Toyota City low carbon trial gets under way


Toyota City, Japan — (METERING.COM) — July 6, 2011 – The Toyota City Low Carbon Society Verification Promotion Council, an organization of 26 entities including Toyota City and private companies, has completed model smart houses in the Higashiyama and Takahashi districts of the City for testing energy management systems and has started trial operations for the establishment of a household and community-based low carbon city in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture.

The project is being conducted as a next generation energy and social system demonstration project – a five-year project running from 2010 to 2014 – of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

Toyota City was selected as a demonstration area for the project in April 2010 to support development of testing equipment and information systems. The key feature of the project is the pursuit of optimal energy use in living spaces at the community level.

The project seeks to coordinate supply demand within communities in conjunction with the use of both grid and renewable natural energy to achieve local production of energy for local consumption. Verification of distributed power supply from storage batteries and reduced carbon emissions from homes will be carried out, with the overall aim to reduce household carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent.

The project also will predict and control energy consumption and support activities using an original energy data management system (EDMS) and home energy management system (HEMS). The aim is to maximize the use of renewable energy while achieving energy savings and conservation that maintain community quality of life levels and comfort.

Further, in addition to reducing the carbon dioxide emissions from road traffic through the introduction of plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs), electric vehicles (EVs), and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs), the project will use IT and ITS technologies to efficiently integrate motor vehicles and public transportation for commuting and other travel with the aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the transport sector by 40 percent.
This year, the project’s second year, marks the start of the testing phase for energy management at the household and community levels. Sales of the smart houses, where trial operation of the system will be conducted, began on June 3. The first phase of verification testing of the smart houses will begin in September.

In each house, a HEMS will link energy generating devices (solar cells, fuel cells, etc.) and energy storage devices (household storage batteries, EcoCute heat-pump water heaters, etc.) with PHVs and EVs and intelligent household appliances to optimize and make possible visualization of electric power supply and demand and control of individual devices. Storage batteries connected to and controlled by the HEMS will support low cost and low carbon energy consumption in the home and can serve as an emergency power source.

At the community level, the EDMS will coordinate the balance of the electric power supply and demand within the region by linking homes, convenience stores, schools, and the like with the aim of achieving local production of energy for local consumption by the community.

In addition to charging PHVs and EVs from household electricity, V2H (vehicle to home) supply of electric power from motor vehicle batteries to the home will also be tested. During normal times, vehicle batteries can store excess power from the home and from the community, contributing to efficient energy usage. During emergencies, the batteries support regional energy autonomy by acting as mobile power sources.

In addition to Toyota members of the Toyota City Low Carbon Society Verification Promotion Council include Chubu Electric Power Co. and Toho Gas Co.