Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


UC installing solar panels providing power to Tongan schools

UC installing solar panels providing power to Tongan schools

September 6, 2012

University of Canterbury has just installed photo-voltaic solar panel systems on five Tongan high schools, professor Pat Bodger said today.

In a project funded by government through Rotary NZ Worldwide Community Services and led by EcoCARE Pacific Trust, the ultimate goal will be to install solar power system in all 36 Tongan schools on 21 different islands.

``The aim of the project was to design and install PV solar power systems in five Tongan high schools to help reduce their electricity consumption and reduce their hefty diesel-fuelled power bills; enabling the savings to be spent on other educational requirements’’ Professor Bodger said.

``We engaged UC students from the Electric Power Engineering Centre (EPEC) and the College of Engineering to design, procure, manage and install the systems. We wanted them to meet their academic objectives and to help the Tongan schools. This was a great opportunity for our students to put into practice their learning in an academic environment and to deal with the day to day issues of undertaking a real project.

In Tonga, the installation was led by UC students who worked with a Tongan contracting company. A goal was to transfer knowledge to the local community. The students also interacted with the Ministry of Education, the Tongan Electricity Commission and Tonga Power Limited.

UC Masters student Shreejan Pandey will talk about the project at the EPEC’s research and development expo and careers convention on campus on September 19. A UC research project, headed by EPEC director Allan Miller, last month received $6.3 million in a government grant to improve the national power grid.

A team from UC’s Wireless Research Centre has also looked into the feasibility of installing low-cost, high band width wireless technologies to link the five Tonga schools with audio-visual communications systems.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland