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KYOCERA to Start Exclusive Sales in Japan of New Residential-Use Energy Management System Combining Solar Power with Li-ion Battery Storage Unit

Proprietary technology offers efficient control of energy consumption and emergency storage capability

January 25, 2012
(This product is only available to the Japanese market.)

Kyocera Corporation (President: Tetsuo Kuba) and Nichicon Corporation (Chairman: Ippei Takeda) announced that the two companies have completed an agreement for Kyocera to begin domestic sales this summer of a new energy management system (EMS) which combines Kyocera's highly reliable solar power generating systems with Nichicon's long-lasting, high-capacity lithium-ion battery storage units. Designed for the Japan market, the new system responds to the growing demand for residential energy storage equipment following the March 11 disasters. Kyocera will begin sales in Japan this summer.


image: Schematic of residential energy use flow using Kyocera’s solar power generating system & energy management system with Nichicon’s power storage unit
Schematic of residential energy use flow using Kyocera's solar power generating system & energy management system with Nichicon's power storage unit


Optimizing Energy Use with Kyocera's Energy Management System (EMS)

Through its long-term R&D strategy and proprietary technology in solar and energy-related fields, Kyocera has developed an EMS which makes effective use of energy.

Using and regulating a solar power generating system with battery storage requires a power inverter and sophisticated energy-management technology. The EMS developed by Kyocera is thus effective in optimizing residential energy use from those systems and utility power from the electricity grid.

By using Kyocera's high quality solar power generating systems — which hold the No.2 domestic market share*1 — and Nichicon's energy storage system which utilizes a lithium-ion battery manufactured by Samsung SDI Co., Ltd., the new energy system is able to more effectively control energy consumption.

“This new system combines the two vital themes of power generation and power storage using Kyocera's solar power generating system and Nichicon's energy storage unit,” explained Kyocera President Tetsuo Kuba at a joint press conference with Nichicon held in Kyoto, January 16. “Kyocera will use its energy-management technology to launch this new comprehensive system for optimizing residential energy use, and thus make a real contribution to preventing climate change.”


Background

While striving to realize a low-carbon society through use of renewable energy, and in the wake of the March disasters, there has been a rapidly increasing need in Japan to address electricity supply instability. This requires implementing energy demand peak-time cuts and peak-time shifts through on-site energy creation and energy storage to stabilize energy demand, as well as the increasingly popular concept of local energy self sufficiency.

With the restart of the national subsidy program for residential solar power generating systems in January of 2009, and the feed-in tariff program which was also started in November of the same year, it is expected that up through the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012 more than one million homes in Japan will have installed solar power. Furthermore, it is expected that the number of installations will continue to increase annually by roughly 12% in the coming years*2.

Moreover, the Japanese government also agreed on a maximum three-year subsidy program, worth 21 billion yen, for use of stationary lithium-ion battery energy storage systems starting this fiscal year. As this year is the starting point for the subsidies, it is expected that market growth will begin in earnest from here on.


Features of the New System

Combining the world class technology of Kyocera, Nichicon and Samsung SDI into the new system, Kyocera's EMS — which was developed through the company's original R&D — will be able to more efficiently control energy consumption:
- Kyocera's solar power generating systems are top class in the solar industry.
- Nichicon holds top domestic share for highly reliable electric vehicle battery systems.
- Samsung SDI holds one of the largest global shares for lithium-ion batteries, which are being used in Nichicon's storage unit.

1. Long-lasting, high-capacity lithium-ion battery
The system uses a lithium-ion battery, which can last roughly 5 times*3 longer than conventional lead-acid batteries. The battery has a high capacity of 7.1kWh, weighs roughly 200kg*4 and has a size of 120H × 90W × 35D (centimeters)*4.

2. Various EMS modes to fit energy use patterns and needs
The new system offers various operating modes to meet the energy use patterns and needs of various customers — whether their peak energy consumption occurs in the daytime or at night; and for families who want to prioritize reducing their energy bill or those who place a premium on guaranteed electricity supply.

3. System automatically switches to independent operation in the event of a natural disaster or electricity black-out
In the event of a prolonged black-out, the battery can be charged directly by the solar modules during the day, allowing users to draw from the battery at night or during inclement weather.


Photo: Kyocera solar modules, power inverter (bottom-left) and energy storage unit (right)
Kyocera solar modules, power inverter (bottom-left) and energy storage unit (right)


Sales

Sales Structure
Sales of the complete system and individual components will be available in various patterns.
1. Complete system including EMS controlled solar power generating system and energy storage unit.
2. Energy storage unit with EMS for homes already equipped with a solar power generating system.
3. Sales of additional energy storage capacity (total of 14.2kWh).

Sales Route
Sales will be conducted through Kyocera's subsidiary in charge of domestic sales of solar power generating systems, Kyocera Solar Corporation. Kyocera will also expand the sales network to include franchise stores, home manufacturers, direct sales, and others.

Launch Date
Planned for summer 2012

Sales Target
10,000 units in the first year


About NICHICON

NICHICON CORPORATION (TOKYO:6996) (http://nichicon-us.com/english/), was founded in 1950 as a production and sales of various kinds of capacitors,circuit / module products, related devices and equipment. NICHICON has become a leading supplier of capacitors, and charger integrated DC-DC converters for electric vehicles. During the year ended March 31, 2011, the company's net sales totaled 105,914 million yen.

*1 Based on research by Kyocera.
*2 Based on Kyocera calculations taken from data contained in a Fuji-Keizai market survey (residential solar installation forecasts: 253,000 in FY2012; 691,000 in FY2021)
*3 Based on calculations by Kyocera.
*4 Provisional specifications at time of announcement.