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Panasonic Newsroom TOPPress ReleasePanasonic to Begin Operating H2 KIBOU FIELD Demonstration Facility Utilizing Pure Hydrogen Fuel Cell Generators

Apr 27, 2022

The facility's power generation system uses hydrogen fuel cells to power the factory

Panasonic to Begin Operating H2 KIBOU FIELD Demonstration Facility Utilizing Pure Hydrogen Fuel Cell Generators

The power system integrates and controls hydrogen fuel cell generators, photovoltaic generators, and storage batteries

Osaka, Japan – Panasonic Corporation (hereinafter referred to as Panasonic) announced its plan to begin operations at its new H2 KIBOU FIELD facility on April 15, 2022. This facility was built as a demonstration of a Panasonic renewable energy solution, known as RE100 (Renewable Energy 100%)*1, in which 100% of the power used for site operations is generated from renewable resources; it is part of a self-sustaining power system that combines generation from both pure hydrogen and solar sources. This is the first*2 such demonstration in the world to make full-scale use of hydrogen fuel cells*3 toward a 100% renewable energy manufacturing site.
Panasonic has built a large demonstration facility at its Kusatsu site in Shiga Prefecture, equipped with a power generation system that combines 99 5-kW pure hydrogen fuel cell generators (495 kW) and photovoltaic generators (approx. 570 kW) as well as lithium-ion storage batteries (approx. 1.1 MWh) for storing surplus power. The power generated by this system will fully power the fuel cell factory in Kusatsu. Panasonic will continue to develop and test other technologies to optimize power supply and demand management.
This integrated system will complement the on-site solar generation, which requires a large installation area and can be impacted by weather conditions. Moreover, the integration of storage batteries enables the system to achieve a stable supply of electricity required for operations by managing the power supply from the fuel cell generators and the storage batteries, even at peak consumption.
Additionally, the integrated control of multiple 5 kW type pure hydrogen fuel cell generators enables an ample supply of high power through a flexible layout tailored to the site’s buildings and for flexible operations by managing generation according to demand. This prevents excess wear on the generators and maximizes their lifespan. In addition, it makes it possible to perform maintenance without stopping factory operations.
Through this demonstration, Panasonic will gain real-world know-how and data as well as establish a track record in energy management and pure hydrogen fuel cell generation. It will also aim to commercialize Panasonic’s RE100 solutions*1 that use renewable sources to supply 100% of the electricity required for operations.
Panasonic hopes to contribute to the effort to achieve a carbon neutral society under the banner of its long-term environmental vision “Panasonic GREEN IMPACT” by proposing new options to expand the adoption of renewable energy sources to include the full-scale use of hydrogen.*3

Key Features

1. The world’s first*2 demonstration to prove that 100% of the electricity consumed by a factory can be powered entirely by hydrogen*3 from renewable sources

2. A stable and optimized power supply by an energy management system based on the integrated control of the power generators and storage system

3. Integrated control of multiple pure hydrogen fuel cell generators for a power generation system suited for long-term operation and for maintenance without stopping factory operations

  • *1. In this press release, reference to RE100 does not imply endorsement or certification by the RE100 global initiative.
  • *2. In a demonstration conducted of the full-scale use of hydrogen as a fuel for in-house power generation for the supply of the electricity required for factory operations (according to current research by Panasonic, as of March 31, 2022)
  • *3. It is possible to achieve RE100 using green hydrogen generated from renewable sources, including the use of energy attribute certificates.
    The hydrogen initially used in the demonstration is not derived from renewable sources, but Panasonic will strive to achieve RE100 by eventually shifting to hydrogen from such sources.

Key features

1. World’s first*2 demonstration to prove that 100% of the electricity consumed in a factory to be powered entirely by hydrogen*3 generated through renewable sources

Panasonic will operate the H2 KIBOU FIELD facility to demonstrate a RE100 solution*1 that supplies 100% of the electricity consumed for business activities on the site from renewable sources by using a self-sustaining power generation system that combines pure hydrogen fuel cell generators and photovoltaic generators.
The power generated by this system will supply all power used in the manufacturing sites of the fuel cell factory in Kusatsu. In parallel, Panasonic will continue to develop and verify technologies relating to optimal power supply and demand management based on integrated control of the power generators and the storage batteries.

2. A stable and optimized power supply via the energy management system through integrated control of the power generators and the storage batteries

The energy management system developed by the company and using integrated control of the power generators and the storage batteries enables the power generation system to track and meet all of the site’s power needs based on the factory’s power demand data, weather forecast data (to be supported in the future), and equipment monitoring data during operation. The system also makes it possible to create power generation plans based on patterns in photovoltaic generators power output measurements. In addition, the system provides a stable, optimized power supply systematically adjusting the output of the pure hydrogen fuel cell generators and using storage batteries to address excesses or shortages.

3. Integrated control of multiple pure hydrogen fuel cell generators for a power generation system suited for long-term operation and for maintenance without stopping factory operations

When multiple pure hydrogen fuel cell generators are operated under integrated control, the overall time each unit spends in operation can be evened out by predicting and simulating changes in operating times for each unit to reduce variation in total operating time and minimize wear on the generators.
In addition, the installation of multiple 5 kW compact pure hydrogen fuel cell generators and controlling them individually allows the power generation system to operate flexibly, even making it possible to perform maintenance without stopping factory operations.

Overview of the demonstration project

As a means of supplying 100% of the electricity used in the factory using renewable sources, Panasonic will begin the operation of this demonstration of its energy management system based on integrated control of pure hydrogen fuel cell generators, photovoltaic generators, and lithium-ion storage batteries on April 15, 2022.
Panasonic developed the pure hydrogen fuel cell generator used in the demonstration by leveraging the technologies developed for the ENE-FARM residential fuel cell cogeneration system.
This fuel cell generator is compact, highly efficient, and its power output can be scaled up to meet demand based on integrated control of multiple units. It can even be installed in places like on rooftops, in basements, and small spaces.
The system has been installed on a surface area equivalent to the building area of Panasonic’s fuel cell factory (Kusatsu City, Shiga Prefecture) to supply the electricity used in the factory in an effort to simulate the operation of the power generation system on a factory rooftop.

Demonstration facility

Location Kusatsu Site, Electric Works Company, Panasonic Corporation
2-3-1-1 Noji-higashi, Kusatsu City, Shiga Prefecture
Power output Approx. 1.07 MW (495 kW from pure hydrogen fuel cell generators and approx. 570 kW from photovoltaic generators)
Power storage capacity Approx. 1.1 MWh (lithium-ion storage batteries)
Facility area Approx. 6,000 m2(approx. 80 m × 75 m)

Model factory (fuel cell factory)

Peak power Approx. 680 kW
Annual power consumption for manufacturing Approx. 2.7 GWh
Production item ENE-FARM residential fuel cell cogeneration system
Building area Approx. 4,125 m2(approx. 75 m × 55 m)
  • *Photovoltaic panels are installed in an area of approx. 4,000 m2 (65 m × 60 m) to simulate a situation in which the entire area of the model factory rooftop is covered with panels.

Pure hydrogen fuel cell generator (single unit)*Released in October 2021.

Power output 5 kW
Rated electrical efficiency 56%(LHV)
Main unit dimensions 834 mm(W)×417 mm(D)×1,766 mm(H)
(including design panel)
Weight Approx. 205 kg (including design panel)
Power generation system Mono-generation/cogeneration system

Hydrogen supply

Method Liquid hydrogen storage tank
Tank capacity Approx. 78,000 L
Supplier Iwatani Corporation
  • • Iwatani Corporation will transport liquid hydrogen to the demonstration facility in tanker trucks.

Media Contact:

Global PR Office, Corporate PR Center, Panasonic Operational Excellence Co., Ltd.
https://news.panasonic.com/global/contacts/

About Panasonic Corporation

Panasonic Corporation offers products and services for a variety of living environments, ranging from homes to stores to offices and cities. There are five businesses at the core of Panasonic Corporation: Living Appliances and Solutions Company, Heating & Ventilation A/C Company, Cold Chain Solutions Company, Electric Works Company, and China and Northeast Asia Company. The operating company reported consolidated net sales of 3,548.9 billion yen for the year ended March 31, 2021. Panasonic Corporation is committed to fulfilling the mission of Life Tech & Ideas: For the well-being of people, society, and the planet, and embraces the vision of becoming the best partner of your life with human-centric technology and innovation.
Learn more about Panasonic: https://www.panasonic.com/global/about/

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