Panasonic to Begin Operating H2 KIBOU FIELD Demonstration Facility Utilizing Pure Hydrogen Fuel Cell Generators

May 5, 2022

The power system integrates and controls hydrogen fuel cell generators, photovoltaic generators, and storage batteries

Panasonic Corporation (hereinafter referred to as Panasonic) announced its plan to begin operations at its new H2 KIBOU FIELD facility on April 15, 2022. This facility was built as a demonstration of a Panasonic renewable energy solution, known as RE100 (Renewable Energy 100%), in which 100% of the power used for site operations is generated from renewable resources; it is part of a self-sustaining power system that combines generation from both pure hydrogen and solar sources. This is the first such demonstration in the world to make full-scale use of hydrogen fuel cells toward a 100% renewable energy manufacturing site.

Panasonic has built a large demonstration facility at its Kusatsu site in Shiga Prefecture, equipped with a power generation system that combines 99 5-kW pure hydrogen fuel cell generators (495 kW) and photovoltaic generators (approx. 570 kW) as well as lithium-ion storage batteries (approx. 1.1 MWh) for storing surplus power. The power generated by this system will fully power the fuel cell factory in Kusatsu. Panasonic will continue to develop and test other technologies to optimize power supply and demand management.

This integrated system will complement the on-site solar generation, which requires a large installation area and can be impacted by weather conditions. Moreover, the integration of storage batteries enables the system to achieve a stable supply of electricity required for operations by managing the power supply from the fuel cell generators and the storage batteries, even at peak consumption.

Additionally, the integrated control of multiple 5 kW type pure hydrogen fuel cell generators enables an ample supply of high power through a flexible layout tailored to the site’s buildings and for flexible operations by managing generation according to demand. This prevents excess wear on the generators and maximizes their lifespan. In addition, it makes it possible to perform maintenance without stopping factory operations.

Through this demonstration, Panasonic will gain real-world know-how and data as well as establish a track record in energy management and pure hydrogen fuel cell generation. It will also aim to commercialize Panasonic’s RE100 solutions that use renewable sources to supply 100% of the electricity required for operations.

Panasonic hopes to contribute to the effort to achieve a carbon neutral society under the banner of its long-term environmental vision “Panasonic GREEN IMPACT” by proposing new options to expand the adoption of renewable energy sources to include the full-scale use of hydrogen.

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