(1)Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry / Agency of National
Resources and Energy / New Energy and Industrial Technology Development
@Agency of National Resources and Energy intends to establish a
project to develop system technologies aiming at commercialization of SOFC over
50kW, by committing to NEDO. The budget of the project is estimated at 1.7
billion yen in fiscal year 2004. MHI ( Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.) has
developed manufacturing process for cylindrical cell, to make remarkable cost
reduction of tubular cell possible, by using printing technology. And MHI
intends to scale it up to 100kW based on the above process, under cooperation
with Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. The other party, Kansai Electric
Power Co., Inc. and Mitsubishi Material Corporation have been jointly
developing a low temperature SOFC. The target price is 600 thousands yen/kW
though it is under review. NEDO selected 2 groups to entrust subsidy projects
to commercialize micro fuel cell for PDA, who are Hitachi group composed of
Hitachi, Ltd., Hitachi Maxell, Ltd. and Hitachi Cable Ltd. and NEC Corporation.
Hitachi group has been developing a low cost hydrocarbon electrolyte membrane
and other technologies. NEC Corporation has been developing electrode of carbon
nano-horn. The term for research and development is three years from 2003 to
2005. The subsidy rate is a half for the necessary cost.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 2, 2003, Nihon Kogyo Shimbun October 8, 2003 , Denki Shimbun
October 17, 2003 )
2. Policy and Activity in Local Public Body
prefecture conducted running test of FCV from 14 to 17 October in the region,
under cooperation with Iwatani International Corporation, by using car leased
from Toyota Motor Corporation. The running test has been conducted on different
geographic environments including high way, plain road and mountainous region.
The purpose is to collect data
including mileage and extract subjects on running performance of FCV.
( Chugoku Shimbun October 10, 2003 )
3. Research and Development for SOFC
Material Corporation announced that they succeeded to make clear conduction path and temperature dependence
for distribution in space on oxide ion of Lanthanum Gallate electrolyte which
is a kind of fast oxide-ion conductor, and visualize conduction path of oxide
ion, under cooperation with Tokyo Institute of Technology and National
Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). The three
parties confirmed the distribution of atomic nucleus by using neutron
diffraction instead of X-ray, not affected by electron and could confirm ionic
distribution clearly as they observed it at the high temperature of 1,392 although it is not observed at the normal temperature. Mitsubishi Material
Corporation said they will utilize this fruits for structural analysis of another SOFC electrolyte materials and for
optimum design of various functional materials.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Denki
Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October
10, 2003 )
4. PEMFC System and Elemental Technology Development
(1) Tokyo Institute of Technology
The group of Professor Kiyoshi
Otsuka and Assistant Professor Ichiro Yamanaka, Graduate School of Science and
Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, confirmed by laboratory test that
the NOx and copper fine particle have a catalytic function for electrode
reaction at PEMFC cathode. They discovered that the NOx performs as an reducing
reaction medium and the quantity of NOx is not changed through the laboratory
test feeding mixed gas of 20% NOx and 80% oxygen in volume percent. As the
highest performance data up to now, equivalent current and voltage to platinum
catalyst for PEMFC were obtained.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun September 29, 2003 )
(2) TOYO RADIATOR CO., LTD
TOYO RADIATOR started to deliver the
heat managing module to Plug Power Inc., which consists of radiator and fan to
cool a medium of anti-freezing solution, circulation pump, heater, heat
exchangers, etc,. This module optimizes stack temperature by removing heat
generated during power generation and also heats up stack at cold climate. For
the present, the modules will be delivered and installed to the 5 kW stationary
PEMFC(GenCore5T) made by Plug Power, developed for back-up power source in
communication net work.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo
Shimbun October 1, 2003 )
(3) Toshiba IFC
Toshiba IFC (TIFC) decided a policy
to provide nonexclusive right to use PEMFC and related technology to various
enterprises under some payments. TIFC grants the licensed enterprises, not only
to develop commercial products freely by using the technology and also to
market developed products freely. TIFC also may sell such products. The reasons
why TIFC sets out this strategy are to activate and excite a competition in
industry by supporting growth of competitors and cost reduction and market
growth can be achieved as the results. Also TIFC intends to reduce risks for
product development by promoting technical developments of other companies. And
there seems to be a basic philosophy that FC market will be restricted if they
do not release such technologies.
( Denki Shimbun October 14, 2003 )
5. The Front of FCV
(1) Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
Honda announced on September 26, 2003 that American Honda Motor
Co., Inc. will sell 2 FCV, gFCX2h to San Francisco city. Accumulated sales
number will be 11 because Honda sold 4 FCV to the Japanese Government, Iwatani
International Corporation and others and 5 FCV to Los Angels city. Monthly
lease charge is $500/month.
( Yomiuri Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun September 27, 2003, Nihon Kogyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun September 29, 2003 )
Honda announced that they developed new PEMFC stack for
automobile. They said the new stack can start up under atmospheric temperature
of -20 by adopting electrolyte with high conductivity at low temperature.
And they foresee the future that they can reduce number of parts to a half by
replacing carbon fiber separator to metal separator and can reduce mass
production cost by that. They improved 10 % in mileage by increasing system
efficiency and cruising range became 395 km by one hydrogen charge, which is 40
km longer than existing. Honda also said that cost reduction of FCV to 1/10
would be possible by these development activities. They intend to conduct
driving test on public road in USA and Japan by loading the new stack on gFCXh.
They aim at early commercialization by confirming driving performance in cold
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun October 10, 2003, Yomiuri
Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun October 11, 2003, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 13, 2003 )
(2) General Motors Corporation
GM publicly opened the newest FCV concept car gHy-wireh to the
press media in Tokyo. The power mechanism is integrated into base which figure
is like skate board and the thickness is 28 cm, including FC, motor, and
hydrogen tank and body is loaded on the base. It is 5 seat car and the maximum
speed is about 60 km/h. The fuel is liquid hydrogen and the driving range is
400 km per one charge. Acceleration and
brake pedals are not provided and electronic control device is provided, which
is a control stick similar to one in airplane, integrated with instruments
panel, and the operation could be conducted only by hand.
( Mainichi Shimbun October 6, 2003, Sankei Shimbun,
Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Tekko Shimbun, Tokyo Shimbun October 7, 2003 )
Larry Burns, Vice President of GM announced on market
deployment of FCV that they put the first priority on FCV rather than hybrid
car as gEnvironmentally friendly car for the next generationh. They intend to
put real FCV on market at 4 areas such as USA, Japan, Europe and China in 2010
and to sell one million cars for 10 years after they will get some profit at
early market. Research and development for FCV occupies 25 % of total research
and development money of the whole company.
( Asahi Shimbun,
Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo
Shimbun October 7, 2003)
(3) Suzuki Motor Corporation
Suzuki announced on October 10, 2003 they were authorized from
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport to carry out driving test of 2
FCV modified light vehiclegWagon R and MR
Wagonhon public road. Both
cars load fuel cell stacks made by GM and the fuel is hydrogen gas of 345 atm
and cruising range is 130 km.
( Yomiuri Shimbun, The Daily Automotive News, Chunichi
Shimbun October 11, 2003 )
(4) Daimler Chrysler and Daimler Chrysler Japan Holding, Ltd.
Chrysler Division of DC has developed 3 seats compact jeep to
be used in metropolitan area. It is EV(Electric Vehicle) and also FCV at the
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun October 15, 2003 )
DCJ announced on October 16, 2003 that they has concluded
partnership agreement with Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. and Bridgestone Corporation on
usage of FCV, gF-Cellh based on gMercedes-Benz A Classh. 2 companies will pay
1.2 million yen as monthly rental fee to DCJ and use them for business
activities. It is 3 years rental agreement in case of Tokyo Gas and 2 years
agreement in case of Bridgestone and both companies introduce each one FCV. DC
has promoted gF-Cell Global Programh to introduce 60 F-Cell from 2003 to 2004
into 4 countries such as Japan, Germany, USA and Singapore.
( Denki Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun,
Nihon Kogyo Shimbun October 17, 2003 )
6. Hydrogen Station and the Related Technology
Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced on October 2, 2003 that they started
the operation test on gHome Energy Station (HES)h at California in USA, having
both functions of hydrogen supply and the cogeneration by using a natural gas
as fuel. Research Institute of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and Honda R & D
Americas will conduct the experiment under joint development with Plug Power,
Inc. Moreover, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. also improved the hydrogen station using
solar cells installed at Los Angeles Research Center, and they adopted the CIGS(Copper-Indium-Gallium-Selenium)
thin film solar cells from which the CO2 emission during hydrogen
generation reduces to 1/5 of the conventional one and which has been developed by
themselves. And they have applied Ruthenium catalyst for the water electrolysis
module instead of Platinum.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Nihon Kogyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun,
Tokyo Shimbun October 3, 2003 )
Japan Air Gases, Ltd.
gKawasaki Hydrogen Station under JHFC Projecth for FCV which Japan Air
Gases built it in Kawasaki city, has been opened. It can fill up for 5 vehicles
continuously by using methanol reforming system.
Nihon Kogyo Shimbun October 7, 2003 )
Hitachi Industries Co., Ltd.
"Hitachi Industries", subsidiary of the Industrial Machinery Divison
of Hitachi, Ltd. developed a compressor for the hydrogen station which can fill
up FCV with 40MPa hydrogen gas pressure. Delivery is to be started at the end
of 2003 and the price would be about 10 million yen per unit. And further, they
are under development of 84 MPa compressor for the next generation FCV. About
the hydrogen gas compressor made in Germany has been used for the hydrogen
stations and the price is about 50 million yen. Therefore, the hydrogen station
which adopted parts and equipments from overseas has been around 300 million
yen, 4 or 5 times in comparison with onstruction expenses for gasoline service
Nihon Keizai Shimbun October 11, 2003 )
7. Development of DMFC and Micro-FC
(1) Toshiba Corporation
Corporation developed a micro DMFC which is 1W in power output, 140cc in
product volume, 130g in weight and capable of 20 hours power production with
25cc high density methanol fuel. They aim to sell 2W products in 2005, after
down sizing and improving power output. And they intend to commercialize 12W
DMFC in 2004, for note type personal computer.
( Yomiuri Shimbun, Mainichi
Shimbun, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun, Denpa Shimbun October 4, 2003,
Denki Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun , Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 6, 2003 )
(2) Noritake Co., Ltd.
Ltd. (Nagoya City) announced that 160mW/cm2, the highest level
power density has been obtained by reducing methanol crossover and increasing
shape stability of membrane, by DMFC furnished electrolyte membrane combined
organic and inorganic materials. The performance is 1.5 times in comparison
with conventional DMFC.
( Nikkan Kogyo
Shimbun, Chunichi Shimbun, The Chemical Daily October 7, 2003, Nihon Kogyo
Shimbun October 10, 2003 )
(3) Hitachi, Ltd.
made the 10 W class proto type DMFC to drive B5 size note type personal
computer. They also have 1 W unit for power source of PDA other than for PC.
Methanol concentration is 10-20% and it can be used continuously for 8 hours
per charge and the output power is also available to charge the battery as it
is hybrid type with lithium battery. Platinum catalyst is finely grained in 2-3
nm and they simultaneously employed a mechanism to prevent agglomeration of
platinum. They have a plan to put it on market in 2005 after down sizing to 1/3
by improving a water processing mechanism produced during the power
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun October 8, 2003, Denki Shimbun October10,
8. FC Market Forecast
Fuji Keizai Co.,
Ltd made a report on October 9, 2003, on forecast of FC domestic market and it was 366 billion yen in 2020. On FCV,
real market will be formed in 2015 and the market scale will be 10 thousand
cars per year level in the same year and 100 thousand cars per year level in
2020. On stationary cogeneration unit for home use, diffusion of 100 thousand
units in 2020 is forecasted. For FCV plus home use, 350 billion yen market
scale will be formed. On micro FC for PDA, the market level will grow toP million units per year and market scale of 10
billion yen per year is forecasted.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nihon Kogyo Shimbun October 10, 2003, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 13, 2003 )