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Panasonic Wins Most Awards in Japan "2013 Energy Conservation Grand Prize"

Panasonic has won four awards in the "2013 Energy Conservation Grand Prize," an award supported by the Energy Conservation Center in Japan; two in the "Product and Business Model Category" and two in the "Energy-saving Activities Category," the most number of prizes won by one company.

The awards aim to contribute to the enhancement of energy conservation awareness, the acceleration of penetration of energy-efficient products, development of energy-efficient industries and the establishment of an energy conservation-oriented society, by widely sharing activities of business operators who promote energy conservation in companies, factories and operating sites within the Japanese industry/service/transportation sectors, as well as business operators who have developed products with excellent energy efficiency.

  • 1_eco_20140206.jpg
    (From left) President Yoshimura of Panasonic Ecology Systems, Laundry Systems and Vacuum Cleaner Business Division Director Fuchiue, Senior Vice President Homma and Kitchen Appliances Business Division General Manager Takata of Appliances Company

Representatives from each category winner attended the presentation ceremony held on January 29, 2014 and received the certificate. From Panasonic, Senior Vice President Homma, Laundry Systems and Vacuum Cleaner Business Division Director Fuchiue, and Kitchen Appliances Business Division General Manager Takata of Appliances Company, and President Yoshimura of Panasonic Ecology Systems Co., Ltd. were awarded at the ceremony.

The award-winning activities are showcased in the award section at the ENEX 2014 38th Energy and Environment Exhibition held from January 29-31, 2014 at the Tokyo Big Sight.

The following is a summary of each of the activities that won an award.

[Products and Business Model Category]
Chairman Prize of ECCJ:
HFC-free refrigeration system with CO2 refrigerant

  • 6_eco_20140206.jpg
    CO2 refrigerant system outline (Convenience store)

This is Japan's first*1 HFC-free refrigeration system that uses CO2 refrigerant, designed to be used in stores. While CO2 refrigerants were believed to have difficulty in saving energy, this product has achieved compatibility with CO2 refrigerants (compatible with high pressure) and high energy efficiency through novel development of two-stage compression rotary compressor and split cycle. In addition, a master controller has been adopted to centrally manage and control the entire store by checking the showcase itself and the operation status of the freezer, enabling optimum operation of the overall system. With this system, annual CO2 emissions were reduced by 58%, and power consumption was reduced by 25.4% under freezing conditions and 16.2% under chilling conditions, compared with the HFC (R404A) refrigeration system.
*1 As of May 25, 2010 (surveyed by Panasonic)


Chairman Prize of ECCJ:
"Tilted-Drum Washing Machine and Dryer" with a New Eco Heat Pump Engine
Item Numbers: NA-VX9300L/R, NA-VX730S L/R, and NA-VX7300 L/R

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    Tilted-Drum Washing Machine and Dryer NA-VX9300

This is a drum-type washing machine and dryer with the ECONAVI function*2, achieving energy conservation, greater capacity, and higher detergency through improvement in the heat pump drying method. Particularly, various works were done in order to attain higher efficiency, including developing a larger heat exchanger through optimum placement of the dryer fan, widening the hose diameter, and reducing pressure loss by expanding the dryer filter area. These efforts have resulted in reducing power consumption during drying by about 10% (compared with the 2012 model NA-VX8200) and power consumption of 600 Wh for one load of washing and drying (6 kg). Further, an automatic cleaning function was added to the heat exchanger to retain performance in long-term use.

In addition, the diameter of the drum tub was successfully widened without changing the width of the machine body, allowing heavier loads, and the essential functions were improved by installing a jet bubble system, penetrant jet shower, and hot water heater to achieve higher detergency and shorter washing time. Using fewer resources was also focused on, which was realized by adopting recycled resin in the body part.

*2 Function where the appliance controls its power and water consumption by itself through sensor technology and the like and prevents wasteful consumption

[Energy-saving Activities Category]
Chairman Prize of ECCJ:
Panasonic Ecology Systems Co., Ltd.
Continuous Initiatives for a Cutting-edge Factory through Activities by All Employees including Top Management

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    Panasonic Ecology Systems Kasugai Factory

 

With the integration of manufacturing sites, this factory was renewed as an energy-saving factory, working on energy conservation through a promotional system that includes top management and aiming to achieve long-term environmental targets. Specifically, the factory has (1) installed factory construction considering insulation, photovoltaic power generation, and air-conditioning using ground heat, (2) established a system linking machines and the production process, and (3) adopted a Laser metal sintered mold to form resin. As a result of these efforts, the factory succeeded in reducing energy consumption by 31% (equivalent to 2,550 kl of crude oil) in the five years from 2007 to 2012. Additionally, know-hows for saving energy are showcased in the "Eco Visualization Room" in the factory and disclosed to external parties. This enhances education on energy-saving for all employees, as well as contributes to the expansion of energy-saving activities in the society.

 

Chairman Prize of ECCJ:
Panasonic Corporation, Appliances Company
CO2 Reduction through Development of Non-heating Adhesion Method for the Top Unit

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    Panasonic Corporation Appliances Company, Kobe Factory

This is a successful case of CO2 reduction in an IH cooking heater manufacturing factory, where non-heating was achieved by improving the manufacturing process as a part of energy-saving activities. The manufacturing process of the top unit part previously used thermosetting adhesive to join the plate material and glass, and thus required heat treatment. However, a novel non-heating adhesive (cold-setting type) was developed, and with improvement to the method to increase the adhesion points on the surface of the glass and stainless material, the non-heating method was achieved. As a result, power consumption and CO2 emissions were reduced by 96% (318,008 kWh/year) and 130 tons/year, respectively, compared with the conventional method.

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