[ Kasai Green Energy Park creates energy savings on an industrial scale ]
In the green hills of Kasai in western Japan is an advanced lithium ion battery factory, which uses Panasonic's leading edge environmental technologies to prove that renewable energy systems can let a company reduce its monthly electric bill while leaving a smaller carbon footprint. At Kasai Green Energy Park, a factory complex that makes battery systems for electric vehicles, Panasonic is applying an intelligent approach to energy use across a value cycle that includes creating, storing and saving electricity on site, and actively managing it with the help of advanced controlling technology. "By eliminating the distance between the point of creation and the point of use, we can successfully optimize the electricity," said Katsufumi Miyamoto of Panasonic's Smart Energy Business Unit. "This onsite energy production and consumption not only decreases the transmission losses, but also introduces new business solutions."
[ Visualizing energy usage ]
Kasai Green Energy Park is equipped with a highly efficient solar power generation system and one of the world's largest capacity battery storage facility--1.5MWh, or enough to power 300 households--and is already demonstrating tangible savings in electricity costs, according to Miyamoto. "The solution is the smart energy system, which allows energy consumers to visualize anticipated and actual electricity use and efficiently manage power consumption," he said. "It lets companies reduce their energy purchase during the daytime when the demand is high, and also helps to raise employees' consciousness of CO2 emissions."
A core component is a newly developed battery management controller, which maximizes performance of the batteries considering the present factors like voltage, current and temperature. "This enables more efficient overall energy management, to further eliminate waste and ensure safe operation," said Miyamoto.
[ Linking smart energy systems globally ]
Kasai Green Energy Park is demonstrating that a combination of more than 300,000 small lithium ion battery cells can function like a single high-capacity battery. "These low-cost cells are extremely safe and make the smart energy system a practical and smart way to store and use power," said Miyamoto. "The system itself extends to solar street lights and solar parking lots, and is capable of being linked with other systems around the world. This will open up new business opportunities as the technology becomes more and more common over the next few years."