(1) Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, NEDO
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) started to study the next stage project for technology development of fuel cell and hydrogen energy. NEDO intends to establish gSubcommittee for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologiesh (Masahiro Watanabe, Chairman, Clean Energy Research Center, University of Yamanashi), and the subcommittee make a report on technical development fields and the targets to be performed by NEDO in April, 2004, after they collect the information of technical development trends in Japan and foreign countries. NEDO has a plan to select the themes such as technologies on measurement and experiment facility, research of mechanism including material properties and research of new catalysts to produce hydrogen.
( The Chemical Daily February 6, 2004 )
Hokkaido Branch Office, NEDO, newly prepared gHokkaido Energy Maph which showed the locations of the wind power and FC related facilities in Hokkaido.
( Hokkaido Shimbun February 24, 2004 )
(2) Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, FCCJ
Fuel Cell Commercialization Conference of Japan (FCCJ) prepared the road map for the PEMFC technical development. The map showed the technical development themes to be got over in the each stage of market entry
(2005~), commercialization (2010~) and real diffusion (2015~), and indicated each role in charge by industry, university and government. The road map indicates that the developments such as electrolyte membrane and electrode catalyst must be conducted continuously as the national project.
( The Chemical Daily February 18, 2004 )
(3) Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport performs verification tests of seven 1kW class
PEMFC. For the first four fuel cells, four manufacturers indicated below including Toshiba International Fuel Cells Corporation, perform demonstration tests by installing PEMFC in the gas utility companies. To be concrete, Tokyo Gas performs the test for the fuel cell made by Toshiba International Fuel Cells at Yokohama, similarly Osaka Gas for FC made by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. at Osaka, Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd. for Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. at Nara prefecture and Keiyo Gas for Ebara Ballard at Chiba prefecture.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun February 5, 2004 )
Road Transport Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) in USA agreed to keep in close contact with through exchange of information for the recall of vehicle and
FCV. For the FCV, they are connected with each other as the position of governmental authorities to decide the safety standards and regulations, and share the verification test data of the
FCV. Especially, they intend to accelerate to make the safety standards of the FCV and to have common standardization for related parts including a shape of connector to supply hydrogen.
( The Daily Automotive News February 10, 2004 )
2.Policy and Activity of Local Government
@(1) Osaka Prefectural Government
Osaka Prefectural Government will introduce a light FCV made by Daihatsu Motor Corporation as an official vehicle. Rental fee is 300 thousands yen per month. Osaka Prefectural Government established gFCV Promotion Committee in Osakah in 2003 with Daihatsu Motor Corporation (Ikeda City), Iwatani International Corporation (Osaka City) and others.
( Asahi Shimbun February 13, 2004 )
(2) Niigata Prefecture
Niigata Prefecture starts demonstration of PEMFC for domestic use installed at an actual residence in Nagaoka City and collects data until the end of December this year. Various data are to be transmitted automatically to Industrial Research Institute of Niigata Prefecture. The PEMFC specifications are electric power output of 700W, hot water supplied at 60 and the price of 15 million yen.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun February 18, 2004 )
(3) Mie Prefecture
Mie Prefecture took place gFC Seminar in Mie Prefectureh at prefectural hall, which the prefectural government explained and also requested cooperation to companies, about the special designated area established in 2002, aimed at realization of hydrogen energy society for industrial structural reform. Governor Noro announced gArrangement of Organization for Demonstration on Energy Recycle Society using Hydrogen as Mediumh having been studied based on Yokkaichi Coastal Industrial Area and started a study to establish new special designated area for FC production under cooperation with Suzuka city. And panel discussion has been held, to propose what kind of activities are necessary for local government gto arrange environment for hydrogen energy businessh, by related person cooperating with the Mie prefectural government. And 150 persons participated into the discussion, from domestic and foreign companies whose headquarters are in Tokyo.
( Denki Shimbun February 23, 2004 )
Mie prefectural government intends to start demonstration test of FC from fiscal year 2004 and the budget of 100 million yen is assigned in 2004. They intend to collect participants from makers of PEMFC and install home use FC smaller than 10 kW by July at Yokkaichi City or Kawagoe Town or Kusunoki Town and verify the practical performance for 3 years. On the other hand, they will verify the arrangement of infrastructure to utilize hydrogen produced as by-product from chemical plant in Yokkaichi Coastal Industrial Area. This is the first step for gEstablishment of the Center for FC Related Industries in Nothern Part of the Prefectureh which is placed as the major pole for industrial reform to be promoted by the prefecture. 3 companies already expressed their intention to participate and Toshiba IFC has been formally nominated. The government said they are studying to raise more companies than 3. Although term for verification is by 2006 for the time being and a demonstration program for larger PEMFC unit than 10 kW is to be conducted. Further, demonstration test of PEMFC is to be carried out in Suzuka city, utilizing the special designated area in 2005.
( Denki Shimbun February 26, 2004 )
3.Demonstration Test of PAFC Fueled DME(Di-Methyl Ether)
Nippon Petroleum Gas Co., Ltd. and Toshiba IFC (Toshiba International Fuel Cells Corporation) will jointly conduct demonstration test of 200 kW PAFC to be fueled DME for 2 years from May 2004 at Niigata LPG Import Terminal of Nippon Petroleum Gas Co., Ltd. JFE Holdings, Inc. and the allied companies have operated demonstration plant of DME from 2003 at Kushiro, Hokkaido. On the other hand, Toyo Engineering Corporation has received an order for DME plant from China and been constructing it which converts natural gas into DME of 100,000 Ton/year . DME has advantages such as sulfur free and the stable price in comparison with LPG. ANRE (Agency of Natural Resources and Energy) intends to subsidize 2/3 for development cost of FC system in order to diffuse DME.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun February 19, 2004 )
4. Development and Commercialization of SOFC
@4 companies, Kyocera Corporation, Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., Rinnai Corporation (Nagoya City) and Gastar (Kanagawa Prefecture) have started joint development on 5 kW class SOFC of lateral stripes to be operated under 750 , targeting at the commercialization although Kyocera has independently developed 1 kW class SOFC for domestic application. 10 W cell stack is consisted of 18 cells provided on one ceramic base plate, applying a flat tubular cell technology owned by Kyocera based on electrode structure with lateral stripes designed by Tokyo Gas. The production process can be a simple and large scale cost reduction can be realized at mass production phase because they utilize printing technology to make the 10 W stack by forming and sintering plural cells on one ceramics base plate. They intend to put the unit on market including convenience stores or small offices in spring of 2007. The target performance as commercial product is net power generation efficiency of 45 % (AC, HHV base).
( Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Denki Shimbun, The Chemical Daily February 20, 2004 )
5.Development of Elemental Technologies concerning PEMFC
@(1) Sumitomo Metal Industries, Ltd.
Sumitomo Metal Industries, Ltd. has developed an advanced stainless steel specially treated as a material of bipolar plate for PEMFC. Stainless steel is superior in corrosion resistance but its surface is covered with a film of poor conductor. Therefore, the technology to disperse fine metal powder in the surface has been applied to improve it. This resulted in the reduction of electric resistance to 1/6 of conventional stainless steel. And it is reported that specific gravity is light as approximately 7.9 and it has high processibility. Moreover this stainless steel is superior in thermal conductivity and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. made a proto type FCV by using this, which water does not freeze even under minus 20.
( Sankei Shimbun February 15, 2004 )
(2) Tohoku University
Group of Hitoshi Takamura, Associate Professor of Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, achieved to make a thin and large area oxygen permeable ceramics by using praseodymium, strontium, aluminum and iron oxide as the base metal. They made 5 cm square and 100Êm thickness membrane and permeation of only oxygen in the air has been demonstrated at a high temperature of 800-1000. A
10mL/cm2/min oxygen in the air could be permeated under the high temp. Application to the reformer for PEMFC is being studied.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun February 16, 2004 )
6.Development and Demonstration Test for PEMFC
@(1) Nippon Oil Corporation
Nippon Oil Corporation announced that they will start the demonstration test of 8.5 kW PEMFC system of which fuel is economical kerosene from February at a convenience store in Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo. They are planning to evaluate power generation efficiency and durability for 1 year and commercialize by 2006. The PEMFC is the same equipment as they cooperatively developed with MHI.
( Denki Shimbun, The Daily Automotive News February 3, 2004 )
Gas Bureau, City of Sendai and Nippon Oil Corporation cooperatively started the demonstration operation of 1 kW stationary PEMFC cogeneration system at a show room gGas Salonh of Gas Bureau in Sendai City. The system has a feature that both fuels, LPG and town gas are available. They aim at an extension of share in FC market by putting this kind of equipment on market for which both LPG and town gas are available.
( Denki Shimbun February 9, 2004 )
(2) Takagi Industries Co., Ltd.
Takagi Industries Co., Ltd. (Toyama City) announced they developed 3.3 kW PEMFC cogeneration system for commercial use, cooperatively with Nuvera Fuel Cells Inc. in US. Nuvera and Takagi Industries Co., Ltd. have been respectively in charge of power generation system and hot water supply system. The first system has been already delivered to The Japan Gas Association and tested by The Japan Gas Appliances Inspection Association. They are planning to proceed with the research and development taking a development of 5 kW system into account and to commercialize by 2007. They aim at a price less than 1 million yen per kW at the commercialized stage.
( Nihon Kogyo Shimbun February 27, 2004 )
7.The Front of FCV
@(1) TSCP of Tamagawa University
Group of students, Faculty of Engineering, Tamagawa University, developed a hybrid solar car driven by solar cell in daytime and FC in nighttime and succeeded to cross The Australian Continent of 4000 km. It is gApollondeanh manufactured by gTamagawa Solar Challenge Project (TSCP)h under the superintendent of Professor Hiroyuki Obara, Department of Technology, which is 4m length, one seat car, the maximum speed of 110 km and departed from Perth of west coast on December 9, 2003 and arrived at Sydney of east coast on December 27, 2003.
( Asahi Shimbun February 17, 2004 )
(2) Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced on February 26, 2004 that they conducted public road test of gFCXh, FCV in Hokkaido, which equipped with fuel cell stack made by Honda, having cold-start capability under -20, and proved its cold start performance at -11. The FCX successfully started up after being parked outside overnight. Then test drive has been conducted on public roads and demonstrated its driving performance. Although Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has developed next generation stack for PEMFC using aromatic electrolyte membrane, which can work under temperature range from -20 to +95, they could confirm the performance for cold start up below freezing point and driving through public road test this time.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Denki Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nihon Kogyo Shimbun, The Daily Automotive News February 27, 2004 )
8.Development, Demonstration and Economic Evaluation of FC System for Home Use
(1) Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) announced the economic analysis results which fuel and light expenses would be saved about 100 thousands yen a year by using 1 kW-class domestic PEMFC cogeneration system fueled LPG, made by MHI. They have calculated by assuming that power generation efficiency is 32.5% (HHV) and overall efficiency is 78.5% as PEMFC specification and the power rate with tax is 23.5 yen/kWh and the gas consumption is 80
Nm3/month as a family of four person, because it is expected that the LPG industry will set the cheap gas rate for FC to counter for an all electrification residence. Considering the sharp discount menu that the gas rate is 250
yen/Nm3 ( normally 400 yen/Nm3) as special rate for FC, 99,492 yen a year can be saved as fuel and light expenses. As for the town gas, about 70 thousand yen a year would be saved in the case to apply 103
yen/Nm3 (normally 134 yen/Nm3 ) as the discount rate to gas engine cogeneration system,.
( Denki Shimbun February 4, 2004 )
(2) Chugoku Electric Power Co., Inc.
Chugoku Electric Power Co., Inc. starts the verification test of 1kW-class domestic PEMFC cogeneration system, developed under cooperation with KOBELCO Eco-Solutions Co., Ltd., which generates electricity in the daytime by using hydrogen produced by electrolyzing water utilizing the discounted power rate in the night time and stored into the tank, from February 10, 2004. Hydrogen production process is, first to change city water to pure water, to electrolyze the pure water into hydrogen ion and oxygen ion by using the electrode plates and polymer electrolyte membranes and to couple hydrogen ion when passed through the membrane with electron. The system dimensions are 1 m in width, 1.3 m in depth and 1.5 m in height and the electrolysis efficiency is 30% higher and 1/5 in volume in comparison with conventional type. According to the calculation of the company, this system can cut 40% of the fuel and light expenses.
( Asahi Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun February 11, 2004, Denki Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun February 12, 2004, Sankei Shimbun, Nihon Kogyo Shimbun February 13, 2004 )
(3) Fuji Electric Holdings Co., Ltd.
Fuji Electric Advanced Technology will start the phase three design to verify durability and reliability of 1 kW-class home use PEMFC soon and intends to complete the design within 2003 fiscal year and ship two or three units in 2004 fiscal year. The second proto type unit developed by the company has a feature of self sustained type in water, which produced water at FC is supplied to reformer, although the reformer is the same, using city gas. Its volume is 250 litter and the power generation efficiency reaches 35%(LHV). And the overall efficiency is 80% in the case of cogeneration system, and it can supply hot water at 75.
( Denki Shimbun February 13, 2004 )
(4) MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORPORATION
MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORPORATION announced on February 17 that they developed 1 kW PEMFC power generation system which has realized a drastic cost reduction along with overall energy efficiency of 83% including the power generation efficiency of 34 % and hot water utilization at 70. Utilizing their cumulated technology in commercial use ventilating fan, MITSUBISHI developed lower cost humidifier, Lossnay which has functions of heat exchanger and humidifier and succeeded to reduce overall system manufacturing cost sharply by adopting this humidifier. Size in balance of plant is reduced with newly developed humidifier, that are 1/40 in pure water generator and 1/100 in waste heat recovery heat exchanger, compared to conventional system. As the result, down sizing and cost reduction become possible for humidifier and the related system. Regarding fuel cell stack, material cost has been reduced to 1/100 of the conventional separator by using molded separator made of thermosetting resin and carbon. And production cost of reformer has been also reduced by changing material from expensive heat-resistant alloy to general-purpose stainless steel. They reported that the separator manufacturing cost will be forecasted as 200 yen/piece in case production volume of one million for 10,000 kW FC. MITSUBISHI intends to verify the reliability in DSS operation and countermeasures for cold climate area with 1 kW class demonstration unit of PEMFC.
( Denki Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun February 18, 2004 )
9.Development, Demonstration and Economic Evaluation of Hydrogen Generation and Reforming Technologies
@(1) The Japan Steel Works, Ltd. and others
Six organizations including company and association in Japan, USA and Europe, including The Japan Steel Works, Ltd. in Japan and Los Alamos National Laboratory in USA, jointly start the technology development project to separate, clean up and store hydrogen from geothermal steam, from 2005 at Iceland. The other participants are, Gas Technology Institute in USA, Intelligent Energy Ltd. in UK, and Balmalaf and Icelandic New Energy Ltd. in Iceland.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun February 6, 2004 )
(2) Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry
Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry carried out economic analysis on hydrogen, comparing a various kind of hydrogen such as hydrogen produced by electrolysis using surplus electric power from nuclear power plant at night time, hydrogen as by product from coke oven and hydrogen reformed natural gas, and concluded that the hydrogen production by nuclear power is the most expensive at the current stage. This analysis is based on hydrogen supply to FCV and the economy are evaluated for both on-site system which produces hydrogen at the hydrogen station and off-site system which produces hydrogen by large scale facility and transport the hydrogen to the stations. That is to say, what hydrogen as byproduct or reforming natural gas has advantage in cost seems to be a correct conclusion at existing circumstances.
( Denki Shimbun February 9, 2004 )
10. Development and Demonstration of Hydrogen Storage and Supply System
JAPAN ENERGY CORPORATION concluded the hydrogen storage and supply technologies utilizing organic hydride (liquefied cyclohexane and dekaline produced by reactions of hydrogen with benzene or naphthalene) have been established by pilot scale operation, and decided to participate to hydrogen station business in JHFC from now, aiming at economical evaluation by demonstration level. The company already has started the study for business model that is to produce organic hydride from hydrogen and aromatic compound generated at refinery and transport it to hydrogen station by tank truck and regenerate hydrogen, after they have carried out evaluation test for the technology by test facility at refinery technical center.
( The Chemical Daily February 3, 2004 )
11.Companyfs Activity and the Organization
@(1) MITSUI & CO., LTD.
MITSUI will organize gHydrogen, FC and Environmental Officeh in February to strengthen FC related business and will start investments into venture capital enterprises. They plan to invest 3 billion yen for 2 years. The high priority markets are periphery equipments of FCV, on-site FC and infrastructure of hydrogen production and supply.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun February 23, 2004 )