R&D and spread of ENE-FARM, a residential fuel cell system toward hydrogen economy
OSAKA GAS CO.,LTD.
Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. has developed a ENE-FARM, a fuel cell type that generates electricity through a chemical reaction between hydrogen extracted from city gas and oxygen in the air as a household cogeneration system that contributes to energy savings and CO2 reduction toward the realization of a low-carbon society. (Polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC)) and ENW-FARM type S (solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)). These are high-efficiency energy systems that make effective use of the heat generated simultaneously with power generation for hot water supply.
The ENE-FARM and ENE-FARM type S achieved cumulative sales of 120,000 units in April 2020, contributing to a reduction of approximately 190,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
From now on, we will continue to improve power generation efficiency and miniaturize it, while taking into consideration with mono-generation in order to expand our market. Furthermore, we will also try to develop proton conductive SOFCs in parallel. ,through improving fuel utilization, power generation efficiency, and miniaturization by numerical simulations,
Finally, We will also continue to develop a variety of related IoT services to contribute to the Japanese government's sales goal of 5.3 million units in 2030.
We have also developed following services and functions along to improving efficiency of a fuel cell up to now
(1) Generating electricity continuation during a power failure
More consumers need electricity supply continuation since power planned outrage immediately after Eastern Japan Megaquake in 2011.We have developed an additional ENE-FARM function in order to continue to generate electricity even if power outrage occurs. Thanks to this function, ENE-FRAM owners use not only an essential electric power but also hot water during a power failure.
(2) Purchase of Surplus electric power
If ENE-FARM generate the low carbon electric power over its owner’s demand, Osaka Gas purchases this surplus electric power. Osaka gas utilizes purchased power for her electric retail business.
(3) Advanced service by IoT
If ENE-FARM is always connected to Osaka Gas by internet, owner can not only control it remotely, but also grasp its eco-friendly effects visually by smartphone application. In addition, Owners can maintain effectively since Osaka Gas can find a sign of ENE-FARM trouble before out of order.
In April 2020, we have a plan to improve ENE-FARM type S. The main features are as follows.
(1) Improvement of power generating efficiency
The improved ENE-FARM achieved the world's highest * 1 power generating efficiency of 55% * 2 by improving the cell stack and the control program of the power generation unit. This is an update to the world's highest power generation efficiency of 53.5% * 3 for current products, which will reduce consumer’s annual fuel and light expenses by approximately 121,000 yen * 4 and CO2 emissions by approximately 2.3 tons reduction * 5.
(2) Flexible installation
The width of improved ENE-FARM has been reduced from the current product of 780 mm to 600 mm. As a result, the required area for installation has been reduced by about 20% by reducing the number of cell stacks and miniaturizing the power conditioner,
(3) Communication with ENE-FARM
ENE-FARM is connected with the smartphone's application. When an owner manipulates ENE-FARM, it will send a push notification to owner’s smartphone, To the contrary, when an owner send a message from the smartphone ENE-FARM can display its message on its control panel, So, family of ENE-FARM can communicate with ENE-FARM
(4) Improvement of durability
By improvement of durability of the cell stack, the life expectancy of the power generation unit has been extended from 10 years to 12 years. As a result, consumers can use ENE-FARM longer.
※ 1 The efficiency of generation electricity which is the world best by residential use fuel cell of less than 1 kW of rated output (in the end of January, 2020).
※ 2-5 is quoted from our catalog
AISIN SEIKI CO., LTD., KYOCERA Corporation., NORITZ Corporation., Purpose Co., ltd. Panasonic Corporation., Rinnai Corporation.
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