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Example of Research and Development

Micro Smart-Grid Demonstration System, a future-oriented power grid for the use of renewable energy, started its operation! Sumitomo Electric established the Power System R&D Laboratories in January 2010, which engage in research and development of power infrastructure systems integrating electrical energy and information telecommunication technologies. The Laboratories have promoted R&D activities for Smart Grid since the establishment, and in June 2011, released the “Micro Smart-Grid Demonstration System (Project-W)” as one of the outcomes and started its demonstration experiment in the Osaka Works. The future-oriented power grid, which is expected to play an essential role in the use of renewable energy in the days ahead, is outlined below.
“Micro” and “intelligent” package of Smart Grid

The Smart Grid, which was introduced in our CSR Report 2010, is an “intelligent power network” that controls the flow of power from both supply and demand sides. The grid is now drawing increasing attention in Japan, which has urgent need to make use of renewable energy. As a further step to put the research results on Smart Grid to practical use, we have developed “Micro Smart-Grid Demonstration System.” This very compact power grid connects control devices, such as photovoltaic power generator, small wind power generator, small power storage battery and power conditioner, via DC power cables of 1 km in total. The sources of energy are only the photovoltaic and wind power received in the Works. The data on the amounts of electric power generation, storage and consumption are monitored and controlled. The fluctuations are managed by the energy management system (EMS) with a storage battery so as to allow stable and efficient use of electricity.
This system also features a DC interconnection system called “DC Link.” With the EMS and DC Link, the system is expected to cut energy consumption by around 10% by reducing energy loss due to AC/DC conversion and transmission loss in cables. In its small size, this system contains our original control and telecommunications technologies as well as safety functions. Independent from any commercial power network, it can be a prototype for the stable use of renewable energy, and has received a great response since the announcement of the development. The power generated with the system is actually used for part of the lights and electric products in the Works and EV charging stations. We plan to collect and analyze various data including those on the impact of different weather conditions on the amount of power generation in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the system over approximately one year.


Smart Grid

A power transmission network that can optimize the flow of power with a function to adjust the flow of power automatically from both supply and demand sides through installation of measuring devices equipped with artificial intelligence or communication facilities.
Toward the future with the “Ingenious Power System TM”

We continue to use this Micro Smart-Grid Demonstration System to evaluate the power system-related devices produced from our R&D activities and promote the commercialization. This system will be marketed under the brand name of “Ingenious Power SystemTM.” Paying attention to the energy policy of the Japanese Government, we will meet the needs at various levels ranging from individual houses to local communities and cities. Electric power infrastructure, especially smart grid is a key to the creation of a new society and energy in the 21st century, and also a new domain that shorten the distance between society and Sumitomo Electric.
With the slogan “for Society, for SUMITOMO ELECTRIC” in mind, we will continuously prioritize social contribution. Sumitomo Electric will also make efforts to synchronize the phase of its growth and development to the phase of social development.

※Interviewed in July 2011
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