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Solar film project in New Hall and Old Hall

2011-10-12 20:14:23

Green can never be separated from St. Joseph’s College. Since 1875, the school has chosen green, the colour of shamrock, as one of her symbolic colours. And now, green means more to SJC. The school has obtained an approved budget of $114,335 from the Environmental and Conservation Fund ( ECF), which give huge impetus to the energy saving project, “Go Green & White” (Project Number:MW0407A). The project aims at reducing energy consumption of the campus by means of installing solar films and monitoring devices at both the New Hall and Old Hall.

Air Conditioning is always the major electricity consumption in Hong Kong. Thirty percent of Hong Kong’s total electricity consumed, according to the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), is attributed to by the use of air-conditioners. Excessive consumption of electricity would lead to further emission of greenhouse gases from power plants, and further pollute the air. Only if we reduce the amount of energy consumption, in particular, air–conditioning, can we significantly ameliorate Hong Kong’s air quality, and also our ecological environment.

Recognizing the crux of the problem, St. Joseph’s College decided to operate a project on retrenchment of the energy consumed by air–conditioners, naming as “Go Green & White”. Honorably, the project is supported by the Environmental Campaign Committee, which has provided a subsidy of $114,335 through the ECF to the college. To utilize the given amount to the full, implementing the project in the two Halls is hitting the bull’s eye. When the Halls are in use, it is necessary that all the air–conditioners are switched on, or else the area would be stuffy. Suffocating environment would greatly affect student performances, especially in examinations. Installing solar films is the best way to achieve the win–win situation.

A solar film looks like a sheet of transparent plastic; however, this inconspicuous and colourless sheet is here to make a difference to Mother Earth. In fact, the films consist of materials that allow sunlight to pass through while hindering heat to come inside the area. Therefore, temperature of the Halls can be maintained at a lower level; which means, keeping the whole hall comfortable does not have to heavily rely on air–conditioning. In other words, it reduces electricity used by air–conditioners. As mentioned, the majority of Hong Kong’s electricity consumption is ascribed to air–conditioning; installation of solar films reduces the amount of electricity used.

The school has also carried out two control measures to monitor the progress, and to guarantee accomplishment of the win–win situation. Electricity meters, a tool to measure the exact amount of energy consumed, are installed to monitor the energy used. The school may learn the actual performance of the films by comparing the current year’s to past years’ electricity bills. Furthermore, digital thermometers are installed to ensure the room temperature is appropriate. Besides acting as a temperature indicator, these thermometers provide data for reference. Important information, such as how we can obtain the appropriate temperature using the least amount of energy, or what factors can affect the temperature, is drawn from the thermometers. Simple measures are unexpectedly practical.

St. Joseph’s College would like to extend sincere thanks to the following committees for their generous support for the energy saving project, “Go Green & White”. Had it not been for the budget, the school would not be able to implement the project successfully. Environment protection cannot be done with brief period of enthusiasm, instead, it needs perseverance. Josephians, let’s go green and white!