(1) Joint Development between Japan and USA for High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor (HTGR)
The Japanese and the American Governments have agreed to conduct the joint technology development of next generation type atomic power generation. Atomic technology to be jointly developed by the both governments is gHTGRh which uses helium gas as coolant and generates high temperature heat around 1000. And the reactor is more suitable for dispersed power source because of smaller installation area than light water reactor. Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute has developed a technology to produce hydrogen by decomposing water with thermo-chemical process using HTGR as the heat source. Joint development intends to develop technologies of hydrogen production and also hydrogen supply by using the technology.
( Asahi Shimbun April 4, 2004, Nihon Keizai Shimbun April 22, 2004 )
(2) Ministry of the Environment
Ministry of the Environment decided a policy for procurements in fiscal year 2004, based on Law on Promoting Green Purchasing. As for low emission vehicles used as general official car, they plan to buy six hybrid cars, one FCV (lease to be continued) and sixteen cars which have achieved 75% reduction of the emission and cleared the regulations in Energy Conservation Law.
( The Chemical Daily April 5, 2004 )
(3) NEDO(New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization)
NEDO starts a new system development project gDemonstration Test of Different Quality Electric Power Supply Systemh which develops a micro grid to supply different quality electric powers by combining utility grid and distributed power sources with new energy including FC. They will establish the new stable micro grid which continues to supply necessary power from dispersed power sources when grid is outage by switching breakers automatically although the capacity is limited. NEDO collects concrete proposals publicly from the industrial world or others and verifies the possibility of the realization for four years.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun April 15, 2004 )
2.International Standardization for FC Related Standards and Test Methods
Standardizations of fuels for FCV and mileage test methods having been conducted as subsidy project of NEDO, by Japan Automobile Research Institute (JARI) will be adopted as international standards. JARI also intends to develop an effective test method of single cell in order to improve the life and to make this test method international standard, too.
Standards of hydrogen for FCV are higher than 99.99 % in purity, less than 0.2 ppm in CO concentration and less than 0.2 ppb in sulfur. These data are to be approved by ISO and the International Partnership for Hydrogen Energy (IPHE) and then Japanese Standards are to be adopted as international standards by 2005.
As for the mileage test of FCV, JARI has completed two calculation methods within accuracy of } 1 % by measuring the weight of hydrogen tank and the change of the relation between pressure, temperature and capacity inside the tank, to calculate the amount of fuel consumption and they said both methods are effective.
As for the standard of evaluation for single cell, JARI has developed standardized equipment and the evaluation method. A cell set MEA to be evaluated is set by clamping plate of 12 mm thickness with electrical insulation sheets, current collector (material: copper plated with gold) and separators, and evaluated in accordance with the decided procedure, in order to evaluate MEA. The price of the evaluation facility is on sale with 500 thousands yen per set. 100 sets have been sold so far in the domestic market.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun April 13, 2004 )
3.Development of SOFC
Mitsubishi Material Corporation announced that they have developed 3 kW class power generation modules consisted of three SOFC stacks which are operated under intermediate temperature under joint development with The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. They confirmed the stable operation and attained the power generation efficiency of 55.3% (DC, LHV base). They intends to commercialize several 10 kW class power generation systems, tackling improvements toward high performance cell and stack module by the end of fiscal year 2006.
( Denki Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun March 30, 2004)
4.Demonstration Test of Stationary PEMFC
(1) Yurtec Corporation
Yurtec Corporation of Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc. group began the demonstration test of PEMFC in a link of "Demonstration Test for Stationary Fuel Cell" led by NEF. The practicality as a commercial use is to be evaluated by installing 5 kW PEMFC system reforming city gas, made by Plug Power Inc. in the United States, at their Development Center of Human Resource of the company (Miyagi Prefecture) and operating it for one year.
( Denki Shimbun March 31, 2004, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun April 8, 2004 )
(2) MATSUMURA BUSSAN Co.,Ltd.
MATSUMURA BUSSAN Co., Ltd. (Kanazawa city) started demonstration test on April 7, 2004, of 5 kW PEMFC system reforming naphtha, installed at the Osada gasoline service station in Kanazawa City, lent from NIPPON OIL CORPORATION in a link of demonstration test of stationary fuel cell promoted by NEF.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun April 9, 2004, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun April 14, 2004 )
(3) MHI ,Hiroshima Gas Co.,Ltd., Hiroshima University and others
Five enterprises including MHI (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.) and Hiroshima Gas Co., Ltd. and Hiroshima University who place the base in Hiroshima district have been jointly started the development of PEMFC system using city gas for condominium or apartment house, although Hiroshima Laboratory, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. plays the major role. The system consisted of a large-scale city gas reforming facility installed in one place and the produced hydrogen is supplied to each PEMFC at each home through piping and the scale is for 50-100 households. The initial investment is expected to be reduced to a half and the maintenance cost is greatly reduced. The system will be installed at their companyfs house or dormitory of the participating companies and the demonstration test will be started from 2005.
( Chugoku Shimbun April 17, 2004 )
(4) Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.
Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. announced on April 21, 2004 that they will continue the joint development of the PEMFC for domestic cogeneration system having advanced the cooperative development individually with four companies such as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., SANYO Electric Co., Ltd., Toshiba International Fuel Cells Corporation and the Ebara Ballard Corporation. The results have not reached to the satisfied level yet though Osaka Gas selected the above 4 companies by four evaluation items such as performance, durability, cost and reliability. It is given high priority to the durability and the cost especially, however, the durability is 10,000 hours or less at the current stage in case of full stack operation though they described that 20,000 hours life is the minimum level for the time being and 40,000 hours are necessary at least for commercial use. It is expected that manufacturing prices will be five million yen/kW in 2005-2006 and it will be reduced to one million yen level if the annual production goes up to 10,000 as the cost depends on the production volume.
( Sankei Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun April 22, 2004 )
(5) Nippon Oil Corporation
Nippon Oil Corporation shifts their development stage to more practical level including cost reduction and improvement of durability, utilizing the monitor system that the government tries to advance, in order to commercialize domestic use PEMFC reforming LPG at the end of 2005. Their targets in practical use are the power generation efficiency of 34% and durability of 20,000 hours by DSS (Daily Start and Stop) operation.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun April 23, 2004 )
5.The Front of FCV
(1) Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Cosmo Petroleum Gas Corporation
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd announced that they will begin public road test of FCV, "X- TRAIL" made by the company within 2004 also in the United States. It will be conducted not only in California State but also in Arizona State where the temperature condition is very severe.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun March 30, 2004 )
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced on April 7, 2004 that they have sold two FCV X-TRAIL as lease, to Kanagawa Prefecture and Yokohama City respectively. Total sales by the company are three including this.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, The Daily Automotive News, Tekko Simbun, Fuji Sankei Business Eye April 8, 2004, The Daily Automotive News April 16, 2004 )
To extend the cruising range of FCV sharply, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Cosmo Petroleum Gas Corporation will develop high-pressure hydrogen (70MPa) fuel facility. Cosmo Petroleum Gas Corporation will play major role in development for the fuel filling part for super high pressure and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd plays major role in the development of hydrogen gas tank to be applied for super high pressure.
( The Daily Automotive News April 2, 2004 )
(2) BRIDGESTON CORPORATION and DCJ
BRIDGESTON CORPORATION and Daimler Chrysler Japan Holding Ltd. (DCJ) conducted the delivery ceremony of FCV, "F-Cell" on April 5, 2004 at BRIDGESTON Technology Center in Kodaira City. This is based on the demonstration test plan according to "F-Cell Global Program Partnership" concluded in 2003 between BRIDGESTON and Daimler Chrysler Japan Holding Ltd.
( Yomiuri Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun April 6, 2004 )
DCJ schedules to deliver ten FCV, "F-Cell" of mass production model to the enterprises or municipalities within this year in Japan, based on Mercedes Benz A class. This company has been promoting "F-Cell Global Program" that introduces 60 F-Cell in total to four countries such as Japan, Germany, the United States and Singapore from 2003 to 2004. The enterprises who receive the vehicles will pay DCJ 12 million yen a year and DCJ keeps to maintain the vehicle for 60 days a year and collects data under the running conditions.
( The Daily Automotive News April 14, 2004 )
(3) Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
Honda announced at 2004 New York International Automobile Show that they will conduct the public road test of FCV provided with their own PEMFC stack in April in California and in this fall in New York. In case of the test in California, the FCV will be supplied hydrogen from Home Energy Station(HES).
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun April 8, 2004, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun April 9, 2004 )
6.Railway Car Driven by FC
Railway Technical Research Institute announced on April 16, 2004 that they have succeeded a simulated railway car test driven by PEMFC of 30 kW power output. Stable acceleration has been confirmed on the simulation test facility by using 1/3 scale of actual railway car for commutation. They intend to attain commercialization of FC train by 2010.
(Tokyo Shimbun April 17, 2004, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun April 19, 2004 )
7.Installation and Demonstration Test of Hydrogen Station
(1) Zero Emission Project in Yakushima
Group consisted of industrial and academic members such as Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Taiheiyo Cement Corporation, Showa Denko K.K., Kagoshima University and United Nations University will start gYakushima Zero Emission Projecth in April which installs hydrogen station to use hydrogen produced by water electrolysis using electricity generated by a hydraulic power station and conducts public road test of FCV, gFCXh made by Honda. The hydrogen production facility fabricated by Showa Denko will be installed at the site of Yakushima Denko Co., Ltd. by Kagoshima University and the FCV test will be conducted by Honda under weather conditions in Yakushima which are heavy rainfall and big temperature difference. And also the group will make an economic study assuming when hydrogen energy system and home use FC would be popularized.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun April 5, 2004, Yomiuri Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun April 6, 2004 )
(2) Nippon Steel Corporation etc.
Nippon Steel, Toho Gas Co., Ltd. and Nippon Sanso Corporation will jointly install hydrogen station in The 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan and supply the hydrogen to FC bus to be operated between the event halls. The hydrogen station will be two, the one is off site type which is refined hydrogen produced as by product from coke oven in Nagoya Iron Works(Tokai City), Nippon Steel Corporation and transported and stored it and the other is on site type reforming town gas. This facility can produce hydrogen of 2,000
Nm3/D equivalent to 40 bus. Toho Gas will design the station and supply town gas and Nippon Sanso will release control know how for hydrogen supply and operates the station.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun April 10, 2004 )
(3) Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd.
Idemitsu announced on April 22, 2004 that they will open gHadano Hydrogen Stationh of kerosene reforming type. It has capacity of 50
Nm3/h. And it is a link of JHFC (Japan Hydrogen and Fuel Cell) project.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun April 23, 2004 )
8.The State of the Art for Hydrogen Production and Reforming Technologies
(1) Iwatani International Corporation, The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc.
Iwatani announced on March 30, 2004 that they will install the biggest production plant in Japan for liquefied hydrogen in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture. It will be operated from April 2006.
( Yomiuri Shimbun March 31, 2004 )
Iwatani and The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. announced that they will jointly establish gHydro Edgeh, subsidiary for liquefied hydrogen as of April 1, 2004. The capital stock is 245 million yen and the works with 30,000
m2 of land area is built in the area of Sakai LNG and production facility with 6,000 L/h of liquefied hydrogen is installed. Liquefied oxygen and nitrogen are also produced and the sales amount for the first year is expected to be 3 billion yen.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun March 31, 2004 )
(2) Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute
JAERI has started preliminary test to produce hydrogen by using HTTR (High Temperature Engineering Test Reactor). The technology is to take heat at 950 out of the reactor and apply it thermo-chemical process to decompose water into hydrogen and their target is thermal efficiency of 70 %. This is thermo-chemical hydrogen production process called as IS process using Iodine and Sulfur as the media. They have been conducting the verification test by basic test facility with 50 L/h. They will enter continuous test of 200 hours in fiscal year 2004.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun April 2, 2004, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun April 14, 2004 )
(3) Mitsubishi Corporation
Mitsubishi Corporation will enter the hydrogen production business. They have independently developed the technologies with which high pressure hydrogen could be produced directly, by electrolyzing water with polymeric electrolyzer, and applied patents for about 40 countries in the world. The unit developed by them is called as gHHEG ; High compressed Hydrogen Energy Generatorh and it is the system that both hydrogen and oxygen are stored in both side of electrolyte under the same pressure and has a great distinction which compressor is not necessary. They are planning to develop and sell the 400 atm pressure unit in 2005. It can produce
30m3 hydrogen per hour and the price is estimated 100 million yen or a little more. Moreover they are also planning to commercialize the higher pressure unit than 700 atm by 2007.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun April 13, 2004, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun April 15, 2004 )
9.Model Project for Hydrogen Energy Society
Two universities and 7 companies taken the initiative by Professor Masafumi Katsuta, Waseda University, including such as Osaka Prefecture University, Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. ITEC Corporation are planning to start the project which demonstrates model society in hydrogen energy era at Waseda area in Honjo, Saitama Prefecture. They are planning to produce hydrogen from waste aluminum, waste silicon and biomas, and utilize the produced hydrogen for power source and FC driven wheel chair by storing and transporting them, using hydrogen storing alloy. Moreover they are planning to demonstrate the development of hydrogen utilization technologies such as heat pump using hydrogen storing alloy for 3 years from 2004. Environmental Research Institute, Waseda University will invest about 2 billion yen in 3 years, being subsidized by Ministry of the Environment for the technology development to prevent Global Warming. ITEC already developed the system which hydrogen is taken out by hydroxide reaction, being mixed waste aluminum with alkaline solution like caustic soda. Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd is in charge of the unit to produce hydrogen which is gasifying biomas. Waseda University is to fabricate the FC driven wheel chair and Osaka Prefecture University and Waseda University are to develop lanthanum nickel alloy making hydrogen storing efficiency per weight double. Professor Katsuta tells that he would like to send information on the long term road map indicating hydrogen society through this project.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun April 6, 2004, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun April 23, 2004 )
10.Development of Portable and Micro FC Related Technology
@(1) Star Micronics Co., Ltd.
Star Micronics Co., Ltd. made proto type micro pump gSDMP 105h which power source is piezoelectric element and the power consumption is quite less. Liquid and gas are transported by vibrating the diaphragm provided inside room of the pump. The flow rate is controlled by the frequency. Expected market is for micro FC.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun April 13, 2004 )
(2) Samsung Electric Co., Ltd.
Samsung Electric Co., Ltd. and Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) announced that they has developed high performance DMFC, enabling the continuous operation of note type PC for more than 10 hours with 100cc methanol fuel without electric charge. They have succeeded to reduce catalyst layer down to 50 % by using carbon material gMesoporoush which can efficiently support ultra fine catalyst molecule. Furthermore, they have developed unique nano composite technology which prevents methanol cross over by more than 90%. The efficiency of DMFC is optimized by the unique stack design called parallel fuel supply system and this is installed in the Samsungfs note type PC which high efficiency controller and Samsungfs electronics packaging technologies are united.
( Denpa Shimbun April 9, 2004 )
(3) Tokyo Seiden Corporation
Tokyo Seiden Corporation has been developing the portable AC power source gFCAC-1000h, combining with PEMFC developed by Daido Metal Co., Ltd. and 5 atm pressure cylinder using hydrogen storing alloy and is planning to put it on market in July. 250 W power output for 2.2 hrs and 1 kW for 1 hr are possible, and the size is 38cm in width, 60cm in depth, 61cm in height. It can be charged at stand by period as it provides with lead or nickel hydrogen battery. Utilization in not only at the time of disaster or black out but also in camping area are expected and the price is expected to be from 2 to 2.5 million yen. The target is to sell 30 units per year.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun April 20, 2004 )
11.Development and the Business for FC Evaluation Unit
CHINO CORPORATION starts to market two types of single cell evaluation and test units for PEMFC from April 9, 2004. The price for compact types is 4.65 million yen and high performance compact type is from 9.09 million yen and their target is to sell 200 sets in the first year.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun April 9, 2004 )
12.FC Kit Teaching
Moubic Inc. (Hamamatsu City), concluding business alliance with Fuellcellstore.
com in USA, starts the internet sales of FC related goods as teaching material.
Opening the web site of gfuelcellstore.jph, they aim at annual sales amounts
of 15 million yen. FC kits of 0.2 ~ 1 W out put as teaching material are from
4,000 yen and the company intends to receive orders of 1 kW out put for
practical use FC system.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun April 22, 2004 )
13.Other FC Related Activity
(1) Doshisha University
Doshisha opened the research center gEnergy Conversion Research Centerh for next generation co-generation system and FC, at Kyotanabe Campus, Kyoto Prefecture. The total floor area is 2,500
m2, the construction cost is about 750 million yen and the facility cost is about 500 million yen.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun March 31, 2004 )
(2) AOKI-SEIKOH Co., Ltd.
AOKI-SEIKOH developed a welding technology for ultra thin metal plate which is applicable to the thickness ranging from 50 Êm to 0.3 mm, and launched the welding business of stainless steel thin plate applied for FC case or others which are required highly vacuum tightness. Full scale marketing activity will be started from April 2004.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun April 5, 2004 )
(3) TOYO Radiator Co., Ltd.
TOYO Radiator developed a compact plate fin type heat exchanger which can withstand for temperature of 950, to be applied for power generation system integrated with waste gasification. The heat resistant alloy jointly developed with Mitsubishi Material Corporation, of which the main composition is nickel, is applied for the heat exchanger parts as raw material. They expect to apply it to SOFC, hydrogen reforming system etc.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun April 7, 2004 )
(4) Research Laboratory for Recycling Society
EBARA CORPORATION, Toshiba Corporation and Shimizu Corporation will establish new corporation gResearch Laboratory for Recycling Societyh by the end of April 2004, who supports the self sustaining of energy resources in local region by effectively utilizing a waste and recycling it as energy. Meeting with the real conditions of the region, the most optimized system will be proposed, by combining new energy including FC and recycling technology. The capital will be 50 or 60 million yen. They have been asking MITSUI & CO., LTD., JGC Corporation and others to participate and the members are expected to be finally 7 ~ 8 companies.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun April 10, 2004 )
(5) Toyohashi University of Technology and Others
Chubu Gas Co., Ltd. and Gastec Service Inc. (Toyohashi City) have started the research and development of FC, jointly with Toyohashi University of Technology. The purpose is to learn the technologies such as hydrogen storage and supply and FC and the two companies participated to the Future Vehicle Research Core Committee established by Toyohashi University of Technology. Chube Gas and Toyohashi University of Technology will develop the soft ware which forecasts efficiency improvement of domestic PEMFC system and measure the effects by the change in the operating condition of PEMFC and reflect them to improve the efficiency and expand the application range of the domestic PEMFC. On the other hand, Gastec Service and Toyohashi University of Technology will develop hydrogen storage and supply system, utilizing water resisting hydrogen storing alloy.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun April 13, 2004, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun April 19, 2004 )