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Panasonic's household fuel cells to be released in April 2015 have the following features.

Panasonic's household fuel cells (2015 model)

More reasonable price while maintaining basic functions

Reduction of recommended price of Panasonic's household fuel cell

§ Simplified system (fuel cell unit)

  • Number of components: Approx. 15% fewer than the former model
  • Weight: Approx. 15% lighter than the former model (90 kg -> 77 kg)

§ Use of less noble metals in core devices

  • Stack: Reduced platinum use by 20%.
  • Fuel processor: Reduced cost by changing the catalyst metal.
Stack and Fuel Processor

Approx. 15% fewer components are used by simplifying the system inside the fuel cell unit and changing the layout. The weight has also been reduced by approx. 15%.
The recommended price is 300,000 yen(*) lower than FY2013 models, made possible by using less platinum in the stack for generating power and changing the catalyst metal of the fuel processor that extracts hydrogen from city gas.

§ Improved durability

Changes in Panasonic's household fuel cell endurance time

New models have a guaranteed durability of 4,000 start-and-stop operations and 70,000 operating hours while maintaining a 95.0% rated total efficiency in terms of LHV standards (85.8% HHV), which is equivalent to 2013 models. Longer operations respond to the needs of customers who consume a large amount of energy.

Fuel cell unit equipped with a built-in function for continuing to generate power during blackouts

2015 models offer fuel cell units equipped with a built-in function for continuing to generate power during blackouts.
In the event of a power outage during operations, household fuel cells generate and supply power to a dedicated outlet, which brings you peace of mind by enabling the use of power and hot water.

Example of energy use within a household in the event of a power outage

In the event of a power outage, you will be able to use a maximum of 500 W of power for lighting, TV, charging of mobile phones, etc. for up to four days. A stable power supply is ensured during sudden blackouts due to natural disasters or planned outages regardless of the time of day or night without being affected by weather conditions (household fuel cells stop operating during water and city gas outages).
As long as the household fuel cell is in operation, you will be able to use power as well as hot water in the kitchen and for showers. If you added the floor heating function to the fuel cell, then you will be able to keep warm with the floor heating.

§ Power usable during blackouts

  • Power usable during blackouts: Maximum of 500 W
  • Maximum continuous operation: Four days (96 hours)

§ Built-in device saves space and cost

  • Built-in device eliminates the need for an additional unit (space- and installation work-saving).
  • Price(*): Household fuel cell + 70,000 yen (approx. 60,000 yen lower than installing an additional unit)

What is the function for continuing to generate power during blackouts?

This function allows the household fuel cell to continue to operate when the grid power supply stops during the fuel cell's operation. The fuel cell not only supplies power to a dedicated outlet usable during power outages, but also continues to supply hot water.
* In cases where the household fuel cell was not in operation when power went out or when water and city gas supply was discontinued, then household fuel cell won't be able to continue to generate power.

We offer an additional self-starting power supply unit, which starts up household fuel cells by using a built-in storage battery in cases where the household fuel cell was not in operation when the power went out.

Separate type ensuring a flexible installation and integrated type enabling compact installation

The 2013 models had a separate backup boiler to reduce the depth of the installation space. The 2015 models have included an integrated household fuel cell whose backup boiler is built into the hot water storage unit, where the unit depth (400 mm) is maintained.
The height was reduced by 100 mm from 2013 models to 1,750 mm. This enables flexible installation in various household environments.

Integrated household fuel cell

Integrated household fuel cell (Installation space: Approx. 1.6m2)

§ Slim hot water storage unit integrated with the water heater

  • Hot water storage unit is 80 mm (17%) thinner than the 2011 model. The height has also been reduced to 1,750 mm.

§ More compact with side-by-side installation with the fuel cell unit

  • Although the separate type requires approx. 2.0 m2 for installation, the integrated type requires approx. 1.7 m2, or roughly 15% less than the separate type.
  • Enables more compact and stylish installation combined with the fuel cell unit, whose height was reduced by 100 mm.

Separate-type household fuel cell

Separate-type household fuel cell (Installation space: Approx. 1.9 m2)

§ Flexible installation

  • A few models of backup boiler are available.
  • The three-piece layout facilitates installation near windows or plants.
Example of split installation of the separate type
  • The integrated type can be installed in two pieces (maximum distance between the fuel cell unit and the hot water storage unit: 10 m).
  • The separate type can be installed in three pieces (maximum distances: 15 m between the hot water storage tank and the backup boiler and 10 m between the fuel cell unit and the hot water storage unit: 10 m).
  • The required installation space may vary in accordance with the installation work policy of each gas company.

Selectable backup boilers models

With regard to the separate type, the most suitable backup boilers model can be selected from several models in accordance with the functions required in the household where a fuel cell will be installed. You can choose a model with a function to heat hot water for room heating, or a model that can be installed in a smaller space.

Standard model with room heating function
Room heating, water reheating and hot water supply
Room heating performance: 17.4 (kW)
Compact model with room heating function
Room heating, water reheating and hot water supply
Room heating performance: 11.6 (kW)
Slim model with room heating function
Room heating, water reheating and hot water supply
Room heating performance: 11.6 (kW)
 

Check here to see the ease of installation of the household fuel cell for condominiums.

Glossary

(*) : Prices recommended by Tokyo Gas

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