Tuesday, June 19, 2012

No. 540: Energy saving systems that balance comfort and brownout for corporate customers (June 19, 2012)

Leading electric companies are developing new energy saving systems. Toshiba and Hitachi plan to develop a control system that reduces power consumption as much as possible while maintaining temperature and humidity at a comfortable level inside the room. Toshiba’s system calculates the temperature and humidity just before human feel them uncomfortable, and controls the operation of an air-conditioner to that level. The company will collect such data as outside air temperature, power consumption, inside temperature, and inside humidity. Based on the collected data, it analyzes how human’s satisfaction changes according to the change of inside temperature and humidity and develop a technology to control the operation of an air-conditioner to make human feel comfortable. It plans to finish developing this technology that can reduce power consumption by 5-10% in two years.

Hitachi will add the function for effective operation of an air-conditioner to its VIVALE that is an energy management system for buildings. The company will collect data of power consumption and the preset temperatures of the air-conditioners of customers’ buildings via the Internet. Using the accumulated data and information, Hitachi’s system will run the air-conditioners within the targeted power consumption automatically. The upgraded system will be offered within the year. The system Mitsubishi Electric is addressing first controls the operation of lighting and air-conditioners, and allocates electricity to the air-conditioners on a priority basis. And it examines inside the building to know whether a man is around, and it allocates electricity only to the lighting illuminating around him. Mitsubishi Electric’s system will be offered this summer, and it will be given additional functions on after another.

In the area covered by Tokyo Electric Power Company, volume users reduced power consumption by 27% in the peak time as compared with the day of the same temperature of the previous year, well above 15% targeted by the government last summer. However, it is often said that work efficiency decreases 2% every time the room temperature rises one degree centigrade. Because deteriorated work efficiency increases intangible losses of a company, the above three system will be in great demand in the industrial market for years to come.

 Hitachi's building energy management system VIVALE

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