The government of Tomiya City (Miyagi Prefecture, Japan), Hitachi Ltd, Marubeni Corp and Miyagi Coop have been engaged in a verification project for establishing a supply chain of solar power-derived hydrogen.
This time, they built facilities for the verification at Miyagi Coop Tomiya Joint Purchase Physical Distribution Center and had a ceremony to celebrate the start of its operation Aug 3, 2018.
In the verification test, power is generated by using a solar power generation (PV) system installed at the physical distribution center, and it is used to produce hydrogen with water electrolysis equipment. The produced hydrogen is stored in a "hydrogen-absorbing-alloy cassette."
Via the distribution network of Miyagi Coop, the cassette is distributed to three households of members of the co-op in Tomiya City, stores of Miyagi Coop and the building of a children's club at Tomiya City Hiyoshidai Elementary School. In those places, the hydrogen-absorbing-alloy cassette is attached to a pure-hydrogen-type fuel-cell cogeneration system. Power is generated by using hydrogen as fuel, and exhaust heat is utilized.
By using the existing distribution network, it becomes possible to transport hydrogen at low costs and with a small amount of carbon emissions. Also, the fuel cell of each of the households is expected to be used from evening to night, when the amount of solar electricity generated decreases, enabling to improve energy efficiency.