Panasonic Corporation, a Japanese multinational electronics company, plans to demonstrate a ‘RE100 solution’ for supplying renewable power by using an in-house power generation system combining pure hydrogen fuel cell generators and photovoltaic generators.
RE100 stands for Renewable Energy 100%, which is a global initiative joined by a total of 309 companies, including 54 Japanese companies, where Panasonic joined in August 2019. If successful, this would be the first ‘RE100 factory’ through the full-scale use of hydrogen.
Solar energy has now been widely used for power generation but has some obstacles for companies to achieve RE100. It also requires a wide installation area to supply all the power, while the power generation is also unstable due to their susceptibility to weather. Panasonic proposes a solution to resolve this issue by combining pure hydrogen fuel cell generators, photovoltaic generators, and storage batteries.
Panasonic plans to build this large facility at its Kusatsu site in Shiga Prefecture for demonstration purposes by 2022. The in-house power generation system would combine 500 kW pure hydrogen fuel cell generators, 570 kW photovoltaic generators and around 1.1 MWh of lithium-ion storage batteries for storing surplus power. The project will also supply power to manufacturing operations of the fuel cell factory located within the Kusatsu site.
It will build an in-house power generation system on the roof of a factory, while the equipment will be installed on a surface area equivalent to the building area of Panasonic’s fuel cell factory to supply the electricity used in the factory. Iwatani Corporation will transport liquid hydrogen to the demonstration facility with tanker trucks.
The project would help Panasonic gain know-how and establish a track record in energy management, including pure hydrogen fuel cell generators, and aim to commercialise the RE100 solution.
Panasonic developed the pure hydrogen fuel cell generator used in the demonstration by leveraging the technologies developed for the ENE-FARM household fuel cell cogeneration system, which is compact, highly efficient, and can scale up its power output to meet demand based on integrated control of multiple units.