Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Glenn Rossman, Janakiram MSV, Steven Mandel

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
If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, provided tips on how to be successful in large scale machine learning...
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridharabalan, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, Inc., will focus on key challenges in building an Internet of Things solution infrastructure. He will shed light on efficient ways of defining interactions within IoT solutions, leading to cost and time reduction. He will also introduce ways to handle data and how one can develop IoT solutions that are lean, flexible and configurable, thus making IoT infrastructure agile and scalable.
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 6thInternet of @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, will discuss how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy ap...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
SYS-CON Events announced today the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp, being held November 1-2, 2016, in conjunction with 19th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but with hands-on demos and detailed walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of real world use cases prototyped using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark, and Intel Edison. Y...
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.