(1) Governmental Revitalization Unit
@In the third revitalization meeting on special account, "Advanced Next Generation Automobile Promotion Activity" in the energy special accounts was evaluated that its budget should be reduced to half. This activity is done to promote initial introduction of FCV, HV, off-road car etc. by partial subsidy. . For FCV it has been done since 2005 fiscal year, but the number of FCV is still now about 50 mainly by local governments, and the price is still high. Thus some part of this activity is continuing so that the activity should be reduced and concentrated to subsidy for R & D for cost reduction. [The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (automobile) Nov. 1, 2010]
@From Nov. 7 to 14, 2010 APEC Congress was held in Yokohama, and on this occasion the government sponsored "Space for Experience of Japanese Wisdom and Technology (Japanese Experience)" in the venue. In the zone for experience of advanced technology, the following cars are exhibited; Prius PHV and personal mobility I-REAL by Toyota Motor Corp., EV LEAF by Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., and FCV Clarity by Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Those shown in relation with other technologies are advanced materials by Teijin Corp. for light EV and network of house and EV. [The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (automobile) Nov. 9, 2010]
(2) Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
@The ministry is now creating anew mechanism combining subsidy for low carbon product and domestic credit system. Subsidy institution for residential photovoltaic power generation, next generation cars etc. are the objectives, and the CO2 reduction by this institution can be sold to large firms as credit. Thus money and technology supplied by large firms can be used by small and medium firms. For achievement of the target, the large firms can use it. According to estimation of the ministry, in a case of EV of annual about 1 ton reduction about 20,000 - 30,000 ton credit would be created. Similarly About 10,000 ton by Ene₯Farm and 5,000 ton by high-efficiency energy system would be created. [The Chemical Daily Nov. 2, 2010]
(3) Agency of Natural Resources and Energy, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
@On Nov. 4, 2010 the 3rd meeting of the research group on "Thermal Utilization of Renewable Energy" was held. Representatives of firms engaged in utilization of heat of rivers and sewage, FC, metrology etc. talked about tasks in their activities, together with those from thermal utilization business. They also requested deregulation. In this meeting JCC described present states of PEFC, SOFC etc., and mass production, simplified system, endurance etc. are explained as negative factors in propagation beside high introduction cost. Continued financial support was also required. [The Denki Shimbun (electricity) Nov. 5, 2010]
(4) Kansai Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry
@Kansai Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry is going to hold research meeting etc. to introduce medium and small firms into the fields of home use FC and batteries. Major makers of home use FC, Panasonic Corp., Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. etc. will hold research meetings and seminars. In batteries they take 2 items of large-scale cooperative projects between government and industries. Most advanced technologies and trends in applications will be explained. Companies in Kansai area have large share in both of home use FC and batteries. In home use FC appropriate parts and other technologies are different and dependent on scale of firm, so that chances are zrranged to match these firms. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Oct. 20, 2010]
(5) Ministry of Land, Transport and Infrastructure and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
@The above two ministries are now considering that energy conservation criteria shall be duty for all newly built houses and architectures by 2020. On Nov, 12, 2010 the second experts meeting on "Promotion of houses and living toward low carbon society" was held and the second draft of the criteria (frameworks) was shown. According to this, standard will be introduced step-wisely from large-scale buildings, considering conformity ratio of the present energy saving standards (1999 fiscal year version) and CO2 reduction ratec[The Jutaku Shimpo (houses) Nov. 16, 2010]
(6) Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
@In the next fiscal year the government is going to make new institution "Integrated Special District Region System". Principles of the ministry coping with this new institution was made clear. In a committee of the Democratic Party on this matter held on Nov. 16, 2010, 16 items were shown as high priorities. Among them, 7 items including abolition of application of solar photo-generation are concluded to be abolished immediately. In relation with FC the following are included; environmental adjustment around hydrogen stations, deregulation of volume ratio for facility and building concerning low carbon, etc. [The Nikkan Kensetsu Kogyo Shimbun (construction) and "Kensetsu Tsushin Shimbun Nov. 17, 2010]
2. Policies by Local Governments
@Local firms support center of Saga Prefecture was going to begin demonstration of electro-assisted FC bicycles in Genkai Energy Park of Kyushu Electric Power Co., Ltd. in Genkai-cho of Saga prefecture since Nov, 13, 2010. In this demonstration public people will participate. The demonstration is a test of hydrogen by water electrolysis and one of activities by Genkai-cho is cooperated with Iwtanii Corp. Using solar photo-generation and night electric power, hydrogen is stored and filled small containers and set to 2 bicycles and racing karts to be used as driving force. A feet bath was also set using exhausted water from pure hydrogen FC. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Nov. 12, 2010]
3. Development of FC Elementary Technologies
@Shin Etsu Polymer Co., Ltd., developed unique technology to reduce PEFC separator cost to half by using general purpose resin. In conventional separators expensive resins like phenyl resin, poly-phenylene sulfide etc. were used. In the new separators, general purpose polypropylene is used and by mixing homogenously powdered cokes with polypropylene, conductivity is kept, while precision of molds is controlled to get uniform thickness. Till now electric makers decided heat resistant temperature of the separators is about 120, but recently it is set 85 - 90 in many makers, so that the separator using polypropylene can be used in good performance. [The Nikkei Sngyo Shimbun (economy and industry) Nov. 2, 2010]
4. SOFC Development and Business
(1) National Institute for Materials Science
@The institute announced on Nov. 18, 2010 that 2 varieties of SOFC new electrolytes have been developed. Yttrium doped barium zirconate (BZY) is modified in its sintering property. It is also suitable for mass production, and chemical stability is high enough as the electrolyte. It works in the range from 500 to 650, so that it is useful for its real use, while crystalline boundary formed by sintering is low in proton conductivity. Therefore necessary characteristics are not realized. They made new material contains 10 % of praseodymium, one of rare earth elements, and observation shows good sintering and characteristics High proton conductivity is obtained by sintering at 600. On the other hand, mixture of nickel oxide and BZY was sintered and on its plate BZY was press-mold. The two materials can be mass-produced with general presses and by sintering in atmosphere. Thus mass production of SOFC seems to be promoted. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) 19, 2010]
(2) Liliputian Systems
@Liliputian Systems in Massachusetts, US developed cells for non-military equipments based on technologies of SOFC and MEMS wafer. [The Dempa Shimbun (radio wave) Nov. 18, 2010]
5. Demonstration of Enefarm and Smart House
(1) JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp.
@On Oct. 27, 2010 the company announced that "GREENY Gifu," a smart house system adopted all of its energy equipments; solar panels, wind mills, lithium ion batteries and EneFarm. The total energy necessary to supply electric powers is surely supplied, while power loss is reduced by using LED illumination. The smart house was planned and constructed in a series of energy infrastructure concept of Gifu city, and it is going to be demonstrated since December of 2010 till March of 2011 by really living of some related persons. The output of solar panels, wind mills, FC are 3 kW, 4 kW, 750 W, and the capacity of the lithium batteries is 7 kWh respectively. Power demands by home appliances and hot water supply are done by the energy combined of them. Home Energy Management System (HEKS) is installed, and the energy consumption is visualized.. Surplus energy corresponding to 40 % energy consumption of a standard house is estimated. Real use after 5 years is anticipated. [The Denki Shimbun (electricity), The Nikkan Kensetsu Kogyo Shimbun (construction), The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology), The Chemical Daily Oct. 29, 2010 and The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun Nov. 3, 2010]
@The company joined to "Yokohama Smart City Project Demonstration Exhibition" which was held on the same week (Nov. 7 - 14, 2010), of APEC Leaders Week. The company carries out development for earnestly reducing CO2 exhaustion in home. Combining home electric appliances coping to internet, solar photo-generation, heat pumps, FC and home use batteries, the company makes proposition of sustainable, safe, comfortable and pleasant life, aiming at contribution to large-scale reduction of CO2 exhaustion. By connects of home appliances and equipments with HEMS, total energy consumption of home can be learned at a glance and furthermore achievement of energy saving and advise are shown on a control panel. Introducing HEMS into detached houses, apartment houses, newly built or remodeled houses, the company is aiming at both of CO2 reduction and high quality of life (QOL). The above project is a demonstration project to be made by firms and Yokohama City, which is aiming at new cities. The project is accepted as one item in a national policy, "Demonstration Area for Next Generation Energy and Social Systems" by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. [The Dempa Whimbun (radio wave) Nov. 4, 2010]
(3) Fuel Cell Association
@According to a report by Fuel Cell Association on accepted application of subsidy for purchasing non-military FC, the total applications in 2010 fiscal year (accumulated) are 3402 cars (town gas specification 2085, LP gas specification 417). As to installed buildings, newly built 72 % and, existing 28 %. When it is classified by facilities; detached houses 96.9 %, and stores 0.7 %. Prefectural distribution is as follows; Tokyo 747, Kanagawa 419, Hyogo 383, Aichi 280 and Osaka 264. The data are those accepted since April 28 till Oct. 31, and the data are those received, so that they are different from the number of real installation. [The Dempa Shimbun (radio wave) Nov. 5, 2010]
(4) NTT Facilities
@Together with Fujitsu Co., Ltd., NTT Facilities Corp. developed and has demonstrated a consent bar and a power source plug for high voltage direct current distribution system (DC 400V). They have been developing DC power sources for the data centers, since solar photo-generation, FC and batteries for EV draw attention. [Fuji Sankei Business Eye Nov. 16, 2010]
(5) Town Gas Companies
@Town gas companies are increasing sales of Enefarm. In the beginning half of 2010 fiscal year, 4 Japanese major gas companies, Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., Toho Gas Co., Ltd., Osaka Gas Co., Ltd., and Seibu Gas Co., Ltd., sold total 3767 sets (acceptance of orders), as follows; Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., 1950, Osaka Gas Co., Ltd., 1271, Toho Gas Co., Ltd. 300 sets, and Saibu Gas Co., Ltd., 156 sets. All companies are promoting business mainly for newly built houses. Japan Gas Association pointed out one aspect ".Because application of subsidy would end on Nov. 1, 2010, all companies aggressively make sale since the beginning half." Moreover, purchase of surplus electric power by solar photo-generation has been at a constant rate since November of 2009, and it is assisted by double generation with photo-generation and FC. [The Denki Shimbun (electricity) Nov. 18, 2010]
6. Forefront of FCV & EV
(1) NIDEC Corp.
@The company supplies driving motors for EV based on "A Class" for Mercedes - Benz and FCV based on "B Class" for Benz. The production rate would be several hundreds per month. . The mass production started in US factory. Coping to demand expansion for motors, a production stronghold will be constructed in India. [Thre Nihon Keizai Shimbun 27, 2010]
(2) Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
@On Nov. 1, 2010 the company opens two-passenger small EV to public. High performance lithium batteries are installed, and it can run 100 km by one charge. Thus use by one or two passengers for short range is assumed.. "Nissan New Mobility Concept" published by the company is as follows; about 2.3 m total length, about 1.2 m width, and about 1.5 m height. For another type only one person rides the seat behind the driver, like a bicycle, the maximum speed is 75 km/h. Yokohama City was going to show them in APEC to be held in this month. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Nov. 2, 2010]
@It is going to make tie-up in capital with a US venture, Tesla Motor, Inc. Obtaining several % of stocks of Tesla Motor, the cooperative development of batteries for EV is going to be carried out. Panasonic Corp. agreed on batteries supply in January, and next generation batteries for EV will also be supplied with high priority. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Oct. 4, 2010]
(4) GM and SAIC Group
@On Nov. 3, 2010 the above two companies agreed on cooperative R & D of new energy vehicles aiming mass production and memorandum was exchanged. The agreement is made on R & D of EV and FCV. R & D center in China promotes mainly the mass production of EV. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Nov. 4, 2010]
@A German company, BMW announced that it will invest 400 million Euro (about 4.6 billion yen) to production of small EV to be sold since 2013. In Leipzig factory, now producing SUV, production line specific to EV will be constructed, and 800 workers will be employed. Other European makers, German Daimler, VW, French PSA etc. are planning in the same time mass production of small EV. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Nov. 6, 2010]
(6) Osaka Prefecture University etc.
@Osaka Prefecture University, Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. and Nard Institute, Ltd. (Amagasaki city) succeeded in making large-capacity lithium ion batteries, in which organic material is used in positive electrode, and the capacity becomes double. Prof. Emeritus of the University, Prof. Sugimoto and his co-workers uses organic compound composed of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, quinoquilinirene as positive electrode material. This can easily be made by mixing materials in acetic acid. The synthesized material is attached on an aluminum plate. Existing negative electrode and electrolyte are combined to form batteries. The capacity is about two times larger than existing lithium ion batteries and it is about 420 Ah/kg.. They said "Because multiple electrons move, the performance is high." [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Nov. 8, 2010]
(7) EAMEX Corp.
@The company, which is developing electronics parts in Suita city, Osaka prefecture, developed technology to make positive electrode. Electro-conductive polymer is made by electrolysis polymerization, a kind of electrolysis, and continuous production and automatic production are possible.. In comparing with conventional cells using manganese, manufacturing cost can be reduced to 1/5. The complete product can be charged 10,000 times, and the life is 20 years. The new product for the positive electrode will be sold for EV and will be mass produced in 2010. Construction of its own factory by investment of 2 - 3 billion yen is now being considered. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Nov. 10, 2010]
(8) Toyota Motor Corp.
@The company begins to sell EV developed by the company. It is now being developed based on small car "IQ" and it will be sold by about 4,800 dealers in Japan. Demand of short range run in urban area with many charging facilities.are assumed. The company stated that since 2012 it will sell EV, and EV can run over 100 km by one charge is under development. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Nov. 11, 2010]
@On Nov. 18, 2010 the company announced that it has a plan to sell 11 new models of HV till 2012. PHV, which can be charged by home power sources, will also be sold since beginning half of 2012. The domestic price would be set 3 million yen without subsidy. In eco-friendly cars the company takes aggressive policy even its advantages in the market. In the world annual sales goal is decided over 50,000. [The Yomiuri Shimbun, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Nov. 19, 2010, The Asahi Shimbun, The Sankei Shimbun, The Denki Shimbun (electricity), The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry), The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (automobile) and The Chemical Daily Nov. 19, 2010]
(9) Los Angels Motor Show
@U. S. Los Angels Motor Show was opened on Nov. 18, 2010 (Japan time), and Automobile major companies, Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., General Motors etc. showed successively EV real use cars and EV trial cars. Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and GM are going to start sales of EV. Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. set forth that order accepted of LEAF to be sold in Japan and US. is over 20,000. GM opened to public Chevrolet Volt, and the price is 41,000 dollars (about 340 million yen). The sale goal in the first year is 300 - 500, while that in the third year is 45,000. Toyota Motor Corp. showed trial car based on "TRV4." It will be produced in US in 2010. It is developed together with Tesla Motors, and it assumes 100 miles (about 160 km) by one charge. Honda Motor Co., Ltd. showed small trial car "Fit EV" whose range is 160 km by one charge. [The Asahi Shimbun, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Nov. 18, 2010, The Yomiuri Shimbun, The Denki Shimbun (electricity), The Nikkei Shimbun (economy and industry), and The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Nov. 19, 2010]
(10) Japan Automobile Industry Association
@Japan Automobile Industry Association announced real sales of EV, HEV, long range and low mileage eco-friendly car. The total number of the eco-friendly cars is 4,027,024 and it is 84.7 % of total shipped cars. The items and numbers are as follows; low mileage cars (tax reduced) 466,631, EV 1,706, Natural gas cars 1,197 and FCV 3. [The Denki Shimbun (electricity) Nov. 1, 2010]
7. Business and Technology Development of Hydrogen Station
@Iwatani Corp. is now developing equipment to charge high pressure gas under 70 MPa in a short time. When hydrogen charged at high pressure, the temperature increases and tanks on board can be broken. The risk is high, when the pressure is high. In existing method, the temperature is being measured and the pressure is precisely controlled. Due to this, for FC installed on car more than 20 minutes are needed to fully charge (hydrogen capacity about 6 kg).. In new technology hydrogen amount, pressure, etc. are measured with infrared sensors. and these information is fed back to charge at optimum conditions.. The charging rate is about 3 minutes for hydrogen gas of 6 kg, and charging is completed within about 3 minutes, which is about 10 times faster than conventional ones. Elementary technologies, such as hydrogen pressure control will be transferred from energy related industry, for instance in Germany. At present testing is going on with trial equipment for measuring performance. The price is estimated about 200 million yen per one. The company is planning to increase equipment for hydrogen charging, and some of them would be new one, while supplying to other companies is under consideration. [The Nikkei SangyoShimbun (economy and industry) Nov. 5, 2010]
8. Hydrogen Energy Business
@Nippon Steel Corp. in Kitakyushu city starts NPO (Non-Profitable Organization "A Group for Thinking Satoyama". Satoyama is old typical Japanese countryside scenery of hills, forest and fields, which was people's environment. Because of industrialization and urbanization Satoyama is disappearing. The company organizes the group together with a house maker, Shinnippon Homes for rental business of "Hydrogen Apartment House" and the NPO legal person to investigate rental business of hydrogen apartment houses exhausting no CO2 using hydrogen formed in the steel maker. Hydrogen produced in the factory is converted to electric power with FC facilities to fulfill the demand in the house. It is one building for 7 homes, and the floor area per one home is 50 - 70 m2, and mezzanine types and one-storied types are built. It is consisted of 2 or 3 bed rooms with living and dinning kitchen. The construction cost is about 80 million yen, and the rental fee has not yet been decided. CO2 reduction effect and reduction of electric power expense are explained in the exhibition room built beside the apartment house. The company and the NPO established a social legal person, and it carried out the construction and the rental business. Hydrogen formed in steel making process by-product) will be sent to Kitakyushu hydrogen town activity with pipe line. FC facilities are made by Iwatani Corp., and this company gathered data related with FC in general homes. They will be useful. The electric power fee is zero. [The Nishinihon Shimbun Oct. 26, 2010]
9. Metrological and Observational Development Related with Hydrogen and FC
@On Nov. 4, 2010 Prof. Ikuhara et al. of Tokyo University announced that they succeeded in observing single hydrogen atom, which is the lightest atom. This result is opened in on-line version of the Japan Society of Applied Physics. Hydrogen was successfully observed in a hydrogen storage material, Vanadium hydride (VH2). The observation was done with a modified transition type electron microscope of ultra-high resolution. The resolution is below 1 A. The angle, from which hydrogen atom can be seen, is determined by theoretical calculation. Direct observation was done first on lithium and reported in September of 2009. This research was done by Prof. Shibata and his group together with Dr. Saito of Nano Research Institute of Fine Ceramics Center and Dr. Matsuda of National Research Institute for Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. [The Asahi Shimbun. Nov. 2010, The Chemical Daily Nov. 2010 and The Dempa Shimbun (radio wave) Nov.28,2010]
10. FC Business
(1) Sugikuni Industrial Co., Ltd.
@A maker of battery lift, Sugikuni Industrial Co., Ltd. in Anjo city of Aichi prefecture announced construction of a new factory in Koyabe city on Oct. 28, 2010. It is for development and production of new product for FC. The factory is one-story of iron framework and 825 m2. It will be completed in 2012 and the operation will be started in December. The investment is 200 million yen. [The Kitanihon Shimbun Oct. 29, 2010]
(2) Shin Etsu Polymer Co., Ltd.
@The company transfers production facilities for producing separators of home use FC to Malaysia and completed mass production lines. What was transferred is separators of polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), which is good anti-oil and anti-reagents characteristics, and the plant of PPS separator .was transferred from the R&D center in Tokyo development center to Malaysia. Modification was made on occasion of this transfer, and the production capacity was increased from several hundred thousand to hundred thousand per year. The total investment including modification and transport seems ten and several ten million yen. [The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry) Nov.11, 2010]
(3) Teijin Ltd.
@Teijin Ltd. and its group promote usage development of aramid paper. The aramid paper developed by Teijin Ltd., "JSP (Jet Span Pulp)" can stand in high temperature as reinforced combining material, for instance separator for FC, driving motor for HV and aircrafts. JSP is high-functional technical paper using para- type aramid fibers, and produced by jet spinning method by which pulp formation proceeds one-step. [The Chemical Daily Oct. 11, 2010]
------------ This edition is made up as of November 22, 2010. ---------------