Panasonic Corp will release a residential distribution board that enables to visualize power consumption and can be linked to energy-related devices in the spring of 2014.
"We have fully revamped our residential distribution board for the first time in 14 years," the company said.
Panasonic expects to link the distribution board, "Smart Cosmo," to smart meters, etc to realize functions such as demand response control and peak cut and peak shift adjustments in the future.
Because a current sensor is embedded in each circuit breaker of the distribution board, it becomes easy to visualize the amount of power consumption. Compared with the case in which current sensors are added to an already installed distribution board, the new product enables to save installation time.
It is possible to check power consumption with a tablet computer, etc by transmitting measured data to a server. Panasonic plans to provide services such as suggesting actions to save energy and keeping an eye on an elderly person based on the data on power consumption.
Moreover, the Smart Cosmo comes with functions that make it easy to connect to energy-related devices for the future. For example, it is possible to add a circuit breaker for connection with a photovoltaic (PV) power generation system, adapter for communication with an "energy creation-storage linked system," adapter for the "AiSEG" HEMS controller, adapter for smart meters, etc to the inside of the distribution board.
As a result, installation area can be reduced by about 27%, compared with the case in which all of those devices are installed outside of an existing distribution board.
Though Panasonic did not disclose details, the Smart Cosmo has a function that existing distribution boards do not have. The function will be used when multiple energy-related devices work together. Moreover, it can realize some of the HEMS functions excluding visualization without using the AiSEG, etc.
The price of the new distribution board will be about half that of an exiting residential distribution board and HEMS devices combined, the company said.