`Cooperative Development of Hone Use SOFC by 4 Major Companies`

Arranged by T. Homma
1. National Policies
2. Trends in International Standardization and Formulation of Specifications
3. SOFC Technology Development
4. Elementary Technologies Development of PEFC and PAFC
5. Deployment of Home Use PEFC Systems
6. FCV Forefront and FC Mobiles Development
7. Hydrogen Station Business
8. Technology Development of Hydrogen Production and Purification
9. Business Deployment by Companies

1. National Policies
(1) Tax reduction at purchase of low emission cars
@Tax is going to be reduced when low emission cars are purchased for 3 years since 2009 fiscal year as a time limited measure. The reduction will be done for car purchase tax and car weight tax at regular mechanical inspection. The both taxes will be remitted for hybrid cars, EV and FCV. [The Nikkei Sanby Shimbun (economyand industry) March 19, 2009]

(2) Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
@On March 31, 2009 Agency of Natural Resources and Energy under the ministry announced that it established a new investigation committee, which will discuss on what to be for gas companies in low carbon society (chaired by Prof. Kashiwagi of Tokyo Institute of Technology., and the first meeting will be held on April. 6, 2009. It will dig up tasks for gas companies to cope with highly organized energy supply structure and global warming, and then concrete measures to cope with these tasks will be discussed. Wide range discussion would be done on introduction of bio-gas, gas utilization in various industrial sectors, propagation of FC etc. Effective energy utilization by combining gas and electricity, organization of hydrogen society etc. would be examined for future imagination of gas business. [The Denki Shimbun (electricity) April 1, 2009, The Denki Shimbun, The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) and the Kensetsu Tsushin Shimbun (construction) April 7, 2009]
@The local office of the above ministry in Kinki district sponsored business matching meeting for small and medium enterprises "Workshop on available components needs for FC propagation" in its office building. The attendees are about 370, which is much more than expected. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) April 11, 2009]

(3) NEDO
@On March 25, 2009 NEDO decided subsidiaries for demonstration of systems for FCV (JHFC), and they are PEC (new), JARI, Engineering Promotion Association and Nihon Gas Association (new). [The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry) March 26, 2009, The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology), The Chemical Daily, March 27, 2009 and The Nikkan Kensetsu Kogyo Shimbun, March 6, 2009]
@NEDO decided subsidiaries for SOFC demonstration in 2009 fiscal year, and they are 5 gas companies including Hokkaido Gas Co., Ltd, Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., Toho Gas Co., Ltd., Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. and Saibu Gas Co., Ltd., Nippon Oil Corp., Toto Corp., Tokyo Electric Power Co., Ltd. and Tohoku Electric Power Co., Ltd. They receive total 1.44 billion yen for 2 years since 2009. [The Denki Shimbun (electricity) March 27, 2009]

2. Trends in International Standardization and Formulation of Specifications
@Before Japan made propositions on interchangeability and performance evaluation of micro-FC, and it is in sight that these will be accepted. The IEC specific division was going to accept final draft in April, and draft includes standard for performance evaluation and related standards such as joint of DMFC, and these were proposed by Japanese METI and electric makers before. The final draft will be revised in minor points and finally accepted in June. [The Sankei Shimbun, The Fuji Sankei Business Eye, March 12, 2009]

3. SOFC Technology Development
(1) Osaka Gas Co., Ltd., Kyocera Corp., Toyota Motor Co., Ltd., and AISIN SEIKI Co., Ltd.
@On March 25, 2009 the above 4 companies announced that they are going to develop home use SOFC systems of high efficiency in cooperation. They will complete development of small and light next generation systems of long endurance within several years, and they are anticipating commercialization early in 2010's. Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. and Kyocera Corp. have been developing SOFC since 2004 and the other two companies have been developing PEFC since 2001. Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. will provide co-generation technology, and Kyocera Corp. will provide ceramic technology, while Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. and AISIN SEIKI Co., Ltd. will provide system technology. At present the price of the system is a little bit lower than 10 million yen, and the life is 20,000 h or more. For the commercialization they set the goals of 500,000 - 600,000 yen of sales price and about 10 years of endurance. [The Yomiuri Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, The Mainichi Shimbun, The Sankei Shimbun, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, The Denki Shimbun (electricity), The Dempa Shimbun (radio wave), The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry), The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology), The Kensetsu Tsushin Shimbun (construction), The Osaka Nichinichi Shimbun, The Chunichi Shimbun, The Kyoto Shimbun, The Chugoku Shimbun, The Hokkaido Shimbun, The Fuji Sankei Business Eye, The Chemical Daily March 26, 2009 and The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (automobile) March 27, 2009]

(2) Toho Gas Co., Ltd.
@On March 30, 2009 the company set forth the 2009 fiscal year business plan and the intermediate management plan for 2009 - 2013. Though the company has been developing SOFC for business use, they showed their intention to begin development of home use SOFC concurrently. The time schedule and methods will be examined. [The Chunichi Shimbun March 31, 2009]

4. Elementary Technologies Development of PEFC and PAFC
(1) Nisshinbo Corp.
@The company commercialized carbon material, which substitutes platinum catalyst, and it is going to produce it in large scale since spring of 2010. The cost will become 1/6, so that it would bring us cost reduction of 500,000 yen for FCV. The company will begin the production at its research center in Chiba city and the products will be shipped to makers of automobiles and home use FC. The scale of production will be several tons annually and then it will be enlarged to several tens tons in 2020 estimating 50 - 100 billion yen. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Mrch31, 2009]
@According to announcement by Nisshimbo Holdings Corp., it confirmed that the carbon alloy catalyst has the maximum performance as platinum substitute catalyst. The catalyst cost would be reduced to about 1/10 and moreover the life would be extended because of prevention of corrosion in other components. The power generation performances are as follows; the open circuit voltage is 0.98 V, while the voltage and the output density are 0.67 V and 525 mW/cm2 at 0.2 A/cm2. Further development will be carried out in accordance with FCV mass production timing. [Tee Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (automobile) April 2, 2009]

(2) Tokyo University of Science
@Prof. Kuwano, an associate professor of the university, and his group developed an electrolyte of proton conductivity in a medium temperature range from 150 - 300Ž. This electrolyte has "core - shell" structure, and electro-insulating material as cores are surrounded with amorphous phosphorous oxide. The core materials are mixed with phosphoric acid and heated in 200 - 500Ž. In the synthesis, insulating oxide core particles are formed and it forms core-shell structure with amorphous phosphoric oxide shell. The shell surrounding the cores forms conducting path of high conductivity. Moreover, another method was established in which phosphoric acid and some fine particles are mixed with alcohol with a mill, and then the mixture is sintered. By choosing particles of different size, property and composition, the core-shell structure can be designed. By using this electrolyte performance of PAFC could be improved in a medium temperature range, and inexpensive materials could be used for electrode catalyst. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) April 3, 2009]

5. Deployment of Home Use PEFC Systems
(1)Nippon Oil Corp.
@In collaboration with Fukuoka Prefecture and Saibu Gas Energy Co., Ltd., the above company completed concentrated installation of 150 sets of Enefarm in Nampudai housing complex and Misakigaoka housing complex of Maehara city, Fukuoka prefecture. Thus "Fukuoka Hydrogen Town" by Fukuoka Prefecture and Fukuoka Strategy Conference for Hydrogen Energy was completed. Since now data on utilization of Enefarm in usual life are gathered for 4 years, and adding opinions of living people further modification will be done. [The Denki Shimbun (electricity) and The Chemical Daily March 18, 2009]

(2)Toshiba Corp.
@Toshiba FC System Corp. will commercialize systems for condominiums by 2013 in an early case. To be able to install system in piping space and/or veranda, it is aimed to make them small and light. For instance the weight and the height would be 150 kg and 1.5 m. By reducing the size the manufacturing cost is also reduced. It is a possibility that the burden for a home would become 1 million yen. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun March 14, 2009 and The Denki Shimbun (electricity) April 1, 2009]

(3)Panasonic Corp.
@On March 18, the company announced that it would open a show room "Eco-Idea House" of a next generation house of substantially zero CO2 emission in April at Panasonic Center Tokyo." By combining FC, solar panels and batteries, all energy demand in a house is coped with. Adopting Japanese traditional house style, energy consumption is reduced. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry) March 19, 2009, The Dempa Shimbun (radio wave) March 23, 2009, The Denki Shimbun (electricity) March 26, 2009, and The Yomiuri Shimbun March 31, 2009] The center was opened on April 15, 2009 and the ceremony was held. It would be open to public since April 18, 2009. [The Yomiuri Shimbun, The Mainichi Shimbun, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, The Sankei Shimbun, The Denki Shimbun (electricity), The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry), The Dempa Shimbun (radio wave), The Tokyo Shimbun, and The Fujisankei Business Eye April 16, 2009]

(4)Tigers Polymer Corp.
@The above company increases production of seal packing for stacks of home use FC. The company produces seal packing by molding plastics packing on metallic separators and supplies them to makers. For one stack about 100 sheets of seal packing are used. The production is done by R&D division in Nishiku of Kobe city. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) March 24, 2009]

(5)Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. and Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.
@On March 26, 2009 Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. set forth its policy that small PEFC, which can be installed in condominiums etc., would be sold since early in 2010's. In cooperation with Nippon Oil Corp., it will reduce the volume of Enefarm by decreasing the capacity of hot water tanks etc., and it aims real use of home use PEFC by installing 12,000 sets by the end of 2013. [The Yomiuri Shimbun March 27, 2009].
@Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. announced on March 26, 2009 that it would strengthen "Double Power Generation" business by combining solar panels with generators in series of home use gas cogeneration systems and home use FC cogeneration systems to be sold in June of 2009. This double power generation can supply power for demand in homes. Since April 1, 2009, 106 service shops under the company would start its deal and intends to propagate in already built detached houses. [The Sankei Shimbun, The Denki Shimbun (electricity) March 27, 2009, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun March 30, 2009 and The Mainichi Shimbun April 17, 2009]

(6)Sekisui House Coro..
@In metropolitan area the company sells limited number of "House with FC" in which solar panels are attached. [The Mainichi Shimbun March 27, 2009]
@The company are selling houses called "Green First" in which Enefarm and solar panels are installed with a energy saving hot water supplier, a heat retentive bath, LED illumination etc. Among the line-up of detached houses and rental houses supplied by the company, these will be promoted as models of the highest level in environmental concepts. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, The Sankei Shimbun April 11, 2009, and The Denki Shimbun (electricity) April 17, 2009]

(7)Saibu Gas Energy Co. Ltd.
@In April the above company in Fukuoka prefecture begins to sell 750 W output ENEOS PEFC of LPG specification produced by Celltec, making full use of know-how obtained by participating "Fukuoka Hydrogen Town." The sales target in the first fiscal year is 100 sets. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) April 2, 2009]

(8)Hokusan Co. Ltd.
@The company in Toyama city begins to sell 750 W output home use PEFC of LPG specification made by Nippon Oil Corp. since May of 2009. Their target is 10 sets including 1 set whose order has been received. [The Kitanihon Shimbun April 2, 2009]

(9)Hokkaido Gas Co., Ltd.
@On April 8, 2009 the company declared a plan that 10 sets of home use FC will be introduced into the market in 2009 fiscal year to prepare real sales in 2010 fiscal year. Furthermore "Double Generation" combining Ecowill and solar panels will actively promoted. [The Denki Shimbun (electricity) and The Hokkaido Shimbun April 9, 2009]

(10)Tottori Gas Co., Ltd.
@On April 10, 2009 the above company announced that sales of Enefarm would be started on May 1, 2009. There are two specifications; one is town gas and the other is LP gas. The price is 3.255 million yen, and sales of 15 sets are the target in 2009 fiscal year. [The Nihonkai Shimbun April 11, 2009]

(11)Hiroshima Gas Co., Ltd.
@The company is going to start sales of home use PEFC around June, and sales of 50 sets to newly built houses are the target. [The Denki Shimbun (electricity) April 13, 2009]

6. FCV Forefront and FC Mobiles Development
@JHFC published demonstration results of FCV and hydrogen infrastructure as of the end of 2008 fiscal year. FCV, FC bus and hydrogen engine cars (ICV) (total 64 cars) ran on public roads, and total accumulated registered cars are 174 cars. Accumulated running distance and hydrogen charged amount since 2002 fiscal year are as follows; those of the passenger cars are 956,321 km and 16,996 kg, respectively and those of the busses are 277,848 km and 25,662 kg. Improvement of mileage of new FCV was also confirmed. In this JHFC demonstration 8 automobile companies and 17 energy infrastructure related companies participated. Hydrogen stations were constructed at 9 sites in metropolitan area, at 2 sites in Kansai area and at 1 site in Chubu area. In 2008 fiscal year facilities of 70 MPa hydrogen charging pressure were installed, and charging was done over 50 times. Mileage test results of new cars show that the maximum improvements are 28% and 10% compared with the results in 2004 fiscal year and 2007 fiscal year respectively.. Energy consumption and CO2 exhaustion are also largely reduced by well to wheel comparison. From viewpoints of operation, the operation factor of the buses is high, while the passenger cars were not so frequently used. [The Denki Shimbun (electricity) March 11, 2009]

(2)Kanagawa Institute of Technology
@Prof. Takahashi of the above institute assembled in trial an electric wheelchair with a 43 W solar panel, a 100 W FC, hydrogen storage alloy and a lead acid battery. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) April 2, 2009]

(3)Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., JFE Container and Kanto Agricultural Machines Co., Ltd.
@The above three developed in cooperation premise carriers for factories and wholesale markets. They made trial carriers and 8 kW PEFC and 65 AH lead acid battery were installed. They are going to make two types of different cooling methods in 2009 fiscal year, and they will be tested in a premise of Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. The FC was made by a Canadian company, Hydrogenics. Two types of different hydrogen tanks are installed; one is set in and the other is removable. They are planning monitoring test with multiple carriers in wholesale markets in 2011 fiscal year with intention of commercialization in 2012. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) April 8, 2009, The Tekko Shimbun (iron and steel) April 14, 2009 and The Chemical Daily April 15, 2009]

(4)Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
@On April 9, 2009 World Car of the Year was announced in New York International Automobile Show, and Honda's FCV "FCX Clarity" got it. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, The Chunichi Shimbun, The Nishinihon Shimbun, The Chugoku Shimbun and The Hokkaido Shimbun Aprill 10, 2009]

(5)Nihon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha
@On April 16, 2009 the company announced a container ship "NYK Super Eco-Ship 2030" to be really used in 2030. The main power source is FC using LNG, and CO‚Q exhaustion would be reduced by 32%. Folding solar panels will be extended on the decks to use solar energy, and packed sails will also be installed to use wind energy. The weight is reduced, and friction resistance would also be reduced by devising painting. Totally CO‚Q exhaustion would be reduced by 69%, they said. [The Mainichi Shimbun, The Nihon Kaiji Shimbun (maritimes) April 17, 2009]

(6)Iwatani International Corp.
@On April 16, 2009 the company announced that it developed a mobile power source, in which 10 kW output FC using hydrogen is installed. It tows a specific trailer, on which charging containers of hydrogen of over 100 m3 at 35 MPa are set. The FC can generate power for more than 10 hours at the rated output. The output voltages are AC 100 V, AC 200 V and/or DC 360 V. Commercialization is aimed at 2011 fiscal year for events or an emergency power source at disaster. [The Denki Shimbun (electricity) and The Chemical Daily April 17, 2009]

7. Hydrogen Station Business
@On April 2, 2009 the company announced that Ariake hydrogen station has been managed by the company and Iwatani International Corp. in collaboration since May of 2003, and total number of FCV charged hydrogen by March 23, 2009 amounts to 3,000. The charged hydrogen is 5,987 kg. [The Denki Shimbun (electricity) April 3, 2009]

8. Technology Development of Hydrogen Production and Purification
(1)Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.
@On March 12, 2009 the company announced that it has succeeded in about 50% recovery of CO‚Q by CCS from town gas reforming process. Demonstration is now proceeding at Senju Hydrogen Station. Hydrogen separating type of reformer was developed by the company and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. in cooperation, and it was used. Hydrogen is extracted with hydrogen permeating membrane in a reformer. In residual gas CO‚Q contained at 70 - 90%. This is compressed up to 70 atmospheric pressure. Then it is cooled to -20Ž to recover it as liquid. At Senju station it is applied to a facility of hydrogen production of 30.6 m3/h. Conventionally CO‚Q exhausted at 25.1 kg/h, and it could be reduced to half (12.6 kg/h). Depending on the conditions 100% recovery can be done. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, The Denki Shimbun (electricity), The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (econmy and industry), The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology), The Fuji Sankei Business Eye, The Chemical Daily March 13, 2009 and The Dempa Shimbun (radio wave) March 16, 2009]

(2)Okayama Prefectural Center for Stockbreeding
@The above center started experiment to get hydrogen together with methane from pigs' excrement. Fermentation tanks, a cogeneration equipment etc are installed for methane formation in the center. Excrement of about 300 pigs is mixed with garbage, and it is fermented to produce gas, which is supplied to the cogeneration equipment to get electric power and heat. The power is used in the facility and the heat is used to keep the temperature of fermentation tanks. What the center paid attention is hydrogen formed at relatively high temperature. It is thought that if hydrogen is recovered from bio-mass fermentation, rate of fermentation forming methane becomes high. Thus the center started demonstration of two step fermentation by changing the temperature to get two kinds of gas. Excrement containing microbes is taken from methane fermentation tanks, and after mixing with bio-mass, it is heated at 60Ž to get hydrogen. Then the temperature is lowered to 35Ž, which is suitable for methane fermentation. Accurate temperature, pH etc are investigated to promote hydrogen fermentation by measuring gas production rate. Know-how would be obtained for 3 years till 2010. [The San-yo Shimbun March 15, 2009]

(3) Sapporo Breweries Ltd.
@On March 24, 2009 the company announced that in cooperation with a Brazilian national oil company "Petroplus" it would begin demonstration of hydrogen production in Brazil since September of 2009. The materials are agriculture waste, such as squeezed residue, leaves, stem, fiber of sugar production etc. Making full use of fermentation technology the company has developed and amount energy resources of the country, Brazil, the cost would be reduced within 10 years to 40 yen/m3, which is thought to be the price in real use, and they intend to produce it in large scale. The estimated budget is about 2.5 million dollars. The company already developed hydrogen production facility from garbage like bread. In July of 2009 the company is going to export the facility to Brazil and provide Petroplus with facility and know-how for charge. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, The Hokkaido Shimbun, The Fuji Sankei Business Eye March 25, 2009, The Shokuhin Sangyo Shinbun (food) March 30, 2009, The Yomiuri Shimbun April 6, 2009 and The Fuji Sankei Business Eye April 15, 2009]

(4) Tonami Transportation Co., Ltd.
@The company in Takaoka city was accepted in technology development against global warming by Ministry of Environment on March 31, 2009. It is for development of hydrogen production system for FC from aluminum waste. The company will carry out the development with other companies and research institutes. The tasks are to automatically select aluminum from other wastes, to develop cartridge type hydrogen formation devices and to study utilization methods suitable for Hokuriku area, where the company is located. [The Kitanihon Shimbun, and The Toyama Shimbun April 1, 2009]

(5) Tokyo Urban University
@The university (former name Musashi Institute of Technology) is going to make test run of a bus using a hydrogen engine and byproduct hydrogen of about 55% purity produced in iron and steel factories, and it will be done in collaboration with Muroran Institute of Technology. The hydrogen engine bus was developed together with Hino Motor Co., Ltd. and a number plate was obtained. On the roof 6 cylinders of compressed hydrogen are set and it can run about 200 km by 20 minute charging. A firing device preventing irregular combustion was newly developed, and other small parts were modified. The extent of perfection seems high. The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (automobile) April 7, 2009]

(6) Mitsubishi Chemical Co., Ltd., Tokyo University and Hokkaido University
@A team of the above 3 parties developed technology to produce hydrogen by combining photo-catalyst and solar cells and by efficiently electrolyzing water. In this new technology, plate electrodes of photo-catalyst are made and solar panels are put behind the catalyst plates. The produced current is led to the photo-catalyst electrode. When sunlight illuminates the photo-catalyst electrodes water electrolysis occurs. The un-converted sunlight converts to electric power in solar cells, and the power promotes water electrolysis. In this experiment about 5% of solar energy was used for water electrolysis. If the efficiency can be increased to 10%, it could be used practically, the team anticipated. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun April 7, 2009]

9. Business Deployment by Companies
@ Fuji Electric Companies group concludes that real commercialization of FC is in sight, and it established a new division, "FC Division" in Chiba factory of Fuji Electric Systems Corp. (FES) on April 1, 2009. Conventionally development of FC has been carried out by Fuji Electric Advanced Technology Corp. and it was converted to the above new division. [The Denki Shimbun (electricity) April 3, 2009]

------------ This edition is made up as of April 17, 2009. ---------------