Panasonic has been developing micro combined heat and power (CHP) fuel cell systems for household applications since 1999. Two years ago the Japanese electronics giant launched the world’s first residential fuel cell CHP system, the ENE FARM unit, in Japan. This was achieved through collaboration with several gas utilities, including Tokyo Gas.
Following the success that Panasonic has had in the Japanese market with these fuel cell systems, the company plans to extend its operations into Europe. The Panasonic Fuel Cell Development Office Europe (PFCOE) – located in Panasonic’s European R&D Centre in Germany (PRDCG) – will be a key part of realizing this aim.
The by-product heat generated in the fuel cell micro CHP system is used for home heating and hot water. In Japan, a house powered by an ENE FARM fuel cell can expect to save about 1.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum, compared with a house powered by electricity from a thermal power station and a gas heating system.
‘We have a global goal to become the number one green innovation company in the consumer electronics industry by 2018,’ says Laurent Abadie, Chairman and CEO of Panasonic Europe.
Abadie continues: ‘With our new R&D centre dedicated to the advancement of fuel cell technology in Europe, we are one step closer to realising our goal for 2018, and ensuring that our customers have access to green technologies globally while building on Panasonic’s green energy business and sales.’