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Sanyo wants slice of energy solutions market

Posted: 09 Nov 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:energy solution market? solar cell? Li-ion battery?

Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd will be entering the energy solutions business with system proposals to reduce running costs and CO2 emissions for factories, schools, stores and other facilities. The company will offer systems that combine Sanyo's technologies for energy creation such as solar cells, energy storage including rechargeable batteries and energy saving commercial equipment.

The company's energy solution business aims to provide Sanyo smart energy systems (SanyoSES) that reduce running costs by saving energy while greatly reducing CO2 emissions. With SES, electricity from solar panels or from the grid, drawn late at night when power rates are cheaper, is stored in rechargeable batteries. Power conditioners are then utilized to ensure the most efficient use of power for refrigerated showcases, air conditioning and lighting. Sanyo will develop this business area by maximizing its strengths, including commercial equipment, which has secured a large market share due to energy-saving features based on heating and cooling technologies developed over many years. Sanyo will also use its strength in high-quality rechargeable batteries, drawing on a wide range of technology developed for public and commercial applications, as well as HIT solar cells, which offer the world's highest-level energy conversion efficiency at the practical level.

While the photovoltaic system and rechargeable battery businesses are expected to enjoy substantial market growth in the future, the business environment is becoming increasingly difficult due to a sudden drop in prices and the intensification of competition. Consequently, in addition to further strengthening these business areas, which are already at the top of the industry, Sanyo plans to expand the energy solutions market from large-scale facilities such as factories and high-rise buildings to small and medium-scale users such as retail stores, schools, and homes, while contributing towards environmental protection through the development of solutions based on its strengths. Sanyo is aiming to reach a scale of operation of 100 billion yen for its energy solutions business by the fiscal year ending March 2016.

Corporate Initiatives
Sanyo is undertaking four initiatives toward this goal. The first is the development of large-capacity and high-voltage Li-ion battery systems. Sales of these systems are set for Q2 10.

The company is also accelerating product development based on demonstration testing. The company has invested about 5 billion yen ($55.2 million) in a new production facility at the Kasai Plant (Tokonabe-cho, Kasai, Hyogo), and the latest energy systems are being installed. Demonstration testing is being carried out that will be useful for future product development. The plant will also be open for public viewing, which will help promote sales development.

A third initiative is the collaboration with other companies according to product characteristics. Sanyo is promoting cooperation with a wide range of companies, including Kajima Corp., concerning installation methods that will enable efficient electrical generation, by combining construction materials with HIT double bifacial solar panels that generate electricity on both sides. This installation is planned for the administration building at the Kasai Plant. There is also an initiative with Lawson Inc. for the installation of refrigerated showcases, lead batteries (10kWh), and solar cells (10kW) in Lawson convenience stores. Demonstration testing for this is underway to show the CO2 emission reduction, and energy-saving effects.

Sanyo has also established an independent organization, the energy solution business division, which will be set up directly under the president of Sanyo. The department will coordinate the technology development, sales strategy, quality control, and service development functions, and will initially have a staff of about 70 people.

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