Field Tests Conducted at Panasonic Green Energy Park Targets an Energy-Friendly Lifestyle
Last time, we introduced the global spread of Panasonic's HIT solar modules. We also introduced examples of its spread within Japan and other countries. This time we will introduce one of the best energy management systems in Japan which implements energy creation, energy storage, and energy saving with solar power generation at the Panasonic Kasai Green Energy Park (GEP).
The amount of energy produced by solar power generation varies greatly with the weather and as such, solar power is extremely unstable as an energy source. Therefore, to steadily supply the amount of electric energy in demand, an energy storage system, where the energy produced by solar power generation can first be stored and be available for use when needed, is the key.
In October 2010, Panasonic created a flagship energy management system in its own facility in Kasai, Hyogo Prefecture, by implementing solar panels, an energy storage system, and various optimally controlled energy saving equipment. With the worldwide exhaustion of fossil fuels and global warming worsening, this experiment was started with the goal of realizing a sustainable low carbon society.
Solar Power Generation System
Around 5,200 HIT solar panels are installed, converting light energy from the sun into electric energy with high efficiency. The Kasai GEP has a total output of approximately 1 MW. The energy produced by this system is approximately 1,080 MWh per year. It has the capacity to generate the amount of energy consumed by 330 average households over a year. Due to the high efficiency of HIT solar modules, a large amount of energy can be attained with a limited area. Therefore, the installation space can be used more effectively. (According to calculations, an area of 20 m2 can cover the energy needed for one household.)
Lithium-ion Energy Storage System
A lithium-ion energy storage system that can store 1.5 MWh, approximately the amount of energy consumed by 150 average households in one day, is installed at the Kasai GEP. In comparison to the most commonly used lead-acid storage batteries, lithium-ion batteries can produce the same amount of energy at one half the size and one third the weight.
Moreover, by implementing these solar panels and energy storage system along with energy saving equipment, and optimally managing the creation, storage, and saving of energy, the Kasai GEP is conducting experiments to realize a low carbon society.
With these experiments, it was found that with the implementation of the systems proposed at the Kasai GEP, energy use can be reduced by about 17%* during the summer when energy demand is at its peak without the loss of comfort.
Next time, we will introduce the technology behind HIT solar modules used to support Kasai GEP.
* The average from 13:00 to 16:00 in July when energy is in high demand.