THE LATEST FUEL CELL NEWS IN JAPAN, NOVEMBER(1) 2003

Arranged by T. HOMMA
1. Government Policy and Activity
2. Policy and Activity in Local Public Body
3. Research and Development for SOFC
4. PEMFC System and Elemental Technology Development
5. The Front of FCV
6. Hydrogen Station and the Related Technology
7. Development of DMFC and Micro-FC
8. FC Market Forecast

1. Government Policy and Activity
 (1)Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry / Agency of National Resources and Energy / New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization(NEDO)
@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
 Yamaguchi 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
Mitsubishi 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Ž 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, gFCX2h 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Ž 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 gFCXh. They aim at early commercialization by confirming driving performance in cold climate district.
( 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-wireh 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 generationh. 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 vehiclegWagon R and MR Wagonhon 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 same time.
( 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-Cellh based on gMercedes-Benz A Classh. 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 Programh 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
(1) 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 )

(2) Japan Air Gases, Ltd.
gKawasaki Hydrogen Station under JHFC Projecth 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 )

(3) 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 station.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun   October 11, 2003 )
7. Development of DMFC and Micro-FC
(1) Toshiba Corporation
Toshiba 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.
Noritake Co., 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.
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 generation.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun  October 8, 2003,  Denki Shimbun  October10, 2003 )

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 to‚P 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 )

-This edition is made up as of October, 2003.-