Panasonic announced on May 24 that it will work on demonstrating a RE100 conversion solution using private power generation that combines a pure hydrogen fuel cell and a solar cell. This is the world’s first demonstration experiment in which hydrogen is used in earnest as an in-house power generation fuel for factory operating power.
RE100 (Renewable Energy 100%) is an international initiative to promote 100% renewable energy in business activities. Panasonic, which is a member of this company, will store surplus electricity in its factory, which produces household fuel cell energy farms in Kusatsu City, Shiga Prefecture, with a private power generation facility that combines a 500kW pure hydrogen fuel cell and a solar cell of approximately 570kW.
A large-scale demonstration facility equipped with a lithium-ion storage battery of about 1.1 MWh (megawatt hour) will be set up to cover the total power consumption of the manufacturing department of the plant. In addition, we will also develop and verify technologies related to optimal power supply and demand by linking these three batteries.
In general, there are two ways to realize RE100, private power generation and external procurement, but there are disadvantages such as unstable prices for purchasing green power, which is the main source of external procurement, and for using environmental price certificates.
In addition, photovoltaic power generation, which is the mainstay of private power generation, also has the disadvantages that it requires a vast site to generate the power required for the business and that it is affected by the weather.
Therefore, Panasonic has devised a method that can supply power efficiently and stably even in a limited space such as the rooftop of a factory by combining three batteries. By including the storage battery, it is possible to manage the power appropriately according to the demand, and it is possible to avoid wasting the amount of power generation even on non-working days of the factory.
Through this demonstration, Panasonic aims to accumulate know-how on energy management, including the operation of pure hydrogen fuel cells, build results, and commercialize the “RE100 Solution,” which uses private power generation to supply the renewable power required for business activities.
Although the hydrogen used this time is not green hydrogen derived from renewable energy, it is planned to eventually use hydrogen generated from renewable energy including the utilization of environmental value certificates, and to support RE100.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.