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Sep 11, 2012

Panasonic to Develop Full-scale Smart Home Energy Management System Business

Connecting housing equipment and home appliances, Panasonic SMARTHEMS™ will evolve to provide a comfortable lifestyle with energy creation, storage and automatic energy saving.

Osaka, Japan - Panasonic Corporation today announced its plans to begin the full-scale development of its Smart Home Energy Management System (SMARTHEMS™1) business on October 21, 2012 in Japan. In addition to the energy creation-storage linked system for the home released in March 2012, it will also launch AiSEG™2, which is a core component of SMARTHEMS™, connecting the electrical equipment and home appliances in the system.

Against the backdrop of increasing awareness of environmental issues as well as concerns over the electricity supply since the Great East Japan Earthquake, energy saving measures for the home have become a pressing need in Japan. It is expected that the HEMS market will grow rapidly due to subsidies from the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), set at a maximum of JP¥100,000, and smart house development expansion.

Being equipped with ECHONET Lite, SMARTHEMS™ not only visualizes the consumption of energy in the household, but can also control different types of home electrical equipment through the core component, AiSEG™. From this autumn, Panasonic will gradually increase its lineup of products that can be linked through HEMS, including air conditioners, IH cooking equipment, and EcoCute3 heat pump hot water supply systems. The power consumption measuring unit that can be linked to existing distribution panels and AiSEG™ are eligible for the subsidies for the "Introduction of Energy Management System (FY 2011Third Supplementary Budget)"4.

In order for SMARTHEMS™ to respond to future developments, such as changes in the electricity rating system, and enable the long term use of the system, firmware updates will be provided for the system via cloud computing service. Going forward, the company will expand its functions to other business fields, not limited to HEMS.

Panasonic will continue to improve and expand its home energy management system, SMARTHEMS™, to create, store, use energy efficiently and manage it smartly by linking home electrical equipment and home appliances. Panasonicís SMARTHEMS™ will continue to flexibly evolve in line with advances in lifestyle in the future to come.

1. SMARTHEMS is a trademark (under application for registration) of the Panasonic Group.
2. AiSEG is a trademark (under application for registration) of the Panasonic Group.
3. A general industry term used by electric power companies and manufacturers for heat pump hot water supply systems that use natural refrigerants.
4. There is a limit to the subsidies. For more information, please contact the "Sustainable open Innovation Initiative."

Major Features

  1. Visualizes data of solar power generation systems, storage batteries, electricity, gas and water supplies (No monthly charge is required)
  2. Automatically controls the operation of compatible equipment with ECHONET Lite, contributing to energy saving and a more comfortable life
  3. Cloud computing service ensures compatibility with expanding product lines and offers adaptability to changes in the social landscape

1. Visualizes data of solar power generation systems, storage batteries, electricity, gas and water supplies (No monthly charge is required)

Electricity, water and gas consumption can be measured in real-time. For electricity, the monitor displays the status of current electricity and CO2 balance of the entire home, estimated electricity charges and power generation capacity by the solar power generation system or fuel cells.

Different types of data, including the amount of charge of storage batteries, can be monitored not only with the dedicated monitor, but also on TVs, PCs, smartphone screens and other displays.

2. Automatically controls the operation of compatible equipment with ECHONET Lite, contributing to energy saving and a more comfortable life

AiSEG™ incorporates the ECHONET Lite protocol, enabling it to automatically control all compatible equipment. In the future, Panasonic is planning to launch more AiSEG™-compatible equipment, including air conditioners, IH cooking equipment (KZ-R573SG) and EcoCute heat pump hot water supply systems (some products have been already launched). As AiSEG™ efficiently controls each piece of equipment, it can support energy saving and contribute to the environment while maintaining comfort.

[AiSEG™-compatible Air Conditioner Linkage]
Automatically operates compatible air conditioners in energy-saving mode.
Eco mode setting automatically changes the air-conditioning temperature to an energy-saving temperature (28 degree Celsius for cooling and 20 degree Celsius for heating) in thirty minutes after the switch is turned on.
Notifies users of outdoor air temperature changes by displaying messages.
If the outdoor air temperature changes to below 28 degrees Celsius (for cooling) or above 20 degrees Celsius (for heating) during air conditioner operation, messages will be displayed on the screen. This function is useful in preventing energy wastage in air conditioners.
[AiSEG™-compatible IH cooking equipment (KZ-R573SG) Linkage] [AiSEG™-compatible EcoCute Linkage]
When the IH cooking equipment is turned on while a large amount of electricity is being used, AiSEG™ calculates the amount of electricity usable for the equipment in proportion to the overall electricity use in the home and automatically controls the IH heating. If EcoCute runs short of hot water, AiSEG™ automatically heats and stores water by using the surplus electricity generated by the solar power generation system during the daytime. This clean electricity can be used efficiently thanks to the connection with AiSEG™.

3. Cloud computing service ensures compatibility with expanding product lines and offers adaptability to changes in the social landscape

The latest version of the firmware can be downloaded through the Panasonic server and used as part of a cloud computing service when the electricity rates or rating system are changed or new AiSEG™-compatible equipment is purchased. The scope of compatible equipment will be expanded to include electric vehicle charging facilities, lighting, security systems and home appliances.

4. Other features

[Remote control of air conditioners with smart phones]
Air conditioners can be turned off by remote from outside the home through the internet and AiSEG™ via the Panasonic server, minimizing energy wasted when forgetting to turn off the air conditioning.

[Control AiSEG™-compatible equipment in the home with smartphones]
Through Wi-fi in the home, it is possible to control AiSEG™-compatible equipment, such as air conditioners, IH cooking equipment and EcoCute, with smartphones.

[Links to energy creation-storage linked system for home]
Through linking electrical equipment to the solar power generation system and storage batteries, it is possible to operate the minimum amount of electrical appliances necessary in power cuts or in times of emergency.

[Download of operation manuals to solve problems with AiSEG™-compatible equipment]
If a problem occurs with air conditioners or IH cooking equipment (KZ-R573SG), AiSEG™ downloads the electronic operation manual that corresponds with the displayed error code and displays it on the TV screen.

Product Specifications

Product nameAiSEG™
Model numberMKN7321HE / MKN7322HE
Suggested
retail price (incl.tax, excl.installation cost)
JP¥112,350
Release dateOctober 21, 2012 (planned)
Sales target10,000 sets/year
(for the fiscal year 2014 ending March 31, 2014 )

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products in three business fields, consumer, components & devices, and solutions. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 7.85 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2012. Panasonicís stock is listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE:PC) Stock Exchanges. The company has the vision of becoming the No. 1 Green Innovation Company in the Electronics Industry by the 100th year of its founding in 2018. For more information on Panasonic, its brand and commitment to sustainability, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net/.

Media Contacts:

Global Public Relations Office
Panasonic Corporation
Tel: 03-6403-3040 Fax: 03-3436-6766
Panasonic News Bureau
Tel: 03-3542-6205 Fax: 03-3542-9018
*The content in the following news releases is accurate at the time of publication but may be subject to change without notice. Please note therefore that these documents may not always contain the most up-to-date information.

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