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Joint effort by HKO and EMSD (13 May 2003)

The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) today (May 13) jointly put a new electronics device into operation at the automatic weather station at Ngong Ping, Lantau. The device instantly tells how efficiently the wind is churning out electricity.

The work represents the effort of Ms Cindy Man, an engineering graduate from EMSD and working at HKO. Since 1985, the Observatory has been collaborating with EMSD in providing attachment opportunities for engineering graduates. Each attachment normally lasts for three months and would usually bring about the construction of devices for real-life applications.

Cindy was pleased that her work could be used to serve a scientific purpose. She said: "It is one thing learning from books and quite another putting what you have learnt into practice. Colleagues at the Observatory helped me a lot in overcoming difficulties in the circuit design. Journeys to inspect the station at Ngong Ping and to figure out how to install the device there were exhausting because there was no road transport and we had to carry the equipment on foot. However, I find the experience very rewarding, especially that my work can be used to explore the potential of such renewable energy as wind power in Hong Kong."

Located on a remote hilltop, the Ngong Ping weather station uses a wind-powered generator to provide all the electricity it requires. With the electricity generated, the station automatically measures the wind and temperature there and sends the data back to HKO by wireless transmission. The Observatory's Senior Scientific Officer Dr Tam Cheuk-ming explained: "Cindy has made a device which lets us know whether the wind is producing enough electrical energy for the station."

The EMSD's Training Manager Dr Arthur Wong added: "The attachment arrangement at HKO has been going on for the past 18 years. It offers a very good opportunity for our engineering graduates to acquire practical experience. This is beneficial to their career development."

Last revision date: <20 Dec 2012>