Executive Officer, Group President, Energy & Industrial Systems
Due to the spread of renewable energy resources such as solar and wind power, as well as the advancement of digital technologies such as information & communication technology (ICT) and the Internet of Things (IoT), the environment and market needs surrounding the electric power industry are rapidly shifting from high capacity, high voltage hardware to small-medium capacity and voltage based hardware such as renewable energy-related equipment and networked systems and software. Moreover, the electric power industry is at a major turning point as deregulation of the electric power industry and industrial reorganization are occurring at a rapid pace.
In the midst of this situation, the Energy & Industrial Systems Group works to continuously improve the efficiency of the power generators, switchgear and transformers that make up our core businesses, while at the same time developing environmentally friendly equipment to eliminate or reduce the use of SF6 gas, known for its high global-warming potential. We are also pushing forward with development of monitoring and control systems, smart meter systems and battery energy storage systems that allow for economical and reliable high-quality power distribution systems, optimized energy use via ICT for interconnectivity and resilient energy infrastructure that operates seamlessly, even during emergencies.
At the same time, we are also driving business forward with grid stabilization equipment, devices and solutions capable of responding to new demand. This includes supply and demand management with the growing use of renewable energy resources, integrated management of distributed energy sources including demand control, and wide area supply and demand of electricity through interconnection of electric power utilities. Through these and other ongoing initiatives, we’re helping to bring about a safer, more secure and more comfortable world.
|Major social issues for which risks and opportunities have been recognized and evaluated||Focusing on the SDGs|
Against the backdrop of an increasing global call to reduce the negative environmental impacts of CO2 emissions and other harmful substances, there is now growing demand for turbine generators capable of higher performance, improved efficiency and higher reliability. In response to these needs, Mitsubishi Electric has successfully developed the VP-X Series of high-output/high-efficiency indirect hydrogen-cooled turbine generators and introduced models up to the 900 MVA class*.
Compared to water-cooled systems, indirect hydrogen-cooled generators have the advantage of not requiring auxiliary equipment such as stator cooling water feeders. Our VP-X Series generators expand the application of high-efficiency indirect hydrogen-cooled systems to the high-output range of 900 MVA, which up until now was strictly the realm of water-cooling methods. We expect these new generators to offer various advantages in terms of operation and maintenance.
In addition, several new element technologies that enhance output, improve efficiency and reduce size were discovered during development of the VP-X Series, and can be applied to the partial renewal of existing generators. Moreover we now provide customers with a new line of upgrade services in order to meet diversifying requirements for improving the performance of existing equipment.
High-efficiency VP-X turbine generator
870 MVA generator used for verification testing
Aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Mitsubishi Electric promotes the wide spread adoption of 70 kV-class cubicle-type gas-insulated switchgear (C-GIS) equipped with a vacuum circuit breaker, and that uses no SF6 gas thanks to a dry-air insulation technique. In addition, a spring-operated mechanism is used instead of the conventional hydraulic operation mechanism, which greatly reduces maintenance work. At the same time, we are developing a series of gas circuit breakers (GCBs) with low energy loss and have completed commercialization of units up through the 500 kV level. We are also working on reducing materials used & operating power and expanding the range of long-life equipment.
Cubicle-type gas-insulated switchgear (C-GIS)
Gas circuit breaker
Seeing as mineral oil is derived from petroleum and therefore a limited natural resource, Mitsubishi Electric developed the MELCORE-NEO™ power transformer that utilizes vegetable oil-based insulating oil instead. Thanks to the vegetable-based insulating oil, these transformer enables sustainable production, prevents soil contamination and is carbon neutral to boot. In addition, the flame-retardant insulating oil it uses provides excellent disaster prevention properties, and it has been delivered to railroads, data centers, and other facilities where environmental consideration and disaster prevention is required. For rolling stock / rail applications, we have developed and delivered natural-air cooled transformers that utilize airflow generated by the running train to cool the transformer without the need for an additional fan and in turn help to realize significant energy efficiency.
Vegetable oil based on-board transformer for rolling stock/rail applications
Mitsubishi Electric monitoring and control systems help realize resource and space savings by reducing volume and weight by up to 30% while achieving higher functionality and performance than conventional models, as well as reducing power consumption by up to 33% compared to conventional systems. In addition, CPU cards and I/O unit are designed to be backwards compatible with previous-generation hardware. By enabling these systems to be deployed with minimal equipment updates, it also reduces environmental impact by consuming fewer resources.
Instrumentation and Control Systems
While previous AVRs were built with a control board was housed in a card slot, modern units have adopted a module construction where the control board is integrated into the main body. This allows for AVRs one-fifth the size of previous models with easier maintenance, reduced environmental impact from manufacturing and power consumption to be cut in half. Mitsubishi Electric supplies AVRs to power plants both in Japan and abroad, contributing to the stable supply of electricity around the world.
Card Slot Type (conventional model)
Module Type (latest model)
Since its launch in 2003, each BLEnDer® Series module has been enhanced in terms of functionality, and new products have been added to the product lineup. Currently, Mitsubishi Electric offers a series of 15 packaged modules with a track record of delivery to multiple electricity generators and retailers.*
Via BLEnDer® Mitsubishi Electric has been and will remain committed to supporting the smart operation of power transmission and distribution networks and the expansion of the power industry in response to changes in the market and energy trends.
By connecting energy sources in various locations (distributed energy resources) such as renewable energy power generation facilities and batteries, a virtual power plant (VPP) system with a supply capacity equivalent to that of a single power plant in a power system can be constructed. The utilization of such CO2-free power sources can supplement power supplies and help with decarbonization efforts. VPPs can also help to solve power system stability issues caused by the unreliable nature of renewable power generation. Mitsubishi Electric provides the control and interface technologies and manufactures a wide variety of equipment needed for the utilization of VPP systems.
Smart metering systems are the core component allowing full retail deregulation of electric power. Information about when and how much electricity was used will be indispensable to allow consumers to freely select an electricity supplier. Mitsubishi Electric has developed a system that enables large volumes of meter data to be collected accurately at low cost, with the system now in use with several utilities. In addition, the Mitsubishi Electric smart meter system can provide real-time information about electricity usage to help individual consumers save power & energy.
Battery storage systems are essential for the flexible operation of power systems. These systems are key when balancing power generation using renewable energy sources with fluctuating outputs and power generation using fossil fuels. Mitsubishi Electric has installed energy storage control systems for small-scale power systems in locations such as remote islands, with further testing in progress. Energy storage control systems are also helpful as a countermeasure for excess power or fluctuations resulting from use of renewable energy resources in a main power grid system. Mitsubishi Electric is focused on expanding the range of products that contribute to decarbonization and grid stability by making the maximum use of wind, solar and other renewable energy resources without the need to suppress output.
Mitsubishi Electric developed the Diamond-Smart Medium Voltage Direct Current Distribution Network System for Innovative Reliable Economical Ecology (D-SMiree) next-generation DC distribution system to address energy conservation, generation and storage, with the aim of contributing to environmental issues and alleviating resource and energy problems. By using DC distribution rather than the conventional AC method, it allows for energy savings (through reduction of conversions), generation (via optimal interconnection of multiple power sources including solar and wind) and storage (through optimal energy management system controlled battery charge & discharge). In turn, this helps us to create a world where energy is both produced and consumed on site.
Demonstration Facility Electrical Lab