Panasonic showcased its innovative eco-conscious products and technologies under the theme, “A Better Life, A Better World” at Eco-Products 2015. This event was held at the Tokyo Big Sight from December 10 to 12. It was an opportunity to unveil initiatives for realizing a hydrogen society. In addition to “ENE FARM,” the residential fuel cell that extracts hydrogen from city gas, a prototype of a hydrogen fuel cell (currently under development) that can efficiently create power directly from hydrogen was on display. Panasonic also introduced sensor devices that support a hydrogen society, as well as its vision of a carbon-free, comfortable, and safe hydrogen society.
Panasonic made household fuel cell commercially available in the Japanese market in 2009. This product uses hydrogen extracted from utility gas to make electricity and hot water in homes. The household fuel cell, currently being used in many houses and facilities, is contributing to the increasing popularity of this application.
Assuming that a society where hydrogen is supplied to each home will be realized in the near future, Panasonic is working to develop a pure hydrogen-type fuel cell that allows us to produce electricity directly from hydrogen with high efficiency and low cost. The company has installed prototype devices inside “Yume Solar-kan Yamanashi”, Komekurayama in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, a field test site for renewable energy and next generation energy, and conducted electricity production performance tests from 2012.
As part of developing future technologies, Panasonic is also currently studying a solar hydrogen generation technology (photocatalyst) that produces hydrogen from water, by using a proprietary photocatalyst technology and renewable energy, namely sunlight. The japanese company is exploring every possibility of hydrogen production technology, including using the Energy and Environment New Technology Pioneer Program, a program funded by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), and aim to realize the technology by around 2030. Research is also underway to develop a high-density storage technology.