Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Heat and Electricity

What will be the role of hydrogen in the energy mix and towards a net carbon society?  Hydrogen fuel cell systems generate not only heat in an environmentally friendly way, but also electricity. Panasonic has been researching hydrogen energy technology for more than 20 years.

In 2009, the Panasonic household fuel cell ENE-FARM – a product that uses hydrogen extracted from natural gas to make electricity and hot water in homes – was made commercially available in the Japanese market. Today, this technology is available in Europe to pave the path into a more sustainable future.

Production Applications /RE100

As part of developing future applications, we currently work on an installation combining solar power, storage batteries and hydrogen fuel cell generator to realize the adoption of renewable sources with full-scale use of hydrogen*

Storage

Hydrogen is also superior in terms of storing and utilizing energy because electricity from renewable energy can be converted into hydrogen through electrolysis using surplus power and stored stably for a long period of time.

Utilisation

Panasonic has just commercially launched a pure hydrogen-type fuel cell in Japan which allows us to produce electricity directly from hydrogen with high efficiency. By connecting a hot water storage unit (recommended product) with the product, heat generated from fuel cell can be converted into hot water for use.

*It is possible to achieve RE100 with the use of green hydrogen generated from renewable sources, including the use of energy attribute certificates. Panasonic will start the demonstration using hydrogen not derived from renewable sources, but will strive to achieve RE100 by eventually utilizing hydrogen from such sources

Realising a Hydrogen Society

Analysts estimate that clean hydrogen could meet 24% of world energy demand by 2050, with annual sales in the range of €630 billion, but it will take a lot of work from all areas to meet such ambitious targets in a relatively short space of time. To transform hydrogen’s potential for the decarbonisation of industry, transport, power generation and buildings into reality, investments, regulation, market creation, and research and innovation are required.

Realising a Hydrogen Society

From the production of hydrogen, its storage and distribution to its smart and efficient usage, the hydrogen ecosystem still needs to overcome some challenges. Here, governmental institutions and bodies, environmental experts and different parts of the industry must join forces.  The affordable, carbon-free hydrogen production plus an infrastructure to transport the (green) hydrogen combined with a widespread use and further evolution of hydrogen fuel cell technology will pave the way  towards a safe and comfortable hydrogen society. 

Green Hydrogen – fuel of a sustainable future
• Generated from surplus energy such as offshore wind energy and by splitting up water into hydrogen and oxygen.
• Easy storage and transportation.
• Zero CO2 emissions   Converts back into electricity & heat  for various types of sectors – from home, to commercial and industrial applications.

Residential Fuel Cells

Residential Fuel Cells

We are already producing energy with hydrogen. Panasonic made household fuel cell commercially available in the Japanese market in 2009. This product uses hydrogen extracted from natural gas to create electricity and hot water in homes. The household fuel cell is currently being used in more than 200,000 houses in Japan and worldwide.

More than 2,000 people in Panasonic’s first Sustainable Smart Town (SST) in Fujisawa, 50km south-west of Tokyo, use home fuel cell systems since the town  was inaugurated in 2014.

Commercial and Industrial Applications

With the introduction of the world’s first commercially available pure hydrogen fuel cell system (5KW), Panasonic also aims to expand its applications from the residential sector into larger applications for larger buildings,  shops and factories respectively the manufacturing sector.  Thanks to its modular set-up, The 5KW pure hydrogen fuel cell system from Panasonic can be connected as an array of  multiple systems up to  a Megawatt total size. The advantage of the solution is not only its flexibility when planning to upscale, but also for maintenance it doesn’t cause any downtimes as the individual units can be taken offline while all other systems keep up and running.
This will make Panasonic’s systems extremely versatile for many types of applications and different size.

Commercial and Industrial Applications

Fuel Cell technology for Zero Carbon Manufacturing

On 1st October 2021, Panasonic announced the launch of the first Panasonic pure hydrogen fuel cell generator – ‘H2 KIBOU’. KIBOU means ‘hope’ and expresses the desire to realise a hydrogen society.

Panasonic will demonstrate an RE100 (renewable energy 100%) production solution using pure hydrogen fuel cells:

• It will be the world’s first RE100 factory with full-scale use of hydrogen
• It will be the world’s first solution that combines pure hydrogen fuel cell generators, photovoltaic generators, and storage batteries.
• It will be the world’s first integrated control of 100 units of pure hydrogen fuel cell generators as one system. This will be the greatest number of units working together to date.

Construction began in October 2021 and demonstration will start from April 2022. This is the demonstration phase of a plan to offer an RE100 solution to B2B customers (factories, offices and other commercial customers) in 2023 and starting a full-scale business in 2024.

Fuel Cell technology for Zero Carbon Manufacturing

Related Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Energy Topics

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Panasonic Approach Towards
Achieving a Hydrogen Society

According to the IEA, hydrogen “is enjoying unprecedented momentum around the world and could finally be set on a path to fulfil its longstanding potential as a clean energy solution.

For more information, please contact

Panasonic Europe B.V
Corporate Communications