Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Glenn Rossman, Liz McMillan, John Basso, Elizabeth White

News Feed Item

Tokyo Gas and Panasonic Launch New 'Ene-Farm' Home Fuel Cell Product

More Affordable and Easier to Install

Tokyo, Jan 17, 2013 - (JCN Newswire) - Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. and Panasonic Corporation have jointly developed a new version of their 'Ene-Farm' home fuel cell(1). Panasonic manufactures the fuel cell unit and supplies it to Tokyo Gas in combination with a hot water unit(2) and backup heat source(2) produced by Gastar Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Tokyo Gas. The new model will be sold by Tokyo Gas from April 1, 2013.

The price of the new product will be 1,995,000 yen (with the standard backup heat source; including tax; excluding installation fee). This is about 760,000 yen less than the recommended retail price of the "Ene-Farm" model currently on the market, made possible by a reduction in the number of components. The new product also achieved an overall efficiency of 95.0% (LHV)(3) - the world's highest(4). It is the first time that the recommended retail price of an "Ene-Farm" product in Japan has been less than 2 million yen.

Due to a reduction in the size of the equipment, the required installation depth has been decreased from 900 mm to 750 mm. Since the backup heat source(5) has also been separated from the hot water unit, the product can now be even more easily installed in a wider variety of places. Moreover, it marks the first time that an "Ene-Farm" product in Japan includes a remote control with color display as a standard feature. Since the size of the screen is also larger, the text and graphics are even easier to view.

The new product will be available to the general public in three models, jointly developed by Tokyo Gas and Panasonic.

Since the world's first 'Ene-Farm' products were put on general sale in May 2009, Panasonic has now shipped a total of approx. 21,000 units throughout Japan as of the end of December 2012, of which approx. 15,000 have been sold by Tokyo Gas. For FY2013, Panasonic will complete a production setup to enable an annual production capacity 50% greater than its current annual production forecast to more than 15,000 units(6), while Tokyo Gas will aim for annual sales of 7,100 units - 70% more than the FY2012 sales target of 12,000 units.

Through the spread of these "Ene-Farm" products, the two companies will contribute to cutting peak electrical consumption, while bringing greater comfort to their customers' lives as well as helping to protect the global environment.

Major features

1. Substantial price reduction and the world's best overall efficiency

Through system simplification, the new product contains about 20% fewer components than the previous model. Materials were revised for the electricity-generating stacks, a key device, and for the fuel processor, which produces hydrogen from city gas, while the size of hot water storage tank was also reduced. Based on these improvements, the new product will be sold for 1,995,000 yen (equipped with standard backup heat source; including tax; excluding installation fee), which is about 760,000 yen lower than the recommended retail price of the current model. It is the first time that the recommended retail price of an "Ene-Farm" product in Japan will be below 2 million yen. The new product also offers the world's highest overall efficiency of 95% (LHV). This was achieved by increasing the efficiency of waste heat recovery, through better insulation of circuits for collection of heat created during electrical generation.

2. Easier installation

By reducing the depth of the equipment from 480 mm to 400 mm, and by moving the fuel cell and hot water unit from the rear to the bottom of the equipment, the depth of the required installation space was reduced from 900 mm to 750 mm. Also, by separating the backup heat source from the hot water unit, the product can now be even more easily installed in a wider variety of places. This will make it even more feasible for installation, especially in houses with limited space such as those in the Tokyo metropolitan area. In addition to the standard backup heat source equipped with home heating, bathwater reheating, and hot water supply functions, there is also a slim-profile model with the same functions that can be installed in even smaller spaces, and a bathwater model designed to supply hot water and reheat water for a Japanese bathtub. The entire lineup consists of four models, enabling customers to choose the optimal product to meet their installation space and functional needs.

3. First remote control of its kind in the industry (installed in the kitchen and bathroom)

The "Ene-Farm" remote control is the first of its kind in Japan to feature a color display. The screen size has also been increased from 3.5 inches to 4.3 inches, making it easier to see the text and graphs. In "double-generating" homes that have installed both "Ene-Farm" and a solar system, the remote control will display information on electrical generation for the entire home including power from the solar panels, and the increase in electricity sold to the power company due to "Ene-Farm" electrical generation. With a special feature to display "Today's Performance," information such as power generated by "Ene-Farm", the self-sufficiency rate for hot water, and the environmental contribution (CO2 emissions reduction) can be viewed at the touch of a button. This will encourage customers to save even more electricity and reduce energy consumption.

4. Better durability and output optimization

Thanks to the improved durability of the electrolyte membrane, which forms the core of electrical generation, the new product can operate for 60,000 hours, or 20% longer than the previous model. Also, by reducing the lower limit of the power output from 250 watts to 200 watts, it is even more suitable for customers with minimal power needs.

Differences with previous model

1. System configuration - New product configuration with separation of the backup heat source from the hot water unit

2. Easier installation - Reduction of installation space depth (from 900 mm to 750 mm)

3. Remote control (installed in the kitchen and bathroom) - Large and colored LCD screen for easier viewing of text and graphs

For product specifications and images, please see http://panasonic.co.jp/corp/global/news_m.html.


About Ene-Farm

The "Ene-Farm" fuel cell co-generation systems generate electricity through a chemical reaction between oxygen in the atmosphere and hydrogen extracted from city gas. The heat generated as a byproduct of this process is also used for hot water supply(7). This system is extremely eco-friendly. Since the electricity is generated and used at the same place, there are no losses in transmission. Also, all heat produced during electricity generation can be used without waste. Compared to conventional method of using electricity from thermal power plant and hot water supply using city gas(8), the fuel cell system allows primary energy consumption to be reduced by approximately 37%(9) and CO2 emissions by approximately 49%. Users can cut around 60,000 yen from annual utility bills, and CO2 emissions by approximately 1.3 tons a year(10).

(1) Development was partially based on results obtained from a project commissioned by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
(2) The hot water unit and the backup heat source were developed jointly by Tokyo Gas, Gastar Co., Ltd., and Rinnai Corporation.
(3) LHV is short for Lower Heating Value. Value obtained by subtracting the heat of vaporization of the water vapor from the total heat generated when the gas fuel is fully combusted. (Compared with HHV = Higher Heating Value ~ 0.903 x LHV)
(4) For a home fuel cell co-generation system. (As of January 17, 2013, according to Panasonic survey.)
(5) This equipment operates as needed to increase the temperature of hot water for home heating, and to supply hot water when there is no water left in the hot water storage tank
(6) In addition to Tokyo Gas, Panasonic will also supply this product to other major city gas companies across Japan, to be launched no earlier than April 1, 2013.
(7) The previous model uses a portion of the exhaust heat from electrical generation to heat hot water for home heating. With the new product however, it is entirely heated by the backup heat source.
(8) Method where electricity is supplied from a thermal power station, and city gas supplied by Tokyo Gas is used for heating.
(9) Compared with the method(8) at a rated operation of electricity generation of 0.75 kWh and heat recovery volume of 1.08 kWh / approximately 37 liters at 40 degrees Celsius.
(10) Conditions used in estimation are as follows:
- 4-person family in single, detached house (total floor area: 120 m2).
- Annual burden - Hot water supply: 14.7 GJ; Warming bath water: 1.6 GJ; Cooking: 2.2 GJ; Coolers: 8.3 GJ; Floor heaters: 9.0 GJ; Air-conditioner heating: 4.6 GJ; Lighting and others: 17.9 GJ
- CO2 equivalent - City gas: 2.29 kg-CO2/m3; Electricity: 0.69 kg-CO2/kWh
- Primary energy equivalent - Electricity: 9.76 MJ/kWh; Gas: 45 MJ/m3; Hot water/heating efficiency: 80%
- Gas charges - Conventional system: Using 'Danran Plan'; Ene-Farm: Using 'Eco Plan with Ene-Farm'
- Electricity charges - Using 'Meter Rate Lighting B' with 40A contract for both conventional system and Ene-Farm.

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products in three business fields, consumer, components & devices, and solutions. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 7.85 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2012. Panasonic's stock is listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE:PC) Stock Exchanges. The company has the vision of becoming the No. 1 Green Innovation Company in the Electronics Industry by the 100th year of its founding in 2018. For more information on Panasonic, its brand and commitment to sustainability, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net/.



Source: Panasonic

Contact:
Tokyo Public Relations Office
Panasonic Corporation
Tel: +81-3-3574-5664
Fax: +81-3-3574-5699


Copyright 2013 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. www.japancorp.net

More Stories By JCN Newswire

Copyright 2008 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of JCN Newswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of JCN Newswire. JCN Newswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet a...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
The best-practices for building IoT applications with Go Code that attendees can use to build their own IoT applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Indraneel Mitra, Senior Solutions Architect & Technology Evangelist at Cognizant, provided valuable information and resources for both novice and experienced developers on how to get started with IoT and Golang in a day. He also provided information on how to use Intel Arduino Kit, Go Robotics API and AWS IoT stack to build an application tha...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? You need to discover patterns that are repeatable in vast quantities of data, understand their meaning, and implement scalable monitoring across multiple data streams in order to monetize the discoveries and insights. Motif discovery and deep learning platforms are emerging to visualize sensor data, to search for patterns and to build application that can monitor real time streams efficiently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, ...
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) have entered into a definitive agreement under which Verizon will acquire Yahoo's operating business for approximately $4.83 billion in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments. Yahoo informs, connects and entertains a global audience of more than 1 billion monthly active users** -- including 600 million monthly active mobile users*** through its search, communications and digital content products. Yahoo also co...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.