ENE-FARM, a world-first development by Tokyo Gas, is a fitting energy system for the coming decarbonized society, as it achieves high energy-saving performance and CO2 emission reduction. It went on general sale in May 2009, and we continued to work on popularization and expansion through cost and size reduction, which resulted in development of the world’s first fuel cell CHP system*1 for condominium housing in 2014.
We also have world-class technologies for fuel processing, to extract hydrogen from city gas, and for automatic operating control, to bring out maximum energy saving. We have been applying these proprietary technologies and product development abilities of our residential gas equipment to promote joint product development with manufacturers.
We will go on collaborating in technical development with manufacturers, and working on the popularization of home fuel cells, towards the realization of a decarbonized society.
*1 Gas engine-based CHP systems generate electricity and recover exhaust heat generated as a by-product.
Customer expectations for CHP systems are rising in the areas of environmental performance, energy saving, and BCP. We are promoting broad popularization of these systems by enhancing economy and energy security.
In the future, the use of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), operating at high temperatures, is expected to deliver even more efficient systems.
Power generation efficiency (LHV) of CHP systems
The power generation efficiency of gas engines has been greatly enhanced compared to before, through technical development of the Miller Cycle*1 and sophisticated combustion control for each cylinder, and other measures (most commonly, efficiency is nearly 50% in large systems of 5,000 kW or more, and over 40% on medium-sized systems of 300-1,000 kW). The latest CHP systems with rated output in the 1,000 kW class achieve best-in-class power generation efficiency of 42.5%, and overall efficiency of 80.1%, and their sales numbers are rising.
At Tokyo Gas Senju Techno Station, we are working with various manufacturers on demonstration trials of commercial SOFC systems in the range of a few kW to hundreds of kW. We are also assessing their durability and energy-saving performance and CO2-saving effects in actual operation after installation in the facilities of various business types. As a result, we confirmed energy-saving performance in all the facilities, and in June 2017 we launched a SOFC product in the 3 kW class (power generation efficiency 52.0%, overall efficiency 90.0%) for commercial use.
■Power Generation Efficiency (LHV) of CHP Systems