Solar Secret Sauce
Last August, nineteen 6-8th graders and staff from OMSI’s summer science camp visited Yoshida Foods International for an “Eco Class” and a tour of the Portland sauce factory. These 10-12 year olds had the opportunity to see first-hand how businesses use solar technology to provide their energy needs, and Solar Oregon was there to share in the experience.
By Ron "Mac" McDowell
Solar Oregon Board Member
Field trips are a common occurrence for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry’s staff, but they’re usually acting as the host, not the guest. Last August, nineteen 6-8th graders and staff from OMSI’s summer science camp visited Yoshida Foods International for an “Eco Class” and a tour of the Portland sauce factory. These 10-12 year olds had the opportunity to see first-hand how businesses use solar technology to provide their energy needs, and Solar Oregon was there to share in the experience.
The Yoshida Group is a conglomerate comprised of diverse companies, but is it best known for the teriyaki-style gourmet marinade made in Junki and Linda Yoshida's kitchen more than 20 years ago. Chairman Junki Yoshida personally greeted the class and invited them to tour the factory to see how his sauces are made. As he handed out Yoshida Sauce samples, he jokingly cautioned them not to disclose any industry secrets they might discover during their visit.
Then the group was escorted to the roof so students could see the huge solar array that covers most of the facility’s 70,000 square foot roof. Cameron Coleman of InSpec Group, a local engineering and construction (EPC) firm, explained to the class how solar panels generate clean energy and feed electricity back to the grid. SANYO partnered with InSpec Group to install 798 SANYO HIT Power* solar panels to generate clean energy for the Yoshida Foods factory. Yoshida selected SANYO panels because of their high efficiency specifications and because they’re manufactured in Salem – SANYO Solar of Oregon, LLC.
Following the rooftop excursion, the students headed back to the classroom for an Eco Class hosted by SANYO’s Megumi Marsh who taught the class about the “3Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” She was assisted by colleague Tim Kary, who presented SANYO’s solar manufacturing process through an entertaining and interactive presentation. Megumi administers SANYO’s solar education program called “Power Our Planet with Sunlight” that teaches students about the benefits of solar power. The SANYO program, which began in Nevada in 2010, is expanding and now collaborating with non-profit environmental organizations such as Solar Oregon.
We are proud SANYO North America Corporation and InSpec Group are Solar Oregon professional members!
About Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)
OMSI is a scientific, educational, and cultural resource center dedicated to improving the public's understanding of science and technology. OMSI seeks to inspire wonder by providing engaging science learning experiences through exhibits, programs, and experiences that are presented in an entertaining and participatory fashion. OMSI is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and relies on admissions, memberships, and donations to continue their educational mission, programs, and exhibits. http://www.omsi.edu/home
About InSpec Group
InSpec Group is an innovative multi-disciplinary engineering and construction group providing facility and energy solutions to customers across the nation. In addition to its PV solar integration business, InSpec Group has project expertise throughout the entire supply chain of Energy Solutions industries. For more information, visit http://inspecgroup.com.
SANYO North America Corporation, a subsidiary of SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. is a global leading company providing solutions for energy, environment and lifestyle applications. The Energy System Solutions Division is headquartered in San Jose, California, and handles sales and services for photovoltaic and Smart Energy Systems. For further information, visit SANYO’s web site at http://us.SANYO.com.
* HIT® stands for Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin-layer. These solar cells employ a proprietary technology developed by SANYO whereby hybrid solar cells composed of single crystalline silicon wafers are surrounded by ultra-thin amorphous silicon layers. The unique structure minimizes defects within the p/n junction of the cell, producing highly efficient cells capable of achieving up to 17.8% module efficiency while producing more power even at higher temperatures.