Tokyo Gas and Panasonic Launch Smaller, More Efficient and Cheaper Ene-Farm Residential Fuel Cell

17 Jan 2013

Panasonic EneFarm

Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. (Tokyo Gas) and Panasonic Corporation (Panasonic) have announced the latest iteration of their Ene-Farm home fuel cell which will be on sale from April 2013. The new model will be on sale for less than ¥2 million ($22,600, including tax, but excluding installation), which is around ¥760,000 ($8,620) less than its current model and the first time the recommended retail price of an Ene-Farm model has dipped below ¥2 million.

Improvements in the unit include a reduction in overall size, which will facilitate installation in smaller houses. This has been achieved through the use of fewer components, and the separation of the backup heat source, which is now located outside the hot water unit. Overall there is a size reduction from a depth of 900mm down to 750mm, and the separation of the backup heat source allows for more flexibility during installation.

Panasonic EneFarm Size

The overall efficiency of the new Ene-Farm unit has increased by 5% to 95% (based on the lower heating value of hydrogen); this was achieved by increasing the efficiency of waste heat recovery during electricity generation.

Other standard features of the new model include a larger, colour display, and for the first time a remote control. The system also boasts a 20% improvement in durability.

Since the first Ene-Farm products were put on general sale in May 2009, Panasonic has now shipped a total of around 21,000 units throughout Japan (by December 2012), of which 15,000 have been sold by Tokyo Gas. For FY2013, Panasonic plans to increase its production capacity by 50% to more than 15,000 units.

Panasonic Ene-Farm specifications

New model Current model
Launch date April 2013 April 2011
Electricity output 200 W – 750 W 250 W – 750 W
Electrical efficiency (LHV) 39% 40%
Thermal efficiency (LHV) 56% 50%
Overall efficiency (LHV) 95% 90%
Installation depth 750 mm 900 mm
Recommended retail price (Yen) 1,995,000* 2,761,500
(US dollar equivalent) 22,600 31,320

*Standard model with functions for home heating, bathwater reheating and hot water supply

 

Source: Panasonic press release

Images: Panasonic

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