Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Aleksei Gavrilenko, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Jaynesh Shah

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
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust IoT ...
"We have a tagline - "Power in the API Economy." What that means is everything that is built in applications and connected applications is done through APIs," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at Akana, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
To many people, IoT is a buzzword whose value is not understood. Many people think IoT is all about wearables and home automation. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed some incredible game-changing use cases and how they are transforming industries like agriculture, manufacturing, health care, and smart cities. He will discuss cool technologies like smart dust, robotics, smart labels, and much more. Prepare to be blown away with a glimpse of the future.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context wi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. BMC has worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC pairs high-speed digital innovation with robust IT industrialization – allowing customers to provide amazing user experiences with optimized IT per...
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will addresses this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fillin...
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "Second Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, and the “Third Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place June 7-9, 2016, at Javits Center in New York City. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "First Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. The “Second Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place November 3-5, 2015, at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.