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Press Release 2012

Home > Press Release > 2012 > July 24

Sumitomo Electric Commences the Demonstration of Megawatt-Class Power Generation/Storage System at Yokohama Works

July 24, 2012

Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.

Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.(TSE:5802) has completed a megawatt-class electric power generation/storage system on the premises of its Yokohama Works and started the operation today. The system consists of the world’s largest redox flow battery and Japan’s largest concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) units. For the development of this system, the Company has cooperated with Nissin Electric Co. Ltd., Sumitomo Densetsu Co., Ltd., and Meidensha Corporation in the respective technical fields.

The system consists of 28 units of CPV (maximum total power generation: 200 kW)* and a redox flow battery (capacity: 1 MW x 5 hours), which respectively function as renewable energy sources and a storage facility of electric power generated by the CPV units. Connected to external commercial power networks, the system can also store electricity provided by power companies during the night. This system employs an energy management system (EMS), which monitors the amount of CPV-generated electric power, battery storage and power consumption, and stores the measurement data in the central server.


<The features and objectives of the system>


The system levels power consumption (maximum demand control of 1 MW), thereby contributing to the alleviation of the acute power shortage in Japan.



The system enables stable power supply based on plans by combining a redox flow battery with solar power generators. This improvement will enhance the value of solar power generation, which is susceptible to the weather, and accelerates the introduction of the natural power source.



The system controls the amount of electric power discharged from the battery according to electric loads so as to stabilize the consumption of electric power, which will minimize the dependence on power generation plants.



The system balances fluctuations in solar power generation by charging/discharging the battery, thereby reducing dependence on thermal power generation and increasing the size of connected solar power generators.



For the introduction of unstable renewable energy such as solar and wind power, the use of a redox flow battery helps stable power supply, and thus, contributes to the alleviation of power shortages.


Meanwhile, Sumitomo Electric also plans to start the demonstration test of a factory energy management system (FEMS), which combines the existing gas engine power generators with the redox flow battery and CPV units to form an optimal management system that controls the entire energy flow in the Yokohama Works. The Company will cooperate with Meidensha Corporation for the demonstration, which will be the first attempt in the Yokohama Smart City Project, one of the Next Generation Energy and Social System Demonstration Projects 2012 led by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).


Sumitomo Electric is planning to put these systems into practical use, particularly for major power consumers such as industrial plants and commercial facilities, with the aim of promoting the use of renewable energy sources and effective use of energy. With a plan for the commercialization during the fiscal year 2013 (ended March 2014), the Company continues to work on cost reduction and other improvements for the system.


* The system consists of 15 CPV units and produces the maximum power output of about 100 kW as of the date of the demonstration. The system will achieve the maximum power output of 200 kW when 28 units are connected at the end of this fiscal year.



[Supplemental information]


1. Schematic Diagram of the Demonstration

Schematic Diagram of the Demonstration


2. System components

(1) Redox flow battery (1 MW x 5 hours)

A redox flow battery is a storage battery that comprises a charging/discharging cell section and a tank full of metal ion electrolyte. It charges/discharges through the oxidation-reduction reaction of vanadium or other ions.


The battery features a long service life with the electrodes and electrolyte that are not subject to deterioration even after repeated charge/discharge operations and is easily maintained because it uses the same electrolyte in both the cathode and the anode. It also provides increased safety as it does not require any combustible substances and operates at ambient temperatures. This battery is suitable for irregular, highly fluctuating charge/discharge operations due to the accurate monitoring and controlling abilities. These features make the redox flow battery an optimal storage battery for efficient use of renewable energy and surplus electricity supplied during the night.


(2) Concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) unit (maximum power generation of 28 units: 200 kW)

A CPV unit is a photovoltaic system that converts high-intensity sunlight directed by a lens into electricity with small photovoltaic cells. Thanks to these photovoltaic cells, which are made from a special compound semiconductor material, a CPV panel has twice the power generation efficiency of a silicon solar panel currently on the market. The concentrator panels can be installed at an elevated position, providing usable space below them.


(3) Energy management system (EMS)

An EMS monitors and manages the entire energy flow including electric power provided by 28 CPV units and commercial power networks, redox flow battery storage, and power consumption at an office or plant. Obtained data is sent to the central control server via optical communication networks and controlled collectively. The Company plans to use this system in the demonstration test of the FEMS, in which the existing gas engine power generators are connected with the redox flow battery and CPV units to obtain an optimal power supply-demand balance and power demand control within the Works.


3. The Megawatt-Class Power Generation/Storage System

The Megawatt-Class Power Generation/Storage System

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