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*1 in the Higashiyama and Takahashi districts of Toyota City for testing energy-management systems and has started trial operations under the Verification Project for the Establishment of a Household and Community-based Low-Carbon City in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture.
1. Project Description
The Verification 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 Verification 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.
1) Optimization of Household Energy Use
Household energy consumption is increasing. The Verification Project seeks to coordinate supply and 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% (70% or more for smart houses).
2) Achieving Compatibility between Environmental Preservation and Resident Satisfaction
The Verification Project 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 maintains community quality-of-life levels and comfort.
3) Creation of Low-Carbon Traffic Systems
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 Verification 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%.
2. Verification of the Household and Regional Energy Sectors
This year, the Verification 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 will begin in September at 14 of the smart houses.
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.) in the home with next-generation vehicles (PHVs and EVs) and intelligent household appliances to optimize and make possible visualization of electric-power supply and demand and control of individual household 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.
On 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. For example, if a shortage of power generated by solar panels in the community is predicted, residents will be advised to limit their energy consumption, and eco-points will be awarded for conduct in accordance with those recommendations. Also, information concerning electricity usage and accumulated eco-points can be sent to specialized terminals, PCs and smart phones to encourage ongoing environmentally-friendly behavior that can be reasonably carried out.
In addition to charging PHVs and EVs from household electricity, V2H*2 (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. And during emergencies, the batteries support regional energy autonomy by acting as mobile power sources.
List of Member Organizations and Businesses of the Toyota City Low-Carbon Society Verification Promotion Council (26 organizations as of June 30, 2011):
Aichi Prefecture, Toyota City and (in alphabetical order): Central Nippon Expressway Company Limited, Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc., Circle K Sunkus Co., Ltd., Denso Corporation, Dream Incubator Inc., Eneres Co., Ltd., Fujitsu Limited, Hewlett-Packard Japan, Ltd., KDDI Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Nagoya Railroad Co., Ltd., Nagoya University, Secom Co., Ltd., Sharp Corporation, Systems Engineering Consultants Co., Ltd., Toho Gas Co., Ltd., Toshiba Corporation, Toyota Housing Corporation, Toyota Industries Corporation, Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Smile Life Inc., Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Yamato Transport Co., Ltd., Yazaki Corporation
*1Houses that contain an IT network of electrical appliances and other household equipment, solar panels, household storage batteries, onboard automobile storage batteries, and other devices, enabling household power leveling and optimized energy usage
*2Charging of PHV and EV batteries from household electricity and supplying electric power from onboard automobile storage batteries to the home