Aiming to use renewable energy for local production and consumption
Over the past few years, in order to provide energy for local businesses and private homes, various energy production methods have been newly studied and introduced. Introduction of renewable energy sources such as solar power, wind power, and hydropower to create energy forms the basis of energy consumption by local communities and industrial facilities. In order to reduce CO2 emissions that contribute to climate change and to form the foundation of more sustainable energy supplies, the key is to shift from centralized power generation to a decentralized one, as determined by local production and consumption needs.
NTN Corporation, whose main business is production of ball bearings used in automobiles, has installed an energy recycling model referred to as “Green Power Park” on the premises of the Advanced Technology Research Institute in Kuwana City, Mie Prefecture. Here, the energy generated by wind, hydroelectric power, and solar power is recycled to fuel electric vehicles (EV), vegetable processing plants, and other industrial facilities. Furthermore, this model is being proposed as an architype for a reliant low-carbon society.
In 2016, the company began selling manufactured products related to renewable energy sources, using technologies developed through the development and manufacture of bearings that reduce energy loss. The park is equipped with three vertical axis wind turbines, developed by the company, one small hydroelectric generator, and street lighting, known as the “NTN Green Power Station” that combine wind and solar power. The electricity generated by these units is used to charge EVs and for lighting during the night at processing factories. The NTN Green Power Station is a “small power plant” that combines a vertical-axis wind turbine and solar panels, and generates electricity using 2 natural energy sources, solar and wind. The stored electricity is used to power street lights at night, and can be supplied to information communication devices such as smartphones and radios in the event of a power outage during a natural or man-made disaster. In the Green Power Park, the generation of energy and the storage and consumption of power are carefully monitored and controlled. The power origination is optimized to ensure that the clean natural energy produced is efficiently circulated without CO2 emission.
In addition, in the spring of this year, we announced the development of a mobile power supply that is separately housed and fully contained, known as the “N3 N Cube” which generates electricity using all three types of natural energy: solar, wind, and water. The towns of Kyonan and Futtsu in Chiba Prefecture, which were severely damaged by Typhoon No. 15, submitted a request and received disaster assistance. The system was installed locally, and the N3 N Cube was used as an emergency power source for Wi-Fi for smartphones, computers and other information devices, as power was desperately needed by residents.
These products are eligible for government subsidies, such as the Ministry of the Environment’s “Projects to promote the introduction of independent and decentralized energy facilities that simultaneously realize disaster prevention and mitigation and low carbon in local communities”. NTN plans to contribute to the local production and consumption of energy in cooperation with local governments.