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Omron Provides Transparency With Carbon Footprint Calculations

June 08, 2024 by Mike Falter

Omron will begin providing product carbon footprint calculations for its high-capacity power relays to improve transparency in its produced-related carbon emissions.

Omron Corporation will begin providing product carbon footprint (PCF) calculations, based on accepted global standards, for its high-power capacity relays used in energy storage and other systems. The company will also work to improve the transparency of greenhouse gas emissions associated with its electronics manufacturing and distribution supply chain.

Omron’s G9KB series of high-capacity power relays will be among the first products to receive a PCF assessment. The calculation for the relay series will be based on ISO 14067 standards and certified by a third party. Over time, PCF calculations for additional products will be rolled out.  

With increased government regulation and public pressure to reduce carbon-based energy consumption, companies are turning to PCF disclosures to demonstrate compliance and quantify the impact of their decarbonization efforts. 

 

Decarbonization efforts.  

Decarbonization efforts. Image used courtesy of Adobe Stock

 

Product Carbon Footprint

A product carbon footprint calculation estimates the amount of greenhouse gases released to the environment over a product's full life cycle.

For board-mounted electronic components like relays, a PCF calculation will encompass all aspects of the supply chain, from raw material sourcing to production, shipping, end-use, disposal, and recycling.  

Determining a reasonable PCF calculation for a product requires outlining all steps for its production and usage in detail. Each associated process is then analyzed for its inputs and outputs, such as energy supplies, materials, and waste products.   

 

Board-mounted relay product carbon footprint

Board-mounted relay product carbon footprint. Image used courtesy of Omron 

 

High-Voltage Power Relay

The G9KB-E is a new variant of Omron’s high-capacity, bidirectional DC power relay series. It increases the maximum opening and closing voltage to 800 VDC  from the prior variants’ 600 VDC. The relay also doubles the series' switching current capacity to 100 A.

The G9KB-E is available in a PCB mountable enclosure (50.5 x 37.0 x 50.5 mm) with a contact gap of more than 3.6 mm and a contact resistance below 5 mΩ.  

The relay is targeted for high-power battery-related applications (up to 40 kW) in energy storage, EV chargers, and vehicle-to-grid applications. Its higher switching voltage rating makes it well-suited to the requirements of emerging 800 V EV battery bus applications.   

 

High-capacity DC relays for EV powertrain applications

High-capacity DC relays for EV powertrain applications. Image used courtesy of Omron

 

Environmental Awareness and Expectations

Omron’s efforts to improve transparency into the carbon footprint of its products are good for the environment, but they are also good for business. 

Increased awareness about global climate challenges has resulted in increased demands from stakeholders that for-profit companies monitor and reduce the climate impacts of their commercial products and services.

Companies like Omron are responding with initiatives like PCF to assess their operations' environmental impact. But a balance must be struck between the near-term costs of improved compliance and the value delivered to customers and investors, such as product costs and profits. Companies that can figure out the right mix will be competitive in their respective markets.