Friday, February 17, 2012

No. 439: A gas heat pump capable of self-sustained operation in case of power outage (February 17, 2012)

Panasonic and three leading gas companies will launch a gas heat pump that allows for self-sustained operation in case of power outage on April 1. The new product named “GHP Excel Plus” will be priced at 9,240,000 yen without installation costs. The battery to be incorporated in the gas heat pump with the generation function will activate the engine even during a blackout. The GHP Excel Plus is designed for hospitals, senior care homes, and schools. Annual sales are expected to be 500 units.

It is impossible to activate a GHP in a blackout because electricity is needed to activate a GHP. However, since the East Japan Great Earthquake on March 11, demand for a GHP that supplies electricity to air-conditioners and lighting fixtures in hospitals and nursing-care facilities has been growing. Companies concerned started to develop a GHP that satisfies the demand late last March. When the switch for self-sustained operation is put on, the battery immediately activates the engine. Once the self-sustained operation begins, the heat pump creates 20 horsepower to run air-conditioners and generates electricity of 700 watts for lighting fixtures. 

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