Toyota Constructs Zero Emissions Building using Fuel Cells

September 11, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

Toyota Motor Corporation has installed stationary pure hydrogen fuel cells at the energy management facility which had been completed at its Honsha Plant in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, in August 2016. The fuel cells started operations today. Toyota is progressing with initiatives toward the fulfillment of the Plant Zero CO2 Emissions Challenge that was announced at the 2015 Toyota Environmental Forum. In connection with this, Toyota aims to completely eliminate CO2 emissions at the recently constructed new energy management facility through energy-saving measures, and the use of renewable and hydrogen-based energy.

Specifically, the energy-saving measures include, promoting conservation by allowing each employee to switch the air-conditioning and lighting on and off, as well as maximizing the use of natural lighting and natural ventilation. The measures are expected to reduce electric power consumption and CO2 emissions by half.

For renewable energy to be utilized at the plant, stationary pure hydrogen fuel cells with a rated power output of 3.5kW have been installed. Additionally, an energy management system that combines solar power generation with storage batteries made by recycling used batteries from Prius hybrid vehicles has been put into operation.

With this system, energy demand from the energy management facility is being projected, and a corresponding efficient energy supply is realized mainly through the highly energy-efficient fuel cells. These are supplemented by solar power-which generates changeable supply of power, in combination with storage batteries. The excess thermal energy generated by the fuel cells is then used for air-conditioning.

Working toward zero CO2 emissions through these initiatives, Toyota will also carry out technology development and testing with the aim of minimizing CO2 emissions from the building's operation. The pure hydrogen fuel cells with rated power output of 3.5kW that have been installed are a model newly developed for use in small offices. This project represents the first operational start within a commercial environment.

While monitoring the results of the installation and testing of the pure hydrogen fuel cells, Toyota will progress with the development and installation of efficient hydrogen utilization technology at the plant's other buildings, thus moving steadily forward with initiatives to realize zero CO2 emissions.