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Over eighteen months after the Great East Japan Earthquake, people remain keenly aware of the necessity of saving energy and have started to incorporate such awareness into their daily lives. To use energy more efficiently, Panasonic is developing houses equipped with its Home Energy Management System (HEMS) or smart houses. We completed the basic model of SMARTHEMSTM by adding AiSEG to energy creation, storage, and saving equipment. Panasonic is developing Eco & Smart houses.
Panasonic’s AiSEG makes the flow of energy throughout the entire home visible by exchanging information with home appliances. By using smartphone, TV, and other equipment, residents can check the power consumption of each home appliance and in each room, which was previously invisible. The cause of waste becomes immediately obvious, heightening conservation awareness and promoting energy saving.
While the awareness of energy saving has been growing, people are getting tired of making efforts to save energy. If home appliances and equipment are automatically controlled to use electricity efficiently, we do not have to worry about using too much electricity. Panasonic therefore networks its home appliances and other equipment, which boast eco-friendly performance on their own, for smarter energy use. For example, the power required to heat IH cooking equipment will be automatically reduced when the overall electricity consumption in the home is large. AiSEG achieves comprehensive energy management throughout the entire home for optimal control.
Since the March 11 earthquake, awareness of disaster readiness has soared. By connecting AiSEG to an Energy Creation-storage Linked System for the Home, which consists of a photovoltaic power generation system and a storage battery, electricity is efficiently distributed to a minimum set of lighting systems and other essential equipment during power outages. Panasonic has been introducing its electrical wiring infrastructure widely in homes in Japan. By incorporating SMARTHEMS,TM which includes an Energy Creation-storage Linked System for the Home, into this infrastructure, Panasonic’s solutions resolve energy supply problems in households not only in normal times but also during emergencies.
Panasonic will gradually increase its lineup of AiSEG-compatible products including air conditioners, IH cooking equipment, and ECO CUTE heat pump hot water supply systems. Going forward, SMARTHEMSTM will support EV charging facilities and smart meters equipped with communication functions, making them useful as electricity supplies in communities. When SMARTHEMSTM is connected to a cloud computing service by the Internet, energy will be used more efficiently based on up-to-date information. Such functions of equipment and home appliances will be made available through software updates.
Since life in Japan is currently facing various challenges, smart houses are very significant because energy is automatically saved. Panasonic envisions SMARTHEMSTM as essential energy network infrastructure for future houses. Since everyone now has to tackle energy problems, we will pursue the evolution of SMARTHEMSTM to allow people’s lifestyles to always stay ahead of the times.
This system enables efficient storage of the electricity generated (created) by photovoltaic or fuel cell cogeneration systems and the use of this electricity when main power is close to its limit or temporarily unavailable. Alternating current (AC) is generally used to transmit electricity, but since photovoltaic power generation systems and storage battery units supply direct current (DC), photovoltaic power generation systems are equipped with a DC/AC converter. This power conditioner is not 100% efficient, so energy is lost during the conversion process. AC/DC conversion is also required for storing power in storage battery units. The hardwired systems for energy creation and storage, however, directly store the DC power from photovoltaic panels in storage battery units to maximize the use of the generated power.
HEMS stands for Home Energy Management System. This system manages energy use in homes. It calculates and displays power generation and storage along with power consumption by usage such as lighting, air conditioners and home appliances in homes on a minute-by-minute or hourly basis, and reports or advises on power use. Furthermore, in cases where power consumption is likely to exceed the preset amount, the system controls the overall power consumption by changing the air conditioning temperature setting or switching off low-priority equipment.
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