Nichicon Corporation (Nichicon) has announced it will begin using the IBM Japan Ltd, (IBM Japan) cloud solution to offer energy management support services. It will monitor and maintain products such as power storage systems and V2H systems (vehicle-to-home and EV power conditioner). The system will monitor and control solar power systems in the event of output drops. IBM Japan will gather data through the remote controllers of Nichiconís environmentally related products such as integral power consumption, remaining battery power, and power transmission time Nichicon will provide the basic business functions by storing and compiling this data in the cloud in an easy-to-use package for customers.
Nichicon has incorporated the functions for this energy management service into the ESS-U2 Series residential power storage system, which will be released this year. In July testing began with Nichiconís storage system and the connection to IBM Japanís cloud. In the near future, Nichicon will enable the system to work with the demand response (DR)services offered by new power suppliers and other entities, as well as being capable of handling large amounts of data.

1 Market Background

Nichicon has entered the market for environment-related products with products like: residential and commercial power storage systems, V2H, and EV quick chargers. In doing so, the company aims to contribute to alleviating power shortage concerns since the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011. Our goal is to reduce the overall electricity demand, making possible peak cuts and peak shifts, as well as reducing instabilities in the power grid that come with the increasing use of renewable energy.
We have been particularly successful in the residential power storage systems market since we released our first product in 2012. , We have sold more than 25,000 units and have the leading share of the residential market in Japan. The residential power storage system market for fiscal 2015 is estimated at 40,000 units.

2 Reasons for Developing Power Storage Systems

Unlike common consumer electronics, power storage systems must be monitored for possible issues like operational status and storage battery service life. This will ensure durability for periods of 10 to 15 years. Nichicon has experience in monitoring equipment by gathering operational data on power storage systems over the Internet.
In addition to offering monitoring functions, this new era requires the ability to respond to the it new demands like; controlling and reducing output in solar power generation systems, maintaining and using large amounts of data. And, with the liberalization of Japanís retail electricity market beginning in April 2016, the need to provide external operational control for demand response and other services from new power suppliers.
This is why Nichiconis making use of IBM Japanís cloud solution to meet these new needs as they arise and to gives our products the expandability to meet the growing demands of the future.

3 Main Functions and Features of Nichiconís Residential Power Storage System

  • Features of Residential Power Storage System (ESS-U2 Series)
  • (1)Compact housing and large-capacity 12kWh lithium-ion storage battery.
    (2)Outstanding temperature characteristics of newly developed cells make installation possible even in extremely cold climates, such as Japanís Hokkaido.
    (3)Guaranteed service life of 15 years, even with outdoor installation.

While conventional solar power generation and power storage systems generally use an HEMS home gateway to connect to the server, Nichiconís ESS-U2 gives direct network connection to the server via its remote controller. Connection is by wired or wireless LAN, 3G lines, and other methods. This allows the user to connect and use Nichiconís monitoring services in the mode of their choice. Data that is collected on the equipmentís operational status, service life, and other aspects are periodically transmitted to the server for analysis. Enabling faster resolution of issues and ensuring long term security. This also makes possible the transmission of equipment firmware that will further improve functionality and quality.
Japanís retail electricity market will be liberalized in April 2016, which will mean the start of demand response (DR) services from new power suppliers. Nichiconís power storage system will allow the downloading of control software to take advantage of these demand response services. IBM Japanís high level of security ensures that customers get peace of mind in the management of large amounts of data.
The utilization of IBM Japanís platform will also provide support for overseas business expansion and ensure optimal operation in the long term.

4 Time of Market Entry and Start of Operations for Power Storage System

The ESS-U2 Series power storage system will be gradually released through various sales channels. Tests using the cloud server got underway in July 2015. The ESS-U2 will be featured in the Nichicon booth at CEATEC Japan 2015 from October 7 to 10 (Wed.-Sat.) at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan.

  • For details, contact:
  • Masaki Nishiyama
    Corporate Communications Division, Corporate Planning Headquarters, Nichicon Corporation
    Phone: 075-231-8461
  • Kazuhiko Suyama
    Corporate Public Relations,IBM Japan
    Phone: 03-3808-5120

Overview of Nichicon Corporation

Head Office :Karasumadori Oike-agaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, 604-0845 Japan
Representative :Ippei Takeda, Chairman
Established :August 1, 1950
Capital stock :14,286 million yen (As of March 31, 2011)
Employees :4,809 (As of March 31, 2015; consolidated)
Product lines :Manufacture and sale of: Capacitors for electronics, electric apparatus, and power utilities; function modules; positive thermistors; switching power supplies; capacitor applied systems and equipment
Net sales :107,294 million yen (As of March 31, 2015; consolidated)

*1 Total storage capacity of single battery (cell). Actual charging and discharging capacity once product use begins will be about 92% of storage capacity. Storage battery capacity will deteriorate over time. The speed of deterioration will depend on the frequency of charging and discharging, the usage environment (temperature, etc.), and other factors.

ESS-U2 Series residential grid-connected lithium-ion power storage system

  • High-performance model	Standard model Outlet model

Image of network

  • [Model number: ZHTP1900R]

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