for the coming summer.

Offices and factories are turning up thermostats and turning off lights, cutting back on overtime, and shifting work hours. Stations throughout Tokyo have turned off lights and escalators. Beverage vending machines are under attack for eating up too much electricity.

Individuals are being urged to turn off lights, limit the use of air conditioners and turn down the brightness on their TV screens. Arakawa Ward in Tokyo is planning to hold a summer setsuden "mileage" contest in which residents can win setsuden products, such as a strap enabling one to recharge a cell phone with solar power, if they can demonstrate use of 20 percent less electricity than in the same month the year before.

Such appeals seem to be having an effect. In one recent newspaper survey (Asahi, May 7), 86 percent of respondents report taking energy-saving measures at home. They are turning off lights, unplugging appliances when not in use and turning up the setting on air conditioners.

Products expected to get a boost in the setsuden campaign include electric fans, LED light bulbs and capacitors for household use in which electricity stored at night can be used during peak hours of demand.

Toshiba plans to put on sale in July a flat-screen TV, designed for use in Southeast Asian countries having frequent blackouts, which can run for three hours on a rechargeable battery.

Clothing for summer as well is moving beyond Cool Biz to Setsuden Biz. Uniqlo has already started selling special cooling underwear, and lines of polo shirts for the office are also in the works from various makers.

Beyond such products, the energy crisis seems to be leading to a re-examination of the busy, modern-day lifestyle with its emphasis on convenience above all else, and encouraging more time spent with family.

While it remains to be seen how deep or long-lasting such changes might be, perhaps the power shortage will bring some welcome reforms in lifestyle along with all the difficulties it poses for companies and individual citizens alike.
source : Japan Times, May 15, 2011

節電ビズ Setsuden Biz

Saving Energy Business

CLICK for more photos


Some ideas on how to

dressing for business . this summer, cool biz is IN !

Starting Cool Biz in Japan
. Tuesday, May 05

Government starts the "Super" Cool Biz campaign
. Wednesday, June 01

super cool biz スーパークールビズ
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

smart cool biz スマートクールビズ
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

cool biz style クールビズスタイル
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

The Japanese Ministry of the Environment (MOE)
began advocating the Cool Biz campaign in summer 2005 as a means to help reduce electric consumption by limiting use of air conditioning. This idea was proposed by then-MOE minister Yuriko Koike under the Koizumi cabinet.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


hatsuden nabe, the power-generating pot

Imagine you lost everything and are living in a shelter or half-destroyed home, without electricity for days.
Here comes the little helper!
Make a wood fire, hang your special pot above it, change the heat into electricity, plug in a special battery and here you go, load your handy phone, switch on a light or a fan, use a little electricity.
the hatsuden nabe has been invented.
And with the hot water you can brew a coffe, tea or hot soup.

はつでんなべ 発電鍋 

from 「TESニューエナジー」
venture company TES NewEnergy Corp., Osaka
舟橋良次 Funahashi Ryoji

A pot enabling users to charge their cellphones by boiling water in disaster situations will go on sale later this month.

The "Hatsuden-nabe (power generating pot)" of venture company TES NewEnergy Corp. has the appearance of an ordinary household utensil but can directly convert heat-waste into electricity using a thermoelectric module.

Since the device can charge cellphones and other devices using open flames from firewood, charcoal, gas and other sources, it would be useful as a backup for emergencies such as natural disasters, said the company based in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture.

The product, which uses a USB connection, can finish charging an iPhone smartphone of Apple Inc. in three to five hours, for example. It can also charge radios and flashlights if they have USB plugs.

''After the earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan, we went into full swing in developing the product,'' said Ryoji Funahashi, a director at the company, referring to the March 11 disaster.

''The product is unaffected by the weather or the time of the day, unlike solar energy, and since the motors don't shake, it's hard to break,'' he said.

The pot, 16 centimeters in diameter, contains an iron-covered conductor at the bottom. The conductor is high in temperature while the pot itself is cooler, causing a difference in temperature that can be converted to electric voltage.

''We hope to make more powerful electricity generators using metallic drums in the future, '' Funahashi said.

The product, which consists of the pot and accessories, will be sold for 24,150 yen.

TES NewEnergy is a venture company specializing in commercialization of products using technologies developed by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.
source : english.kyodonews.jp

power-generating pot, using a thermoelectric module
. Reference .


Set to a bit lower/higher than usual.
(18 centigrade for winter)
(28 centigrade for summer)
Put the outside unit in a shady place, and clean it regularly, especially the backside.

or use a ventilator fan

There is now a new model,
very light, that loads a battery while you use it during the day and can use it without being plugged in for about 6 hours. It also has an LED lamp for emergencym, a small radio and a plug to recharge the handy cell phone. AND
it comes with a special small voltaic panel to be put on the window pane for power-generation during sunshine times !

solar senpuuki ソーラー扇風機, DC充電
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Smaller solar power fans are also awailable.
ソーラーパワーファン Solar Power Fan
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Cook with gas during peak time.

Set to a bit warmer than usual.
Hang a plastic sheet inside.
Get things out and back in as fast as possible.

Remote controls
Switch off the main unit if not used.

Room light
A bit lower than usual.
Use a candle once in a while.
Go to bed early.

Desk Lamp Stand スタンド型フレキシブルLEDライト
A new type is now promoted, with 38 small LED lamps producing enough light to read at the desk or in bed. While the lamp is on it recharges a battery and can be used in case of power failure for about 20 hours. It can also be taken off the cords and carried around at home or in the garden in case of power failure.

Watch with all the family in one room.
Turn off and have a chat or play with family.
A TV with rechargeable battery is promoted, which can run for 10 hours during a power failure.

Switch off the heated toilet seat.

Washing maschine
Use less than usual, wear your socks one more day.

. . . . .

Use a mosquito net and keep the windows open. Cheap nets like tents to open with one-touch are sold now. They come in three sizes, for children, one grown-up and two people.

Matresses made of reed (igusa) or
a bamboo bed sheet made of small bamboo plates that can be folded, to keep the body cool. Including a pillow cover of bamboo plates.
This is an item long used in China during the hot summer.
bamboo beddo shiitsu バンブーベッドシーツ

But a reed blind (sudare) in front of the window.

Cover a balcony with a "sunshade" サンシェイド to make shadow and let in cool air.

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Get a netted protection for the door to keep it open for airing the house.

Showa era retro goods 昭和レトロ商品 are in this year, to make you feel cool

wind chimes
goldfish bowls

. . . . .

A new system using natural light and sunlight during the day reflected by special mirrors

hikari dakuto shisutemu 光ダクトシステム mirror duct system


. . . . .

Energy-saving cooking device show
Japan Food Machinery Manufacturers' Association
. Tuesday, June 7 in Japan .


Super Cool Biz
June 1 marked the start of the Environment Ministry's Super Cool Biz campaign, with full-page newspaper ads and photos of ministry workers smiling rather self-consciously at their desks wearing polo shirts and colorful Okinawa kariyushi shirts.

Cool Biz campaigns of previous years, since 2005, had promoted short-sleeved shirts with no necktie or suit jacket for the office, but now, faced with the need to conserve electricity, the new official Super Cool Biz encourages polo shirts, Hawaiian shirts, running shoes and even nice-looking T-shirts, jeans and sandals.
... Already though, the new national mood can be seen in women buying more subdued colors than usual for the summer and more practical low- or flat-heeled shoes; cute trinkets to hang from bags incorporating LED flashlights or emergency whistles are also popular.
There is also a comeback for retro summer items like uchiwa hand fans and old-fashioned suteteko underwear (lightweight knee-length drawers for men).
. . . CLICK here for suteteko Photos !
... It will be interesting to see if these lifestyle changes will last beyond the current crisis for a looser and more flexible office environment and an improved work-life balance.
source : Japan Times, June 12, 2011


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Nippon Yusen unveils eco-friendly cargo vessel

Major Japanese shipping firm Nippon Yusen 日本郵船会社 has unveiled a cargo vessel that is designed to minimize carbon dioxide emissions.
The 60,000-ton freighter is used for shipping autos.
The company says the vessel was originally fitted with solar panels, but power supplied by the panels had been unstable due to weather changes.
To address the problem, the freighter is now loaded with nickel-hydrogen batteries to store surplus solar power. When power generated from the solar panels is insufficient, the batteries will be used instead.
Per year, Nippon Yusen expects the new system will save 20 tons of heavy oil, which is used as fuel for the diesel power generator.
The company says the new solar power system's current goal is to cut CO2 by about 180 tons per vessel a year.


Friday, June 17, 2011

The government of Gifu Prefecture has asked its employees to go home during 1 and 3 p.m. to take a nap, in order to cut down on power usage in the offices.
The measure is expected to cut electricity consumption by 20 percent during the 1-3 p.m. time slot, and by 11 percent for the entire year.
Officials have announced other similar measures across the country, like early working schedules or changes in the dress code.
. Reference .


Friday, June 24, 2011
Microsoft Japan calls on PC users to save power
Microsoft Japan is urging individuals and businesses to do more to save power when using computers, ahead of this summer's expected power shortage.
The software company said at a news conference on Thursday that only 24 percent of consumers and 19 percent of companies have taken measures to cut such electricity use.
Microsoft said the biggest power cuts can be made by adjusting monitor settings.
It said reducing monitor brightness cuts power consumption by 23 percent, and that also shortening the period before the monitor automatically goes into sleep mode increases the reduction to 30 percent.
The firm said that carrying out such measures on the more than 22-million computers in the area served by Tokyo Electric Power Company could save 350,000 kilowatts.
Microsoft executive Satoshi Nakagawa said many people are reducing the amount of energy they use for lights and air conditioners but not computers, and urged that everyone effectively save power.
Japan is expected to face a tight power supply in the coming months because many of the country's nuclear reactors, including the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant, remain offline after the March 11th disaster.
source : NHK world news


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Carmakers begin summer power-saving
Some Japanese carmakers have started a summer-time power-saving schedule, to help deal with a possible shortage of electricity due to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Honda Motor is closing its factory in Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture on Thursday and Friday. And Nissan Motor is doing the same with two of its factories in southern Japan.
Streets near the Honda factory were quiet on Thursday, with its gates remaining shut. Some workers volunteered to clean up the streets to use their time off.
One of the volunteers says he's worried about the new schedule, but that it would be a good chance to visit resorts.
Some children in Suzuka City were being taken to a daycare center by their fathers, instead of their mothers. One of the fathers says he will take his child to the center on the days he's not working. He says that he wants to make the most of his free time.
Other carmakers and their affiliated companies will close their production lines from Friday and then every Thursday and Friday after that during the summer. They will open them on weekends when power consumption is lower.
source : NHK World News


Friday, July 1, 2011
15% power cut required for large users on Friday
Starting Friday, large-scale electricity users in eastern Japan are required by law to reduce their consumption by 15 percent compared with last summer's peak.
Power shortages are expected this summer in regions served by Tokyo Electric Power Company and Tohoku Electric Power Company as the March 11th disaster damaged many power stations in the areas.
Factories and others using 500 kilowatts or more are required to cut their power use by 15 percent. The mandatory cuts will affect about 14,800 companies using Tokyo Electric and 3,700 using Tohoku Electric. Violators may face fines of up to 12,500 dollars.
The obligatory cuts are in place from 9 AM to 8 PM on weekdays through September 22nd in the region served by Tokyo Electric.
For the Tohoku Electric service region cuts will be through September 9th.
The government is also asking smaller-scale electricity users and households in the 2 service areas to slash their peak consumption by 15 percent compared with last year.
The mandatory cuts are not applied to shelters in the disaster-hit areas or hospitals.
Other medical institutions and facilities for the elderly are allowed to use the same level of electricity as last year.
Most railway operators are also permitted to use power amounts as large as last year's, except between noon and 3 PM. Smaller cuts are applied to financial and IT-related facilities as well as chip factories with 'clean rooms.'
The mandatory cuts are not in effect in regions outside the 2 utilities' service areas. But Kansai Electric Power Company is asking its customers in mid-western Japan to reduce consumption by 15 percent.
Other utilities are also appealing for cuts in power use.
The expected power shortages are prompting factories to shift their operations from weekdays to weekends. Some local governments are introducing daylight saving time.
These changes in working hours could widely affect the lifestyles of many throughout Japan.
source : NHK World News

Vending maschines will be turned off for many hours during the day. Others are now equiped with solar panels that will keep them going for many hours. And others are putting special insulating sheets on the top of the maschines to keep them cooler.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

NTT DoCoMo starts energy-saving shifts
Major Japanese mobile phone carrier NTT DoCoMo has started energy-saving shifts to cope with power shortages on weekdays.
The company plans to cut energy consumption at its offices, as it is difficult to significantly save power at base stations.
Employees started to arrive at the company's headquarters in central Tokyo from around 9 AM on Saturday. About 10,000 employees in regions served by Tokyo Electric Power Company as well as in Nagano and Niigata Prefectures will work on weekends and take Mondays and Tuesdays off until the end of September.
The company plans to cut power consumption on weekdays by about 30 percent from last year.
An employee says he normally commutes on a very crowded train, but that he was able to sit and read a book. Restaurants in the building have also started to open on weekends.
One manager says his restaurant offers slightly fewer menu items on weekends, but that he will work hard to run the restaurant for his customers.
source : NHK world news

. . . . .

Major firms start weekend shifts
New week begins in bid to cut power use at peak working hours

Major companies on Saturday began operating on weekends to reduce demand for electricity use on weekdays in the face of possible power shortfalls this summer.
The start came a day after the government imposed restrictions on electricity consumption by large-lot users in eastern and northeastern Japan.
Eight automakers, including Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co., operated factories, while firms such as NTT DoCoMo Inc. opened some of their offices.
Employees arrived at Honda's factory in Sayama, Saitama Prefecture, by 6:30 a.m. to begin the day's work. A male employee said he came to work "as if today was Monday," adding that he didn't have any special feelings about working on the weekend.
... The industry has designated Thursdays and Fridays as substitute days off for working on weekends. DoCoMo offices that open Saturdays and Sundays will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
source : Japan Times


Friday, August 12, 2011

Mercury tops 35; heatstroke takes toll

Three people die due to heatstroke and 14 others are in serious condition as temperatures exceed 35 degrees in many regions, prompting the Meteorological Agency to issue a severe heat alert to 29 prefectures.

saving energy -
the gentle humming
of a pink fan

saving energy is the game of the day in japan ... out of sheer need, trying to make it without atomic power plants.
People use fans instead of air conditioning, but the number of heat strokes is also on the rise here.

The pink fan in my room seems to make such a gentle noise, getting me back to sleep in the early morning.


Monday, August 15, 2011

The Largest Mega-Solar Generation Starts Operation in Kawasaki
The total generation of the electricity supplies in Kawasaki would amount as much as 20,000 KWH. This is an equivalent amount of electricity to match the demands of some 5,900 households.

source : Mega-Solar Information .


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Scooping Goldfish
This summer, because of saving electricity and the general mood, there are less summer festivals with fireworks and most festivals close down at 6 in the evening, before it gets dark.
. Saturday, August 20, 2011 .


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tokyo Tower lit up with human-generated power - NHK
Thousands of people have pedaled bicycles to generate electricity to light up Tokyo Tower in an energy-saving campaign.
An event was held at the Japanese capital's landmark on Tuesday night.
Participants, including professional cyclists, took turns pedaling 10 power-generating bicycles in front of the tower.
Shortly after 8 PM, 9 lights illuminated the tower against the night sky, drawing cheers from the participants.
The night-time illumination of the tower has been shortened following the March nuclear accident in Fukushima, which caused power shortages.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011
.Govt signals early end to power saving


March 12, 2012

Japanese breakthrough will make wind power cheaper than nuclear
A surprising aerodynamic innovation in wind turbine design called the 'wind lens' could triple the output of a typical wind turbine, making it less costly than nuclear power.

source : www.mnn.com/green-tech


March 18, 2012

Tidal power generation tested in Kanmon Strait NHK news

A tidal power generation study is under way in the Kanmon Strait, a narrow channel of water in western Japan known for its rapid ocean currents.
The Kitakyushu City government and Kyushu Institute of Technology are among the parties who are jointly conducting the study.
On Saturday, a newly developed generator was loaded onto a boat and brought to a platform 30 meters offshore.
The generator is composed of 2 shafts, each measuring 4.5 meters long, with blades attached to them.
Tidal currents move the blades and rotate the shafts, which generates electricity.
The city government says the maximum speed of the current is 1.3 meters per second and the generator is expected to produce 4.2 kilowatt-hours of electricity per day. This is around 40 percent of daily power consumption by an average household.
The one-year study will determine how efficient the generator is and how it can be properly maintained.
A city official in charge of the study said expectations are rising for renewable energy particularly after last year's massive earthquake and tsunami that crippled a nuclear power plant. He says the developers are aiming to put tidal power generation into practical use in the near future.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Cool Biz campaign to start earlier
The Japanese government will begin its annual energy-saving campaign a month earlier than usual because of concerns that the suspension of nuclear plants may lead to power shortages.
Environment Minister Goshi Hosono told reporters on Friday that ministries, agencies and their regional offices will implement the Cool Biz campaign from May 1st until the end of October.
The government predicts that electricity supplies will be under severe pressure this summer as the country's last operating nuclear reactor will go offline in early May for regular inspections.
The annual campaign to encourage people to use higher settings for air conditioners and wear light clothing was introduced as a measure to combat global warming.
The campaign normally runs from June to September.
But last year, the period was expanded by 2 months to deal with power shortages after the Fukushima nuclear plant accident.
The Environment Ministry is also thinking about upgrading the campaign to Super Cool Biz, allowing T-shirts and sandals in offices from June.
Hosono told reporters that energy-saving measures will be needed again this summer. He says air-conditioners will not be used much in May, but he hopes to raise awareness about energy-saving before the summer begins.


Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Cool Biz campaign kicks off early
The Japanese government kicked off its annual energy-saving campaign on Tuesday, a month earlier than usual to brace for possible power shortages in summer.
The annual Cool Biz campaign encourages people to set air conditioners higher and wear light clothing to fight global warming. It usually runs from June to September.
But this year, the campaign began on May 1st and will continue until the end of October. The government wants to boost energy saving as it fears the expected halt of all nuclear reactors this summer may lead to power shortages.
The expanded campaign was also adopted last year after the Fukushima Daiichi accident.
Many bureaucrats were seen without neckties and jackets at government offices in central Tokyo's Kasumigaseki district on Tuesday.
The Environment Ministry says people need not turn off air conditioners if it is too hot, but should try to save energy by making use of electric fans and drinking water.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Aeon to open early for power-saving

Major Japanese supermarket chain Aeon will open its stores 2 hours early this summer. That's to avert potential power shortages while all of Japan's nuclear reactors are idled.
Aeon says it will open more than 90 percent, or some 1,400 of its stores all over Japan at 7:00 AM for 3 months, starting on June first. The retailer says this will suit the many customers who want to shop before temperatures rise.
Closing times will remain the same, but Aeon says the longer hours will save power by reducing crowding in the afternoon when air conditioning demand peaks.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Super Cool Biz campaign kicks off
The Environment Ministry has kicked off its "Super Cool Biz" campaign, allowing its staff to work in T-shirts and sandals to promote energy conservation in the workplace.
The campaign, which started on Friday, is a stepped-up version of the annual "Cool Biz" practice that started a month ago, in which office workers are encouraged to shed their neckties.
Ministry personnel were seen reporting to work wearing Hawaiian shirts and polo shirts. They are also allowed to wear neat jeans and sneakers.
A female employee said she feels comfortable in a polo shirt, since the room is hot. She said she hopes many people will join the campaign in view of the anticipated summertime power shortages.
In a bid to appeal to the public, all cabinet ministers attended a meeting wearing the traditional "kariyushi" wear of the southern prefecture of Okinawa.
At a news conference after the meeting, Environment Minister Goshi Hosono asked the public to cooperate. He said wearing light clothing can help reduce power usage and prevent heatstroke.
The Super Cool Biz campaign will run through the end of September.


June 22, 2012

Japan govt. policy on summer power saving
The Japanese government has decided to ease part of its power saving policy for summer. This follows the first restart of a nuclear power plant after last year's Fukushima accident.
Earlier this month the government decided to restart two idle reactors at Kansai Electric Power Company's Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture, on the Sea of Japan.
If the Number 3 reactor at the plant goes into full operation in early July as planned, the government will reduce its request for a power cut from at least 15 percent to at least 10 percent in the region covered by Kansai Electric.

The government will ease similar requests in parts of other regions as well.
On Friday, the government also finalized its policy on rolling blackouts. Four power companies, including Kansai and Kyushu Electric, are to be prepared to implement the energy-saving measure in case of power shortages.
The government would employ rolling blackouts when it estimates power consumption in a specific region is going to exceed 99 percent.
Rolling blackouts would be carried out in pre-determined districts, once a day in principle, for about 2 hours. The region supplied by Kansai Electric might have to bear planned blackouts twice a day.
The government says major medical institutions, prefectural government offices, and police and fire department offices will be excluded.


. Reference .


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  1. With Power Shortage Looming, Japan Hustles to Prove Nuclear Reactors Are Safe

    Nobody likes a 40-year heat wave, but a 40-year heat wave in the midst of national drive to conserve energy seems particularly cruel. Last month, residents of Tokyo and other parts of Japan, where electricity is in short supply after March 11, endured highs of 95 degrees — and pangs of guilt when they reached to turn the temperature gauge down a notch in their homes and offices. In the grip of power-saving patriotism, the government said that nearly 7000 people — three times more than last year — were hospitalized around the country with heatstroke in June.

    But with a shortage that looks doomed to get worse before it gets better, Japan faces many more months of living without creature comforts of a cool home or a heated toilet seat. Right now, only 19 of the nation's 54 nuclear reactors are producing power. The rest have either been shut down due to safety concerns after Fukushima or for routine maintenance, and still more are expected to go offline for repairs in coming months.


  2. We noted your blog in "ICT, Energy, and Japan's Earthquake/Tsunami" at http://vertatique.com/ict-energy-and-japan-earthquake-tsunami.

    We look forward to more about setsuden and ICT use.

  3. Thanks a lot, Matt!

    Here is my part about the influence on goldfish during summer festivals today.