Environment – Energy & Industrial Systems Group
Business Overview and Environmental Issues for Which Risks and Opportunities Have Been Recognized and Evaluated
Delivering Equipment and Systems that Support Stable Electricity Supply
The Energy & Industrial Systems Group provides a wide range of systems and products that play a vital role in power generation, transmission, power distribution, and power retailing. On the product side this includes generators, transformers, switchgear, and vacuum circuit breakers, while systems include plant monitoring, grid stabilization, grid protection & control systems, and DC technologies. With the realization of a sustainable society now an important theme globally, we are more committed than ever to contributing to the realization of a society in which power companies and end users alike can live safely, securely, and comfortably. This will be accomplished through the development of high-efficiency equipment and by increasing our involvement in businesses related to smart grids and smart communities, as well as continuing our activities to reduce the impact we have on the environment. We manufacture equipment and systems at the Energy & Systems Center (Hyogo Prefecture and Kanagawa Prefecture), Transmission & Distribution Systems Center (Hyogo Prefecture), and Power Distribution Systems Center (Kagawa Prefecture) as well as at our affiliates in Japan and overseas. Our business group focuses on reducing the environmental impact resulting from the operations of our overseas affiliates, reducing the emission of SF6 gas–which has a high global warming potential–and strengthening the management of chemical substances under the guidance of our domestic site, which is the mother factory.
Environmental Issues for Which Risks and Opportunities Have Been Recognized and Evaluated
- Climate change
- Depletion of mineral resources
- Proper management of chemical substances in design and manufacturing
- Air, water, and soil pollution due to operations and procurement
Message from the Energy & Industrial Systems Group
Helping Achieve a Sustainable Society by Developing High-Efficiency Equipment and Stepping up Our Involvement in Businesses Related to Smart Grids/Smart Communities
As a provider of a full range of equipment and systems that support power systems from power generation to transmission and distribution, we recognize that achieving a sustainable society represents one of our most important missions. Based on this, the Energy & Industrial Systems Group is now focusing on the following initiatives.
Development of high performance equipment and expansion of applications
With our aim to reduce greenhouse gases throughout a product’s life, we are developing and commercializing high-efficiency generators, switchgear that reduce environmental impact, transformers that reduce energy loss, and equipment that eliminates or reduces the use of SF6 gas, which has a high global warming potential.
Stepping up our involvement in businesses related to smart grids and smart communities
Utilizing technologies and know-how acquired at our in-house verification and testing facilities, we are expanding the delivery of products such as monitoring and control systems, smart meter systems and battery energy storage systems. These systems contribute to the realization of "high-quality power distribution systems with economy and reliability", "optimize energy use by achieving interconnectivity utilizing ICT" and "resilient energy infrastructure that operates seamlessly even at the time of an emergency".
Moving forward, we are also working on the development of power stabilizing equipment and systems capable of responding to new demand. This includes promoting the expansion of nuclear power generation business based on the energy policies of each country, supply and demand management with the growing use of renewable energy, integrated management including demand control of distributed energy sources, supply and demand management by interconnecting between each electric power utilities company.
In terms of reducing the impact of our business on the environment, we will contribute to the creation of a safe, secure, and comfortable society through ongoing initiatives to reduce the energy used in our production and testing processes, as well as strict management of chemical substances.
- Information and Communication Technology
Initiatives Contributing to the Environment and Society
Development of Indirect Hydrogen-Cooled Turbine Generators That Reduce Environmental Impact
With the increasing global demand for power and the growing problem of global warming due to CO2 emissions, turbine generators are now required to achieve higher output, higher efficiency, and higher reliability. We are working on the development of larger-output and higher-efficiency indirectly hydrogen-cooled turbine generators that have a relatively simple structure. As a result, we successfully developed the new VP-X Series generator, which achieves a 900 MVA class output, the world's highest class output* for an indirectly hydrogen-cooled generator. Performance evaluations and verification tests have also been completed using the actual machine.
In the past, the 900 MVA class high output range could only be accomplished by water-cooled systems, so it was necessary to install and operate auxiliary equipment such as stator cooling water feeders. Indirectly hydrogen-cooled systems do not require such equipment, which is an advantage in terms of maintenance and operation.
In addition, through the application of several newly developed element technologies, the VP-X Series achieves higher output, higher efficiency, and a smaller size compared to conventional indirectly hydrogen-cooled generators. As these element technologies can also be applied in part to existing machines, we can also provide new services to achieve higher output and higher efficiency by replacing or updating parts.
- Mitsubishi Electric's own research, as of December 8, 2014.
Development and Dissemination of Switchgear That Reduce Environmental Impact
With the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we are promoting the widespread use of the 70 kV class C-GIS (cubicle-type gas insulated switchgear), equipped with a vacuum circuit breaker that uses no SF6 gas thanks to dry air insulation. We are also developing a gas-insulated circuit breaker (GCB) series that utilizes a spring structure instead of the conventional hydraulic structure to significantly reduce maintenance work and minimize energy loss. We have completed commercialization for products up to 500 kV and are now working on minimizing material consumption and operating power, as well as extending the life of the equipment.
Development of Transformers That Reduce Environmental Impact
We supply customers in Japan and overseas with low-heat generation, highly efficient transformers that contribute to a reduction in transmission power loss from the plant to the customer, as well as the reduction of CO2 emissions. We are also developing compact transformers in order to reduce the volume of materials used. In addition, for rolling stock, we have developed and delivered natural-air cooling transformers that use airflow generated by the running train to cool the transformer. As the system uses high efficiency transformers that generate less heat, and is cooled by airflow alone, without employing an electric-motored fan, it offers a significant contribution to energy conservation.
Power Electronics Systems for Electric Power, Smart Meter Systems, Battery Energy Storage Systems and Smart Medium and Low Voltage Direct Current Distribution Network Systems, Essential for Smart Grids and Smart Communities
In the smart grid and smart community sector, which is seen as one of the most effective measures against climate change, over the last 30 years we have abundant experiences spanning the delivery of power electronics for electric power facilities, including capacitors and harmonic filters, contributing to advanced operations of power systems. Furthermore, we have built up know-how and techniques with our verification and testing facility that is based on assumed distribution networks in 2020. Utilizing the technologies and expertise gained in this way and feedback from customers, we are expanding our business.
Power Electronics Systems for Electric Power
We offer an integrated service from the development of the latest, high-capacity low-loss power devices to the construction of systems for large-scale electric power facilities. In order to improve flexibility in electric power operations and solve various problems in electric power systems, highly sophisticated power electronic technologies are applied. We will continue to contribute to building power distribution facilities that support the foundation for the realization of smart grids.
Smart Meter Systems
Smart meter systems will be the core component for fully liberalizing retail power sales. Information about when and how much electricity was used will be indispensable to allow consumers to freely select an electricity supplier. We have developed a system that enables large volumes of meter data to be collected accurately at low cost, and this system is now in operation in several utilities. In addition, these smart meter systems are capable of providing as much electric power as required for individual users' power-/energy-saving actions via alternative channels.
Battery Storage Systems
Battery storage systems are essential for the flexible operations of power systems. These systems are the key to balancing power generation when using renewable energy, for which output fluctuates, and power generation using fossil fuels. We have installed battery energy storage systems for small-scale power systems in locations such as remote islands, and testing is in progress. Battery energy storage systems are also helpful as a countermeasure for the excess power or fluctuations that result from using renewable energy in the main power grid system. Mitsubishi Electric is focusing on expanding products that take full advantage of renewable energies such as wind and solar power without restricting outputs, and is contributing to the realization of a low-carbon society and the stable operation of power systems.
The "D-SMiree" Smart Medium- and Low-Voltage DC Distribution Network System
We have produced the next generation DC distribution system D-SMiree, which contributes to alleviating concerns regarding environmental, resources as well as energy problems through energy saving, energy creation, and energy storage. By proposing a DC distribution method rather than the conventional AC distribution method, we can achieve energy saving (reduction of conversion frequency), energy creation (optimal interconnection of multiple power generation sources, including solar and wind power), and energy storage (optimal charge and discharge control of storage batteries by leveraging an energy management system). This will contribute to the change from an energy consuming society to an energy society based on local production for local consumption.
Reduced Environmental Impact Monitoring and Control System
This monitoring and control system achieves even higher functionality and performance than conventional models, reduces volume and weight by up to 30%, and contributes to resource and space saving. It also reduces power consumption by up to 33% compared to conventional systems. In addition, the CPU card and I/O unit are designed to be compatible with previous-generation hardware. Enabling the system to be introduced with minimum equipment updates reduces the impact on the environment, including the volume of resources used.
Initiatives for Reducing Environmental Impact
Staying Focused on Preventing Environmental Pollution and Reducing CO2 during Production
The Energy & Industrial Systems Group's manufacturing bases (4 at Mitsubishi Electric, 8 affiliates in Japan, 2 overseas affiliates) manufacture equipment in small lots, including large generators and transformers. They also produce medium-sized equipment and system devices using small-lot production and manufacture components, assemble products, and perform testing for plates, machine work, and insulation materials. Each factory pays particularly close attention to preventing air, water, or soil pollution, since they handle chemical substances and insulating oil. These factories also use great amounts of energy because of their large furnaces, cleanrooms, hot-water baths, and testing facilities. As a result, each is taking steps to reduce CO2 from production by systematically installing solar power systems, electrifying steam-powered equipment, and conserving energy by reusing factory exhaust heat as well as by promoting activities that minimize emissions of SF6 gas.
Raising the Effectiveness of Environmental Activities by Sharing Information between Factories
The Energy & Industrial Systems Group is working to raise the effectiveness of its environmental initiatives by having environmental managers from Mitsubishi Electric's works and affiliates become involved in various ways, such as by participating in environmental promotion conferences or conducting energy conservation inspections at affiliate companies.
Fiscal 2017 Implementation Status
Environmental Promotion Conferences
- 3 (1 joint meeting; 1 managers' meeting; 1 working-level meeting)
- Establishment of activities to reduce CO2 emissions during production by improving facility operations and JIT manufacturing processes
- Main results:
- Reduced CO2 emissions by 1,457t-CO2/year as a consolidated group, including all affiliate companies, implementing energy-saving measures such as improving operations in production facilities, switching to electricity for steam facilities, reducing loss of steam, and improving JIT manufacturing processes.
Audits were conducted at the Transformer System Manufacturing Plant (Itami district) (Hyogo Prefecture), Tada Electric Co., Ltd. heat exchanger plant (Okayama Prefecture), Ryoden Kasei Co., Ltd (Hyogo Prefecture), Ryosan Industry Corporation Headquarters Plant (Hyogo Prefecture), Ryosan Industry Corporation Asahi Plant (Aichi Prefecture), and Marugame Ryoden Technica Corporation (Kagawa Prefecture)