Domestic fuel cell to be installed in every unit on Sekisui House's "Common Life Koga" housing development; field trial heralds the creation of fuel cell-powered town
December 13, 2007
Sekisui House Ltd.
The Japan Research Institute, Limited
WEB POWER Service
Sekisui House Ltd. ("Sekisui House"; President: Isami Wada; Headquarters: Kita-ku, Osaka), The Japan Research Institute, Limited ("JRI"; President: Yasuyuki Kimoto; Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) and WEB POWER Service* in November this year launched an advanced field trial with a view to the creation of a "fuel-cell town" where heat and electricity can be exchanged on a town-wide basis, at Sekisui House's "Common Life Koga" housing development (in the Raiden-cho district of Koga, Ibaraki Prefecture).
The plan involves installing domestic fuel cells in all 14 detached houses on the "Common Life Koga" development sold since May 2007. The fuel cells will be installed by Japan Energy Corporation (President: Isao Matsushita; Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo), which is undertaking the New Energy Foundation's Large-scale Stationary Fuel Cell Simulation Project. With the cooperation of the residents of the Common Life Koga development, Sekisui House, JRI and WEB POWER Service will, over a period of 2 years starting in November 2007, collect data on the use of heat and electricity and conduct field trials with a view to investigating the potential for and problems involved in methods for making efficient use of energy (e.g. the sharing of surplus electric power between houses) if a large number of domestic fuel cells can be installed within a given zone. This research on efficient ways of using energy is being conducted as part of a project sponsored by the Ministry of the Environment (Project name: "Fiscal 2007 Global Warming Countermeasures Development Project (Development of control systems for energy-saving energy systems based on the exchange of co-generation thermoelectricity in high-density housing complexes)).
Fuel cells are a next-generation energy system that makes efficient use of the chemical reaction between the hydrogen extracted from city gas and LP gas, and atmospheric oxygen to generate electricity and hot water. The volume of greenhouse gases emitted by households in Japan has grown by more than 30% since 1990 and it is hoped that a major increase in the number of domestic fuel cells in use will make it possible to combine a comfortable lifestyle (cheap heating costs and being able to make liberal use of hot water) with a substantial reduction in greenhouse gases.
Outline of field trial
Collection and analysis of data relating to the use of heat and electricity in households using domestic fuel cells
Construction of a computer-based virtual residential district and simulation of the exchange of heat and electricity between households
Computation of energy-saving effects on the basis of simulations and exploration of possible measures for combining cost and energy savings
Established in 2006 with joint funding by 8 enterprises from a range of industries, including JRI, with the mission of building on the results of research conducted by the Decentralized Energy System & Software Consortium, led by JRI (fiscal 2003-2005), and developing a new energy systems market and businesses
For more information on the content of this report, please contact Yoshiteru Muto, the Japan Research Institute, Limited.
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