The environment and business

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 global theme, we are more committed than ever to contributing to the realization of a "safe, secure, and comfortable sustainable society" by developing high-performance equipment and next-generation power systems that are environmentally friendly and capable of coping with disasters, artificial threats and changes in the electricity market. 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
  • Air, water, and soil pollution

Message from the Energy & Industrial Systems Group

Contributing to the Realization of a "Safe, Secure, and Comfortable Sustainable Society" by Developing High-performance Equipment and Next-generation Power Systems That Are Environmentally Friendly and Capable of Coping with Disasters, Artificial Threats and Changes in the Electricity Market

photo: Koichi Orito

Koichi Orito
Executive Officer
In Charge of Energy & Industrial Systems Group

As a provider of a full range of equipment and systems that support power systems from power generation and conversion to transmission and distribution, the Energy & Industrial Systems Group recognizes that achieving a sustainable society is a global issue today. Based on this, we are developing high-performance equipment with the aim of eliminating or reducing the use of SF6 gas, which has high global warming potential. These products include high-efficiency power generators, switchgear, and transformers. We are also pushing forward with the development of monitoring and control systems, smart meter systems, and battery energy storage systems that contribute to the realization of "high-quality power distribution systems with economy and reliability." Furthermore, we are working to "optimize energy use by utilizing ICT* to realize interconnectivity" and to contribute to the realization of a "resilient energy infrastructure that operates seamlessly, even at times of 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 sustainable society" through ongoing initiatives to reduce the energy used in our production and testing processes, as well as strict management of chemical substances.

  • * ICT:Information and Communication Technology

Initiatives Contributing to the Environment and Society

Climate change Development of Indirect Hydrogen-Cooled Turbine Generators That Reduce Environmental Impact

Against the backdrop of globally increasing calls for reducing negative environmental impact by CO2 emissions and other harmful substances, there is now growing demand for turbine generators capable of higher performance, including improved efficiency and higher reliability. In response to these needs, we have successfully developed the VP-X Series of high-output/high-efficiency indirect hydrogen-cooled 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 was the realm of water-cooling methods until now. We expect these new generators to offer various advantages in terms of operation and maintenance.

In addition, several new element technologies that improve efficiency were discovered during development of the VP-X Series and can be applied for partial renewal of existing generators. We are also providing customers with a new line of upgrade services, and hope that this will help us meet diversifying requirements for improving the performance of existing equipment.

  • * Mitsubishi Electric in-house research as of December 8, 2014.
  • photo: High-efficiency VP-X turbine generator

    High-efficiency VP-X turbine generator

  • photo: 870 MVA generator for verification testing

    870 MVA generator for verification testing

Climate change Development and Dissemination of Switchgear That Reduces 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 developed a gas-insulated circuit breaker (GCB) series that utilizes a spring mechanism instead of the conventional hydraulic mechanism 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.

  • photo: Cubicle-type gas-insulated switchgear

    Cubicle-type gas-insulated switchgear

  • photo: Gas circuit breaker

    Gas circuit breaker

Climate change Proper management of chemical substances Air, water, and soil pollution Development of Transformers That Reduce Environmental Impact

We supply customers in Japan and overseas transformers with less heating and high efficiency 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 air flow 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.

  • photo: High-efficiency transformer

    High-efficiency transformer

  • photo: On-board transformer (for rolling stock)

    On-board transformer (for rolling stock)

Climate change Proper management of chemical substances Depletion of mineral resources 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 Virtual Power Plant (VPP) Systems

Over the past 30 years, Mitsubishi Electric has been contributing to the advanced operation of power systems by supplying various power electronics technologies and products for the electric power industry in support of power distribution networks. In recent years, we have been focusing on developing and enhancing battery energy storage and DC power distribution systems with the goal of expanding business relate to smart grids and VPP systems, which are expected to be effective measures against climate change.

Virtual Power Plant (VPP) Systems

By connecting energy sources located in various places (distributed energy sources) such as power generation facilities using renewable energy and batteries, a 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 systems, having CO2-free power sources, can supplement power supplies and help create a low-carbon society.
Additionally, these can also help to solve power system stability issues caused by the unreliable nature of power generation using renewable energy. Mitsubishi Electric provides the control and interface technologies, as well as various equipment, that are required for the utilization of VPP systems.

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 electronics 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 electricity deregulation of retail 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 in real time 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.

  • photo: Demonstration facility exterior

    Demonstration facility exterior

  • photo: Demonstration facility electrical lab

    Demonstration facility electrical lab

Climate change Depletion of mineral resources Proper management of chemical substances 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.

photo: Instrumentation and control system

Instrumentation and control system

Initiatives for Reducing Environmental Impact

Climate change Depletion of mineral resources Proper management of chemical substances Air, water, and soil pollution Staying Focused on Preventing Environmental Pollution and Reducing CO2 during Production

The Energy & Industrial Systems Group's manufacturing bases (four at Mitsubishi Electric, seven among affiliates in Japan, and two among 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.

Climate change Depletion of mineral resources Proper management of chemical substances Air, water, and soil pollution 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 2018 Implementation Status

Environmental Promotion Conferences

Sessions: 3 (one managers' meeting; two working-level meetings)
Topics: Establishment of activities to reduce CO2 emissions during production by improving facility operations and JIT manufacturing processes
Main results: Reduced CO2 emissions by 889t-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.

Environmental Audit

Audits were conducted at the Energy Systems Center (Hyogo Prefecture), Transmission & Distribution Systems Center (Ako District) (Hyogo Prefecture) , Power Distribution Systems Center (Kagawa Prefecture), SGC (Hyogo Prefecture), Tada Electric Co., Ltd. Industrial Apparatus Works (Hyogo Prefecture), Ryosai Technica Co., Ltd. (Hyogo Prefecture), Melco Control Panels and Components Corporation. (Hyogo Prefecture), and Ryosei Corporation (Hyogo Prefecture)