Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Big Data Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Harry Trott, William Schmarzo

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.

@BigDataExpo Stories
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impac...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. 8th International Big Data Expo, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. As advanced data storage, access and analytics technologies aimed at handling high-volume and/or fast moving data all move center stage, aided by the cloud computing bo...
Every day we read jaw-dropping stats on the explosion of data. We allocate significant resources to harness and better understand it. We build businesses around it. But we’ve only just begun. For big payoffs in Big Data, CIOs are turning to cognitive computing. Cognitive computing’s ability to securely extract insights, understand natural language, and get smarter each time it’s used is the next, logical step for Big Data.
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, 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 enterprises a...
Hybrid IT is an approach to delivering IT services that matches business requirements and application needs with different IT deployment modalities. In their session at 16th Cloud Expo, Jeff Katzen, Director of the Cloud Practice at CenturyLink, and Gary Sloper, Area Vice President, Sales Engineering and Operations, at CenturyLink, will go into more depth around those different modalities and how customers have made decisions to choose between them. They will talk to some of the challenges t...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
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 Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Ar...
With SaaS use rampant across organizations, how can IT departments track company data and maintain security? More and more departments are commissioning their own solutions and bypassing IT. A cloud environment is amorphous and powerful, allowing you to set up solutions for all of your user needs: document sharing and collaboration, mobile access, e-mail, even industry-specific applications. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Shawn Mills, President and a founder of Green House Data, will discus...
Organizations today are confounded by an avalanche of data that needs to be processed and managed on a daily basis. Through relevant use cases and a thought-provoking dialogue on an organization’s ‘Data to Decisions’ journey, Andrew Clyne, Chief Data Officer at CenturyLink Cognilytics, will reveal in his session at Big Data Expo how your organization can monetize data as a strategic asset. State-of-the-art Big Data and Advanced Analytics capabilities provided as a managed service can enable da...
Move from reactive to proactive cloud management in a heterogeneous cloud infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Manoj Khabe, Innovative Solution-Focused Transformation Leader at Vicom Computer Services, Inc., will show how to replace a help desk-centric approach with an ITIL-based service model and service-centric CMDB that’s tightly integrated with an event and incident management platform. Learn how to expand the scope of operations management to service management. He will al...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DragonGlass, an enterprise search platform, 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. After eleven years of designing and building custom applications, OpenCrowd has launched DragonGlass, a cloud-based platform that enables the development of search-based applications. These are a new breed of applications that utilize a search index as their backbone for data...
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, will discuss IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will shar...
In their general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Michael Piccininni, Global Account Manager – Cloud SP at EMC Corporation, and Mike Dietze, Regional Director at Windstream Hosted Solutions, will review next generation cloud services, including the Windstream-EMC Tier Storage solutions, and discuss how to increase efficiencies, improve service delivery and enhance corporate cloud solution development. Speaker Bios Michael Piccininni is Global Account Manager – Cloud SP at EMC Corporation. He has b...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading in...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseDB (EDB), the leading worldwide provider of enterprise-class Postgres products and database compatibility solutions, 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. EDB is the largest provider of Postgres software and services that provides enterprise-class performance and scalability and the open source freedom to divert budget from more costly traditiona...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, a...
Why does developer experience matters, what makes for a great developer experience and what is the relationship between developer experience and the broader field of user experience? Software developers are gaining more influence over the purchase decisions of technologies with which they must build on and with which they must integrate. For example, the success of Amazon Web Services, Heroku and MongoDB has been driven primarily by individual software developers choosing to use these tools, ra...
Software Defined Storage provides many benefits for customers including agility, flexibility, faster adoption of new technology and cost effectiveness. However, for IT organizations it can be challenging and complex to build your Enterprise Grade Storage from software. In his session at Cloud Expo, Paul Turner, CMO at Cloudian, looked at the new Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) market and how it is changing the storage world. Now Software Defined Storage companies can build Enterprise grade ...
Gartner predicts that the bulk of new IT spending by 2016 will be for cloud platforms and applications and that nearly half of large enterprises will have cloud deployments by the end of 2017. The benefits of the cloud may be clear for applications that can tolerate brief periods of downtime, but for critical applications like SQL Server, Oracle and SAP, companies need a strategy for HA and DR protection. While traditional SAN-based clusters are not possible in these environments, SANless cluste...
Disruptive macro trends in technology are impacting and dramatically changing the "art of the possible" relative to supply chain management practices through the innovative use of IoT, cloud, machine learning and Big Data to enable connected ecosystems of engagement. Enterprise informatics can now move beyond point solutions that merely monitor the past and implement integrated enterprise fabrics that enable end-to-end supply chain visibility to improve customer service delivery and optimize sup...