(1) Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)
The budget draft of the ministry for 2011 fiscal year is consisted of general account and 3 specific accounts and totally 1372.8 bullions yen, which is 4 % decrease comparing with the previous fiscal year budget, but energy special account is 6 % increased to be 735.6 bullions yen, among them energy demand and supply account is by11% increased to 541.9 bullions yen This is largely increased over new tax income for global warming measures (about 34.9 bullions Yen) to strengthen intermediate and long term global warming policies. For domestic global warming measures, support for residential solar photo-generation gets 34.9 bullions yen, and home use FC introduction 8.67 bullions yen, while 7 billion yen is allocated to high efficiency energy systems for home and general buildings. [The Kensetsu Tsushin Shimbun De. 27, 2010]
The ministry begins to make a collaborative technology development to use hydrogen in oil refinery process as high purity hydrogen for FCV. Oil refinery companies are making hydrogen to decompose sulfur content, and it is about 90 % purity, but for FCV 99.99 % purity is needed for FCV. Anticipating beginning of FCV real propagation in 2015 fiscal year, technology to extract hydrogen with separate membrane is being developped and equipments will be made for hydrogen stable supply. Since 2011 fiscal year R & D will be carried out from technology development to demonstration for 3 years. The expense would be about 500 million yen and the half will be subsidized. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Jan. 1, 2011]
The ministry is considering review of regulation and infrastructure preparation aiming at real propagation of FCV since 2015. In Administration Refreshment Congress of the cabinet, the road map from deregulation of FCV and hydrogen station. Total 13 companies from automobile makers and energy related companies published a statement on FCV introduction into domestic market and hydrogen station preparation in advance on Jan. 13, 2011. It will examine review of regulation in 2012 fiscal year and since 2013 fiscal year hydrogen stations will be prepared in advance. Laws related with high pressure gas safety, fire, architecture standards will be examined for hydrogen stations built in the same sites with service stations and natural gas station and those of self service type. Sites for hydrogen stations in urban area will be reviewed, and regulation of thickness and materials for tanks to prevent hydrogen leakage will also be discussed. At the same time considering profit shortage in the initial introduction period, and support by supply of risk money will also be considered. [The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (automobile) Jan. 21, 2011]
(2) Chubu Branch of METI
On Jan. 13, 2011 Chubu Branch of Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced establishment of an organization "Chubu FCV Hydrogen Supply Infrastructure Promotion Congress" to promote infrastructure preparation. It is consisted of 5 companies; Toyota Motor Corp., Toho Gas Co., Ltd., JX Nikko Nisseki Energy Corp., Iwatani Corp. and Taiyo Nissan Co., Ltd., 3 Prefectures; Aichi, Gifu and Mie, and two cities; Nagoya City and Toyota city with the branch [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology Jan. 14, 2011)
NEDO begins preparation of infrastructure for FCV propagation. In a governmental energy program, it is clearly described that aiming at start of real FCV propagation in 2015 fiscal year demonstration including hydrogen supply infrastructure would be strengthened in collaboration with foreign countries, related areas and private companies. NEDO is going to make technology demonstration of FCV and hydrogen fuel supply infrastructure under real conditions for 5 years from 2011 fiscal year to 2015 fiscal year. Convenience and business feasibilities and social acceptance will be investigated by social experiment. Demonstrations started in 2011 fiscal year are "technology / society demonstration," "area demonstration research," "cooperative area"research,"and "international cooperative research." In the beginning of propagation these demonstration will be done in surrounding area of large urban areas (Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka) as cores, making use of existing infrastructure, resources and technology. In other area future possibilities of introduction and sites will be investigated. Proposition of participation will be accepted in the beginning of the next month. In the first fiscal year 910 million yen will be invested to prepare demonstration field Moreover Ministry of Land, Transport and Infrastructure is also formulating worldwide unified standard of FCV. The government anticipates effect of new market creation of 6 trillions yen by commercialization of FCV and hydrogen supply infrastructure, overseas export etc., and estimated annual 4 million ton reduction of CO2. [The Nikkan Kensetsu Kogyo Shimbun Jan. 6, 2011]
2. Policies by Local Governments
(1) Hokuriku Clean Energy Research Group
On Dec. 20, 2010 the above group made demonstration of fusing snow by hydrogen energy at Saiseikai Takaoka Hospital in Takaoka city. High purity aluminum was gathered from inside of beverage packages, and FC electric generation was done by hydrogen obtained. The snow fusing equipment provides 100 W power for 3 hours. Thus demonstration was succeeded. [The Toyama Shimbun Dec. 22, 2010 and The Fukui Shimbun Dec. 25, 2010]
(2) Tsukuba City
Tsukuba City has intention that its CO2 exhaustion shall be less than 50 % by 2030. It opened on Jan. 5, 2011 "Environment Style Green Energy Exhibition" at a rest house in its central park, and solar panels and other environment-friendly devices are exhibited. Universities and research institutes in the city show their developed advanced technology. Prof. Ishida of Information System Department, Tsukuba University shows combined system of solar photo-generation and FC for energy saving and stable supply. [The Ibaragi Shimbun Jan. 6, 2011]
3. R & D of Elementary Technologies for FC
(1) Nagoya University
Prof. Takai of Ecotopia Science Research Institute of Nagoya University recently has got insight of application of water plasma, which is formed by plasma in water solution, and it is applied for making metallic fine powders and surface treatment．By using equipment he developed, carbon nano-particles were obtained at 0.3 g/h with one pair of electrodes and it is about 20 times faster than the conventional method. The activated oxygen in the plasma converts hydrophobic surface to hydrophilic surface. Thus he is looking for possibility of this technology to FC electrodes [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Jan. 11, 2011]
(2) Toda Industry Co., Ltd.
Based on its own and unique technology of iron oxides, the company developed reforming catalyst using non-noble metals instead of noble metals. When nano-porous and single nano-size nickel is on the surface, carbon controls coaking.characteristics, and anti-sulfur characteristics reaches to level of conventional ones. The company is aiming at acceptance o in EneFarm. [The Chemical Daily Jan. 19, 2011]
4. SOFC Development
National Research Institute for Advanced Industrial Science and Technology announced on Jan. 17, 2011 that it developed SOFC operated at 450℃ by using methane used as town gas. In conventional SOFC operated below 600℃ reforming of methane to hydrogen is not done sufficiently, so that electric generation is difficult. If the operating temperature is lowered, start time can be reduced and this point leads SOFC to possibilities of auxiliary power source for cars, portable phones etc. since rapid start and stop are needed. The developed SOFC is cylindrical and 1.8 mm in diameter and 20mm in length. On inner wall of fuel electrodes catalyst of ceria is coated. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimun (business and technology) and The Chunichi Shimbun Jan. 18, 2011]
5. Business and Propagation measures for EneFarm
(1) FC Propagation Promotion Association for EneFarm
The above association announced that number of application for subsidy to support introduction of FC (accumulated for 2010 fiscal year) is 4784 sets. The items are town gas specification 3896 sets and LP gas specification 888 sets. Prefectures of over 100 sets application are Saitama 250 sets, Chiba 201 sets, Tokyo 1009 sets, Kanagawa 564 sets、Shizuoka 110sets, Aichi 358 sets, Gifu 104 sets, Kyoto 136 sets, Osaka 358 sets, Hyogo 476 sets, Nara 114 sets and Fukuoka 193 sets. The data is sets of accepted sets applied by Dec. 27, 2010, so that it is not equal to installed sets. The number of sets applied by Dec. 16, 2010 is 4501 sets. [The Dempa Shimbun (radio wave) Dec. 23, 2010 and Jan. 11, 2011]
(2) Daiwa Lease Co., Ltd.
The Daiwa Lease Co., Ltd. in Osaka city, a subsidiary company of Daiwa House Co., Ltd., developed temporary housings EDV-01of of container, in which two adults can live for about one month without supplying electricity and water. It is 20 feet container size of ISO standardization. With solar photo-generation system on the roof and the walls and FC electric generation is carried out, while lithium ion batteries stores power. In 40 % humidity drinkable water can be made at the rate of 20 L per one day. A Kitchen shower and a toilet with sewage treatment by bacteria. [The yomiure Shimun, The Mainichi Shimbun, Jan. 11, 2011, The Sankei Shimbun, The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy nd industry)k The Nikkean Kensetsu Shimbun (construction) and The Nara Shimbun Jan. 12,v 2011]
(3) Sekisui House Corp.
Detached houses with solar photo-generation system built from Dec. of 2010 to Jan.of 2011 was 10,178, while those with Enefarm was 2,732 at the same date. Since Feb. 1 consents for charging EV and PHV are attached as the standard. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Jn. 24, 2011, The Denki Shimbun (electricity) Jan. 28, and The Demmpa Shimbun (radio wave) Jan. 31, 2011]
6. Forefront of EV & FCV
(1) Yamanashi University and Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.
Nano-materials Research Center of the University decided to research liquid FC in which noble metals such as platinum is not used as catalysts. [The Yamanashi Nichinichi Shimbun Dec. 28, 2010]
(2) Toyota Motor Corp.
The company expected that start of FCV sale is 2015 but the company changed it in 2014. The price was said about 100 million yen, but amount of platinum was largely reduced and it reduces the cost below 10 million yen per car. The company put HV as an axis of its next generation vehicles, while EV would be sold in 2012, FCV development being accelerated. [The Tokyo Shimbun and The Chunichi Shimbun Jan 4, 2011]
Replying interview in North American Automobile Show held in Detroit, US, a Vice President of Toyota Motor Corp., Mr. Uchiyamada, stated its plan that FCV would be sold by 2015 at latest in Japan, Germany and California. He also suggested that the price could be 50,000 US Dollars (about 4,150,000 yen). Already it succeeded to reduce below 100,000 US Dollars, and he stated reduction to be half until injection to the market. [The Fuji Sankei Business Eye Jan. 14, 2011]
(3) Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., and Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
The above three companies will reduce the price so low that general consumers can buy. Toyota Motor Corp. decreases cost of core system part to below 1/20. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Jn. 14, 2011]
(4) GM Japan
GM Japan announced that it would lend FCV "Hydrogen 3" to Aichi Prefecture to display it in "Airport Side New Energy Demonstration Research Area" held from Jan. 15, 2011 to March 31, 2011. The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (business and technology) Jan. 15. 2011]
On Jan. 21, 2011 this association for research of hydrogen supply and utilization announced that it was going to start demonstration of hired cars using FCV. The FCV is Toyota "FCHV-adv" and the FCV driving is trusted to associations of taxis and hired cars companies. Regular car runs are made using high way to elucidate applicability as public transport system. All Nippon Air Way Corp. will use it to take first class and business class passengers arriving from European air ports to the place he ordered. It is "ANA Returning Hired Car Service." [The Denki Shimbun (electricity), The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry), The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology), The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun Jan. 24, 2011 and The Yomiuri Shimbun Jan. 31, 2011]
7. Experiment and Business deployment of Hydrogen Stations
(1) Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
Honda is planning to install hydrogen station for next generation FCV in the site of Saitama Prefecture office. In this station hydrogen is produced by electric power with solar electric generation, and the compression is unified with the hydrogen production process. In conventional high-pressure hydrogen production needs compression, but in the new process low-noise and downsizing are made real. [The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun Dec.21, 2010]
(2) Motor Manufacturers and Hydrogen Suppliers
On Jan. 13, 2011, 13 companies of motor manufacturers and hydrogen suppliers published a common statement. It is stated that anticipating FCV propagation since commercial dealing of FCV, about 100 hydrogen stations should be built since 2013 in advance around Tokyo, Aichi, Osaka and Fukuoka area. Construction of about 1000 stations by 2025 is being planned. Commercial scale hydrogen station needs about 600 million yen at present. The government is reviewing laws related with building standards, high pressure safety and fire, and it is now preparing new standards for propagation in advance. In commercialized stage since 2015 it would be decreased below 200 million yen. [The Yomiuri Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, The Minichi Shimbun, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, The Sankei Shimbun, The Denki Shimbun (electricity), The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry), The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (automobile) The Nikkan Kensetsu Shimbun (construction), Kensetsu Tsushin Shimbun (construction), The Tokyo Shimbun, The Chunichi Shimbun, The Chugoku Shimbun, The Nishinihon Shimbun, The Hokkaido Shimbun, The Fuji Sankei Buiness Eye, The Kahoku Shimpo, and The Chemical Daily Jan. 14, 2011]
8. Development of Hydrogen Production Technology
(1) Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo University and Toyohashi Institute of Science and Technology
An associate professor Yashima of Tokyo Institute of Technology, A professor, Domen of Tokyo University and an associate professor, Nakano found a key to increase reaction efficiency of photo-catalysts. Professor Domen found photo-catalyst of lanthanum and titanium working by visible light 8 years before. This material is consists of tetrahedron and perovskite type crystal.However, detailed reaction mechanism was not known. This group investigates its structure by using X-ray etc., and found that bond connecting titanium and nitrogen absorbs visible light and that connecting titanium and oxygen does ultra-violet light. These facts are in an agreement with results by computer simulation. Therefore, from prediction by model experiments, replacing lanthanum and titanium by other elements efficiency could be increased for solar light. At present the efficiency is less than 1 %, but if we could synthesize materials absorbing more visible light, efficiency of over 5 % could be made, and it is equivalent to inexpensive solar cells. Only by irradiating photo-catalysts, chemical reaction can occur, such as hydrogen formation from water, decomposition of trace substances, and so on. [The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun Dec. 22, 2010]
By computer simulation using a super-computer by NEC, a new method was found by which photo-chemical reaction can occur within carbon nanotube (CNT). For instance, when hydrogen-containing substance is taken into nanotube and irradiated by a laser, hydrogen can be efficiently obtained. In the simulation CNT is comparing to a test tube, and chemical reaction occurs. It was confirmed that when hydrogen chloride is enclosed into CNT and irradiates it by femtosecond laser, hydrogen chloride decomposes to chlorine atom and hydrogen atom, and only hydrogen jumps out. If reaction proceeds in minute size CNT, hydrogen can be formed in more than 10,000 times higher concentration compared with conventional large equipment. It is expected that this is developed to efficient large scale hydrogen producing process. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology). Dec. 27, 2010]
9. Measuring and Observing Technology Related FC and Hydrogen
The above company commercializes mass flow meter of Coriolis type to cope to 300 MPa in 2011. Conventional instruments were maximum 95 MPa. By this flow meter electro-non-conductive fluid can be measured. Because mass flow, density and temperature can be measured without correction at high precision, the demand is increasing. For instance in FCV needs are increasing for high precision measurement to supply hydrogen in high pressure. The company is trying to find new demand in high pressure regions. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun Dec. 21, 2010]
For FC the company began to sell MEMS flow sensor "D6F-70" on Jan. 25, 2011. In conventional ones the maximum measuring flow is 50 L/min, but modifying flow channel structure, it is increased to 70 L/min, and thus, performances necessary for flow control in home use FC are fulfilled. About 200,000 set sales in 2013 fiscal year is the target. By adopting MEMS sensors the device becomes small and influence due to pulsation by pumping is reduced to 1/10. If it is done early, a devise of the maximum designed flow 200 l/min will be sold, and to expand the market, sales to business use FC and medical apparatuses will be exploited. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and industry), The Nikei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and indusrry) and The Dempa Shimbun Ja. 17, 2011]
10. Development and Business
On Dec. 24, 2010 Okazaki Seisakuho in Kobe city completed construction of Iwaoka No. 6 factory i.e., a stronghold of micro-heater for FC and Solar cells. Delivery to FC makers was decided, and preparation was also completed for production of monthly 20,000. Its micro-heater is used in temperature control of FC etc. The total investment is about 300 million yen. (The Nikkan Kogyo Shimun Dec. 24, 2010)
------------ This edition is made up as of January 31, 2011. ---------------
A POSTER COLUMN
Keidanren, a Japan association of company executives, makes model business of smart city
Low carbon, resources saving and eco-friendly city, "smart cities" are decided to be constructed and tested in various sites in the world. This is not only for efficient utilization of electric power but also for public transportation, water works etc., and the city is highly efficient from viewpoints of environmental burden to life as a whole.
In the world over 300 smart city plans are under consideration, and 3000 trillion 〜 4000 trillion yen demand would be created for 20 years. In growth strategy set forth on Dec. 6, 2010, Keidanren stated that it will carried out advanced ecological technology using advanced transport and communication.
Yokohama City is now making air conditioning system using exhausted heat from cleaning factories and buildings and also propagation of EV is done. In the testing electric power companies, automobile makers, electric manufacturers etc. are joining, and they have being make technologies and know-how for preparing ecologically friendly urban infrastructure with hope to export thee to overseas.
Japanese smart cities are limited in blocks of cities and a part of urban functions, but in Tenshin, China new town construction is begun and the city will have 400,000 population in suburban salt pan area. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Dec. 12, 2010]