Product News February 27, 2018

NICHICON’s Initiatives to Date and Results in Household Energy Storage Systems and the Environment-Related Business

In 2012, NICHICON CORPORATION led the industry in developing and launching a household energy storage system. Since that time, we have been a leader in the sales and development of these systems, having produced and sold 50,000 units to date. In 2009 we began supplying an onboard charger for the i-MiEV. This vehicle, produced by Mitsubishi Motor Corporation, was the first mass-produced EV in Japan. That same year, we also started mass-producing Quick Chargers for EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs), which can be used to configure a charging infrastructure. In 2012, we developed and introduced the world’s first V2H system, which allows EVs and PHVs to be connected to the home.

Market Overview, Changes in Customers and Markets, Future Outlook

The price people receive for selling electricity produced by electric power has been falling each year. As such, we expect demand for in-home consumption of solar power generation to gradually increase. In particular, 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of Japan’s feed-in tariff (FIT) system for solar power. From that year, customers across Japan are expected to begin shifting from the sale of electricity produced by solar power generation to the consumption of this power in the home, necessitating the addition of household energy storage systems. At the same time, the market is expected to see a sharp increase to electricity-powered EVs and away from vehicles powered by gasoline engines.

Development Background

NICHICON aims to promote renewable energy by maximizing solar power generation. In addition to enabling customers to make use of electricity generated by solar power, in June 2018 we plan to begin selling a tribrid energy storage system™, which will also enable the charging of EVs. The tribrid energy storage system™ links solar cells to the onboard batteries of EVs and PHVs, as well as storage batteries via direct current, providing an efficient connection. This total energy system is suited to a variety of usage scenarios.
(* According to research by NICHICON, February 2018)

Product Characteristics

(1) Uses Solar Power Generation to Power Everyday City Driving
Consumers who utilize EV’s for their daily commute or activities are able to store electricity in storage batteries that has been generated by the sun. At night, the vehicles can be connected to the Elemove™*1 (which stands for the “movement of electricity”), so that everyday driving is powered by the electricity that homes produce themselves.
*1: Elemove™
This system transfers electricity used to charge storage batteries to an EV. Conversely, it can be used to transfer electricity from a charged EV to a storage battery.

Making Good Use of household Electricity with Elemove™Moving toward Power Self-Sufficiency.

(2) Provides the Security of Backup Electricity in the Event of an Outage
People who have energy storage systems can make use of the systems in the event of a power outage. They can also use at night electricity that has been generated during the day using solar power and stored. In addition, having a tribrid energy storage system allows customers to make use of the electricity stored in an EV, providing security in the event of a prolonged power outage.

(3) Offers Flexibility to Match Customers’ Lifestyles
The number of storage batteries in the tribrid energy storage system can be increased if demand for electricity rises as a family grows. Alternatively, if a family is planning to purchase an EV, they can buy an additional V2H stand. Such flexibility allows the system to be tailored to fit a customer’s lifestyle.

(4) Uses Generated Electricity without Waste
Solar cells and EVs’ onboard batteries are connected to storage batteries using direct current, which eliminates conversion loss and enables highly efficient operation. Consequently, this energy storage system heralds an era of electrical self-sufficiency.

(5) Enables Easy Operation via an Indoor Remote Control with Touch Panel
Customers can control all of the various operating modes with a centralized indoor remote control. In addition to seeing at a glance the solar cell charging volume, amount of charging or discharging between storage batteries and EVs, and the Elemove™, this simple remote control has screens that allow users to check past operations and maintenance. If connected to a network, the remote control facilitates 24/7 protection of the energy storage system. The system also facilitates output control, as well as virtual power plant (VPP) and other external controls that are slated to begin in the future, and can be operated without a home energy management system.

(6) Offers Superior Economy
In addition to making use of solar power generation in the home, the system can be combined with an EV to reduce everyday energy costs.

Moving toward a Daily Vehicle Energy Cost of ¥0

System Configuration

(1) Tribrid Power Converter®
The ESS-T1 (Type 1) provides integrated control of a solar cell, storage battery and EV. Charging and discharging for each of these units uses direct current, so is highly efficient. The ESS-T2 (Type 2) provides integrated control of a storage battery and EV.

Tribrid Power Converter®

(2) Storage Battery Unit
With an affordable battery capacity of 4kWh, the unit can be augmented to 8kWh in accordance with changing life stages.

Storage Battery Unit

(3) V2H Stand
In addition to grid electricity, this system also allows quick charging from solar cells and storage batteries. During normal operations, the V2H stand charges EVs using solar power generation or inexpensive nighttime power. The electricity stored in the EV can be used to power the vehicle, as well as to supply power to the home, helping to reduce household expenses. During power outages, an EV can supply electricity to the home, providing security by serving as backup power in times of emergency. The stand is slim, as it employs power modules*7 made from next-generation power semiconductor silicon carbide (SiC)*8.

*7: Developed as part of a NEDO project, the “Clean Device Promotion Project/Promotion of SiC power modules through both field test for identified use cases and standardization of reliability”

*8: A type of device gaining attention for use in next-generation powered semiconductors

V2H Stand

(4) Indoor remote control
Operation is simple, using a 5-inch color LCD touch panel. The indoor remote control is provided as standard equipment.

Indoor remote control

Sample Configuration of Installed System

Sample Configuration of Installed System

System Recommendations

We offer a flexible range of tribrid energy storage system™ configurations, including the selection of Type 1 or Type 2, according to users’ needs: building a new house, becoming involved in solar power generation for the first time, nearing the end of a 10-year feed-in tariff (FIT) period, relatively little experience with solar power generation.

The tribrid energy storage system™ can be augmented to meet lifestyle needs.

<Expected Launch Date>
June 2018

<Recommended Retail Price>

Tribrid power converter
(Type 1)
ESS-T1Recommended retail price
(excluding consumption tax):
Tribrid power converter
(Type 2)
ESS-T2Recommended retail price
(excluding consumption tax):
Storage battery unitESS-BSRecommended retail price
(excluding consumption tax):
Storage battery unit
(expansion unit)
ESS-BMRecommended retail price
(excluding consumption tax):
V2H standESS-V1Recommended retail price
(excluding consumption tax):
Indoor remote controlESS-R5Attached to tribrid power converter

(1) Tribrid Power Converter

Model ESS-T1 (type containing solar power converter) ESS-T2 (single-function type)
Outside dimensions Power conditionerW727 x H560 x D257mm
(excluding attached metal fittings and protrusions)
W727 x H560 x D257mm
(excluding attached metal fittings and protrusions)
Indoor remote controlW170 x H140 x D23mmW170 x H140 x D23mm
Weight of main unitPower conditioner42kg (excluding attached metal fittings)36kg (excluding attached metal fittings)
Indoor remote control320g320g
Rated output voltageOutput when connected to grid5.9kW (storage battery only: 2.0kW)5.9kW (storage battery only: 2.0kW)
Standalone output3.0kVA (operation on storage battery: 2.0kVA)3.0kVA (operation on storage battery: 2.0kVA)
Rated output voltageOutput when connected to gridAC 202VAC 202V
Standalone outputAC 101VAC 101V
Solar power inputNumber of input circuits3-
Rated input voltageDV 380V/circuit-
Conversion efficiency (when connected to grid)Solar powerAt rated output: 95%-
Storage batteryAt rated output: 94%At rated output: 94%
Installation environmentSiting criteriaPower conditioner: Outdoors, at elevation of 2,000m or less
(-30 to +40°C)
Indoor remote control: Inside (0 to +40°C)
Power conditioner: Outdoors, at elevation of 2,000m or less
(-30 to +40°C)
Indoor remote control: Inside (0 to +40°C)
Operating temperaturePower conditioner: -20 to +40°C Indoor remote control: 0 to +40°C
(no condensation)
Power conditioner: -20 to +40°C Indoor remote control: 0 to +40°C
(no condensation)

(2) Storage Battery Unit

Model ESS-BS
(Storage battery unit)
ESS-BM(expansion unit)
Outside dimensionsW572 x H349 x D239mmW572 x H349 x D239mm
Weight of main unit51kg50kg
Nominal capacity of storage battery4.0kWh4.0kWh
Battery typeLithium-ion storage batteryLithium-ion storage battery
Installation environmentSiting criteriaIndoors (0 to +40°C)Indoors (0 to +40°C)
Operating temperature0 to +40°C
(no condensation)
0 to +40°C
(no condensation)

(3) V2H Stand

Model ESS-V1
Outside dimensions W762 x H1305 x D222mm
(excluding protrusions)
Weight of main unit91kg
Cabling Approx. 7.5m
Charging unit
(when connected to grid)
Electrical systemSingle-phase, three-wire
Rated voltageAC 202V
Rated frequency50 or 60Hz
AC input powerLess than 6kW
Discharge unit
(when connected to grid)
Electrical systemSingle-phase, three-wire
Rated voltageAC 202V
Rated frequency50 or 60Hz
AC input power5.9kVA
Discharge unit
(standalone output)
Electrical systemSingle-phase, two-wire
Rated voltageAC 101V
Rated frequency50 or 60Hz
AC output power3kVA
Note:Expected to be compatible with the following vehicles
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.: Leaf, e-NV200
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation: MiEV series, Outlander PHEV


Location:Karasumadori Oike-agaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
Representative:Ippei Takeda, Chairman & CEO
Established:August 1,1950
Capital:¥14,286 million (as of March 31, 2017)
Employees:5,183 (consolidated, as of March 31, 2017)
Businesses:Aluminum electrolytic capacitors, film capacitors, Posi-R® positive thermistors, household energy storage systems, V2H systems, EV/PHV quick chargers, public and industrial power storage systems, switching power supplies, function modules, power sources for medical accelerators, power sources for academic study accelerators, equipment used during blackouts or as temporary backup, etc.
Net sales:¥100,401 million (consolidated, fiscal year ended March 31, 2017)

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