Oct.12, 2021

Japan Weather Association
MinebeaMitsumi Inc.

Japan Weather Association and MinebeaMitsumi Launch New Initiative to Improve the Prediction Accuracy of Weather Information by Utilizing Smart Lighting Data
- Conducting a demonstration experiment for the development of smart city solutions in several areas -

The Japan Weather Association (Headquarters: Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Director General: Futoshi Osada; hereinafter referred to as the "JWA") and MinebeaMitsumi Inc. (Headquarters: Kitasaku-gun, Nagano; Representative Director, CEO & COO: Yoshihisa Kainuma; hereinafter referred to as "MinebeaMitsumi") are working together to improve the accuracy of weather forecasts by utilizing smart lighting*1 data. Continuing this initiative from FY2020, we started a new demonstration experiment for improving the accuracy of solar radiation and photovoltaic output forecasting. We will expand the subject areas of the demonstration experiment during this fiscal year and will examine the results from September 2021 to March 2022.

Outline of demonstration experiment

As one of the initiatives in which the JWA and MinebeaMitsumi collaborate, carrying on from FY2020, we will conduct a demonstration experiment tentatively entitled "an empirical investigation for improving the solar radiation forecasting (FY2021)" (hereinafter referred to as the "demonstration experiment") from September 2021 to March 2022. This project was commissioned by Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc., the leading operator that is conducting "FY2021 Consignment Business for a Survey Examining the Shift to Outdoor Smart Lighting and Zero Emissions," publicly solicited by Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan.

In a demonstration experiment conducted under the same framework as in FY2020,*2 we used data obtained from smart lighting that combines high-efficiency LED street lights with a wireless function (Photo 1) and various sensors originally developed by MinebeaMitsumi to verify the possibility of improving the accuracy of solar radiation forecasting. The results showed a certain improvement effect in accuracy by using the obtained sensing data in solar radiation forecasting.

In this demonstration experiment, we will continue our initiative from FY2020 and examine the sophistication of the formula for converting from illuminance data obtained through smart lighting to solar radiation with a longer observation period, thereby verifying the effectiveness of solar radiation estimation and the possibility of replacing existing solar radiation meters. In addition, with the cooperation of 2 local governments, we will conduct region-wide observation of solar radiation or illuminance at several points throughout the area and utilize the obtained sensing data in solar radiation forecasting to verify the improvement effect on prediction accuracy.

image: Outline of demonstration experiment (conducted in FY2021 and in cooperation with the JWA)

Outline of demonstration experiment (conducted in FY2021 and in cooperation with the JWA)

Photo 1: A high-efficiency LED street light with a wireless function

Photo 1: A high-efficiency LED street light with a wireless function


In order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, Japan is promoting the shift to renewable energy sources that do not emit CO2 for its mainstay power sources. For photovoltaic power in particular, which is progressively introduced in recent years, the output fluctuates greatly depending on the weather. Therefore, in order to achieve a stable balance of power supply and demand, it is necessary to predict the amount of power generated in advance and with high accuracy. Accurate weather forecasting is assumed to be essential to this kind of prediction.

Additionally, "Smart Lighting" is an outdoor lighting technology that incorporates IoT technologies into street lights owned by local governments. This technology saves energy and reduces CO2 emissions by using LEDs and by adjusting lighting according to the surrounding environment. Smart lighting is regarded as one of the energy optimization initiatives for smart cities*3, and is expected to be widely used by local governments. We expect that real-time analysis of the sensor information of this smart lighting will enable utilization in various applications, such as improving the prediction accuracy of weather information.

Purpose of cooperation

We aim to develop new smart city solutions by combining the JWA's advanced weather forecasting technologies and the smart lighting that MinebeaMitsumi is preparing to introduce.

The JWA has developed its own highly precise weather forecasting technologies. By utilizing smart lighting data from smart cities in these technologies, we expect to further improve prediction accuracy.

MinebeaMitsumi has also developed its own smart lighting as a smart city solution. This smart lighting enables not only lighting management but also real-time collection of temperature, illuminance, and other data from the attached sensors. Widespread use of smart lighting in a smart city enables the collection of detailed yet region-wide sensor data for the smart city.

Through these initiatives, the JWA and MinebeaMitsumi will contribute to the realization of smart cities and Society 5.0*4, which enable advanced energy management.

Concept image of collaboration (example: sophistication of solar radiation / photovoltaic output prediction)

Concept image of collaboration (example: sophistication of solar radiation / photovoltaic output prediction)

*1: Smart lighting

An outdoor lighting technology incorporating IoT technologies into street lights owned by local governments.

*2: An FY2020 demonstration experiment.

October 29, 2020: Press Release
Japan Weather Association and MinebeaMitsumi Aim to Improve Prediction Accuracy of Weather Information by Utilizing Smart Lighting Data - Conducting a demonstration experiment in collaboration for the development of new smart city solutions -Open in a new window

*3: Smart city

A sustainable city or district where management (planning, maintenance, administration/operation, etc.) is carried out by utilizing new technologies such as ICT in the aim of overall optimization and to solve various urban issues.

*4: Society 5.0

A future society following the information society (Society 4.0), proposed in the 5th Science and Technology Basic Plan drafted by the Government of Japan.

The Japan Weather Association (JWA) defined the following "vision of what we should aim for" in the medium-term management plan (Vision 2023) set in FY2020.

  • Transform ourselves from a weather company to a platformer that solves various social issues, leading a super-smart society.
  • To facilitate the creation of new social value together with customers by combining weather data with various knowledge and information.
  • To promote activities to minimize the social impact of climate change and weather disasters, and establish a position that is trusted by society and kind to people in society.

Utilizing the weather data as a core and linking with "social and behavioral data", JWA will act as a "weather data platformer in the Society 5.0 era" to solve social problems.

Image of Weather Data Platformer Aimed by Japan Weather Association

About the Japan Weather Association

Photo : Japan Weather Association

Since its establishment in 1950, the Japan Weather Association (JWA) has been conducting investigation, analysis and information provision related to weather, environment, disaster prevention, etc.
In recent years, the situation in the world has changed drastically due to the increasing incidence of extreme weather events, global warming, energy issues, the evolution of the information society, and the advent of the super-aging and declining birthrate society.

The greatest strength of JWA is that they have a combination of technologies, including investigation and analysis technology and technology that can provide real time information. Taking advantage of their strengths against changes in the world, JWA aims to create "a society that is harmonized with the natural world," together with corporate and individual customers.

Establishment: May 10, 1950
Permit number under the
Meteorological Service Act:
No. 5
Representative name: Ken Haruta, Chairman
Headquarters: Sunshine 60 Bldg. 55F, 3-1-1 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 170-6055 Japan
Description of business: Weather consulting, survey work, analysis, information provision
Number of employees: 837 (As of July 1, 2021)
Specialists: Certificated Weather forecasters 343
Engineers 120
RCCMs 34
Doctors 19
Certified environmental measurer 22
Surveyors 24
Regional offices: 5 branches and 5 regional offices in Japan
Website: https://www.jwa.or.jp/english/Open in a new window

MinebeaMitsumi has developed a high efficiency LED streetlight with wireless functionality together with Iwasaki Electric with whom we have a business alliance, and been promoting the "Smart CityOpen in a new window" project since 2015.
We are building a system that can collectively monitor functions related to urban life by centrally managing the LED streetlights in the cloud with wireless functionality, making it possible to monitor lighting time and power consumption, and combine various sensors (environmental sensors, parking sensors, etc.), power meters, surveillance cameras, etc.
We continue to take on the challenge of evolving lighting equipment devices with various added value beyond simple lights, such as energy saving, enhanced convenience for urban life, and improved safety.

* About 6LoWPAN: MinebeaMitsumi's communications system that supports smart city

  • Constructs a mesh network that is effective in areas with many trees and buildings.
  • If communication goes down, the LED streetlights with wireless functionality will automatically build a new network.
CMS (Central Management System)

About the MinebeaMitsumi Group

MinebeaMitsumi is an INTEGRATED* manufacturer of high-precision components that handles various mechanical and electronic devices and components such as bearings that smooth the rotation of machines, motors, sensors, and semiconductors.
Our ultra-precision technology is used in a wide range of fields including home electronics such as air conditioners, vacuum cleaners, dryers, game consoles; information devices such as smartphones and PC products, personal computers; automobiles, aviation, and space products; and medical equipment. We support people lives in areas that are not in plain view.

Established: July 16, 1951
Capital: 68,258 million yen (As of March 31, 2021)
Representative: Yoshihisa Kainuma, Representative Director, CEO & COO
Outline of Business: Machined Components Business, Electronic Devices and Components Business, Automotive, Industrial Machinery and Home Security Unit Business
Common Stock Listings: Tokyo
Consolidated Net Sales: MinebeaMitsumi Group 988,424 million yen (April 1, 2020 - March 31, 2021)
Consolidated Number of Employees: About 100,000
Operation Bases: 27 countries, Production and R&D 95 bases, Sales 93 bases
Website: www.minebeamitsumi.com/english/

* INTEGRATION means "combining" rather than "simple gathering" of the Company's proprietary technologies to evolve the "core products" and to create new products in various fields through the INTEGRATION of our advanced technology.

Media inquiries Japan Weather Association Public Relations and Communications
Phone: +81-(0)3-5958-8147 Fax: +81-(0)3-5958-8144
E-mail: jwapr@jwa.or.jp
MinebeaMitsumi Inc. Corporate Communications and Investor Relations Office
Phone: +81-(0)3-6758-6703 Fax: +81-(0)3-6758-6718
E-mail: koffice@minebeamitsumi.com
Information in the press releases is current on the date of the announcement.
Product information, contact and other context are subject to change without prior notice.

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