Japan – Panasonic Corporation has created a pure hydrogen fuel cell generator that creates electricity via a chemical reaction between high-purity hydrogen and oxygen in the surrounding air.
From October 1, 2021, the generator will be made commercially available in Japan.
With the acceleration of efforts to achieve a decarbonized society in recent years, various governments and regions throughout the world have proclaimed their goal to reduce their total greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, or to achieve carbon neutrality. To accomplish this goal, renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, and biomass must be introduced.
Solar and wind limitations
However, solar and wind energy generation have limitations, including considerable output variability due to weather conditions and a lack of capability to modify capacity to meet demand. Additionally, such power generation requires a system for storing excess energy in storage batteries or other forms of energy storage and compensating for power shortages.
As a result, hydrogen is gaining traction as a potential next-generation energy source. Hydrogen is the most plentiful element not just on Earth, but also in the cosmos, and it may be utilized to generate heat and electric energy without releasing CO2. Hydrogen is also superior in terms of storing and utilizing energy because extra electricity from renewable sources can be transformed into hydrogen via electrolysis and stored indefinitely. In light of this, the use of hydrogen is likely to grow substantially.
Panasonic introduced the world’s first domestic fuel cell cogeneration system, the ENE-FARM*3, in 2009, which generates electricity using hydrogen derived from natural gas. Over the last decade, the business has improved ENE-electricity FARM’s efficiency and working duration while also making it more compact. Simultaneously, in preparation of the hydrogen society’s coming,
Pure hydrogen fuel cell generators
Panasonic has been doing research and development on pure hydrogen fuel cell generators, which use hydrogen directly supplied from the outside to generate electricity. The business has undertaken field trials with these generators in several locations throughout Japan, beginning in 2012 at Yume Solar Kan Yamanashi, a renewable energy promotion facility in Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture, central Japan.
This pure hydrogen fuel cell generator utilizes technology developed for ENE-FARM. For instance, by utilizing the same common stack unit, a critical component of the fuel cell utilized in ENE-FARM, the new product provides steady power generation and achieves the industry’s best*1 electrical efficiency of 56% *2. Due to the fact that this new generator is intended for commercial usage, its output has been increased to 5 kW, more than seven times the 700 W output of a domestic fuel cell, ENE-FARM.
Additionally, the output power can be increased in response to demand by connecting and regulating numerous generating units. Additionally, by utilizing its lightweight and small housing, this generator is adaptable to a variety of installation settings, including rooftop and in tight places.
Panasonic will rebrand their pure hydrogen fuel cell generators as “H2 KIBOU*4” in the future, in keeping with the company’s KIBOU, which translates as “hope” in Japanese.
Panasonic will contribute to the decarbonization of society by offering new ways to expand the use of renewable energy that is entirely hydrogen-based.