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Welcome Message


 Background of initiating APL and the future direction 

face of Prof. Shigeru Yokoyama

Prof. Shigeru Yokoyama
Chairperson of APL
April 1, 2013

In old days, the problems of lightning disaster were related to human bodies and buildings. In the latter half of the 19th century, when human beings started using electric energy, the most common and severe lightning damage was to overhead transmission lines and distribution lines that carry electricity.
Furthermore, with the arrival of highly information age, the damage suddenly increased to multi-functional telephones, computers and other communication devices. Based on our research, lightning damage to home appliances has doubled its number during the past dozen years or so.
The change of infrastructure equipment exposed at outdoor locations also influences the aspect of lightning damage. As for the cell phone base stations that have suddenly been increasing recently, it has become apparent that the damage is done to the equipment inside the base stations and also to the consumers via distribution line connecting from the station. Moreover, both wind power generation and solar power generation facilities, which are renewable source of energy, are the ones that are directly exposed to lightning. Therefore, these facilities require highly reliable countermeasures for lightning damage.
In Asia-Pacific Region, there are many countries where lightning frequently occurs, especially at the regions of low latitude. It is also known that in the west coast of Japan, although it is located in mid-latitude, much severe lightning damage occurs during winter time. The requirement of countermeasures for lightning damage in each country is different according to the culture, climate and historical background of countermeasures for lightning damage in the country.
On the other hand, the countermeasures for lightning damage, which is indispensable technology in our daily life, derive from a universal natural phenomenon called lightning. A problem of a certain region of a country may be a problem of another country because of the similarity in climate, although these two countries are geographically far apart. Therefore, information regarding the experiences of lightning damage and the effectiveness of its countermeasures in one region is important in other regions as well.
Based on the views mentioned here, ALPF (Asian Lightning Protection Forum), a former organization of APL, was established in 2002 to exchange information regarding lightning protection in Asian countries and for the purpose of education and spread of lightning protection technology in Asian countries. This was done under the leadership of 3 countries, namely Chinese committee, Japanese committee and Korean committee of IEC TC81. ALPF decided to hold an annual meeting in the order of China, Korea and Japan for information exchange. The first meeting was held in Beijing, China in 2003 and then the second one in Seoul, Korea, the third in Tokyo, Japan, the fourth in Guangzhou, China, the fifth in Jeju, Korea and the sixth in Yokohama, Japan. The participants until the sixth meeting were mainly engineers supporting IEC TC81 activities.

ALPF has greatly changed its characteristic at the 7th Chengdu meeting in China held in 2011. The China committee proposed the further expansion of subject issues to deal with, the widening of the subject regions and the change of name of the meeting. There was a meeting of three representatives of IEC TC81 countries, China, Korea and Japan, held during Chengdu meeting and the name of the meeting was then officially decided to APL (Asia-Pacific Symposium on Lightning) to be held once in two years. In order to decide basic steering policy, International Steering Committee was established including other member countries in addition to the three countries.
Following this, Prof. Shigeru Yokoyama of Japan was officially appointed as the first chairperson, Prof. He Jinliang of China as the vice-chairperson and Mr. Masaaki Sato of Japan as the secretary of the International Steering Committee during the meeting held in Vienna in 2012.
APL is positioned as the genuine succeeding symposium of ALPF, and the 7th meeting was held in Chengdu, China and the 8th APL meeting is being prepared in Seoul, Korea in 2013. After this, the 9th ALP meeting will be held in Japan in 2015. As for the venue of the meeting for 2017, the International Steering Committee will decide the location including other member countries besides the three countries.
From the time APL (ALPF) initially started until the 3rd meeting, the number of papers submitted was as few as 10 to 30, which was slightly better than Information Exchange Meeting of IEC TC81. But in recent years, the number of papers increased to more than 100 and this meeting has grown up to be a leading Lightning Protection Symposium in Asia. APL is widely open for everyone in the world, but since we consider the convenience of researchers and engineers of Asia-Pacific regions, it will be held in Asia-Pacific regions for the time being. Additionally, since there exist an international conferences of lightning protection with a long history, such as ICLP (International Conference on Lightning Protection), it is also important to show our unique features of APL as much as possible. In my personal opinion, lightning phenomenon, which is the foundation of Lightning Protection, should be included in the scope of APL, but I also think focusing on engineering is important because there are many countries in this region that will be developed from now. I also hope that this meeting should allow presenting and discussing lightning damage issues even if they are specific to certain countries and regions. Some good examples include the issue of lightning protection relating to agriculture and fishing industry or the countermeasures for lightning damage to important wooden building that are characteristics of these regions. This symposium was originated from IEC TC81, so issues regarding specific application of IEC standards in these regions will also be important themes.

There is a big possibility of repeating actual damage of a certain region in other regions, if the environment is similar. If damage does not occur in a certain region, the possibility is big that it will not occur in the similar environment. This suggests that although it is important to make a theoretical research or simulation analysis, it is even more important to make a research on actual lightning damage in each region to clarify what is actually happening there. Even without showing the examples of winter lightning in Japan, it is indispensable to make globally known the experiences of Asia-Pacific region through APL to improve the technology in this field. It is my cherished dream to make Lightning Protection technology more globally known through making deep research of Lightning Protection technology in local areas and through originating information and making heated discussion at APL.

I will continue to make an effort to make APL to be the real center for exchanging and originating information of Lightning Protection in Asia-Pacific Region. I would like to ask your dedicated advice and continuous support.
Finally, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for all the people who have helped to grow APL, especially friends in China and Korea.
Thank you for your attention.