ENEX 2013: Eco Cute now standard, and integral part of HEMS systems

By R744.com Past Member, Feb 08, 2013, 10:06 2 minute reading

More than 45,000 visitors came to Tokyo Big Sight last week to explore the latest energy saving and environmentally friendly technologies. R744.com attended ENEX 2013 and Smart Energy Japan 2013 to report on the on-going success story called “Eco Cute” and on emerging environmental technologies made in Japan. + PHOTOS

On January 30 – February 1, West Hall of Tokyo Big Sight hosted the 37th Energy and Environment Exhibition (ENEX 2013) and Smart Energy Japan 2013 trade shows. The ENEX 2013 exhibition was organized by The Energy Conservation Centre Japan and together with Smart Week Japan offered products and information from 237 exhibitors.

Eco Cute – standard technology in Japan

Traditionally R744.com attended the ENEX exhibition in Japan to report on the latest Eco Cute (CO2 HP water heater) models, their new features and improved performance. This year, however, not a single Eco Cute model was exhibited. R744.com talked to several Eco Cute suppliers (Daikin, Hitachi, Sharp, Mitsubishi) as well as end users such as house building companies Sekisui and Daiwa House to find out why.

Both house builders and suppliers shared the same opinion on situation in the domestic market. Approximately 10 years after it was first introduced to the market Eco Cute has become a standard technology. Nearly every new house comes with an Eco Cute unit. In this 10-year period, more than 3.5 million units were sold. Every year more than 500,000 units are shipped to the domestic market. Market share of residential CO2 HP water heaters is above 98%.

Although the Japanese Heat Pump and Thermal Storage Technology Center displayed general heat pump technology, activities to extensively promote the technology by suppliers and various governmental organisations, to increase awareness among consumers, are not needed anymore. We can consider Eco Cute to be a great success story in Japan. The next mission of Japanese suppliers is to adapt the technology to both climatic and market conditions in other countries and continents.

Emerging technologies and new trends

The theme of the ENEX and Smart Energy Japan 2013 “Towards the low-carbon frontier” expresses the new focus of Japanese industries to contribute to the creation of a low-carbon society and new developments in the energy industry.

This year’s key technology and hot topic of the exhibition is the Energy Management System (EMS). Supported by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) the EMS technology and various components were on display throughout the hall. This new energy concept integrates energy generation, storage and its management.

Both Sekisui (Smart Heim) and Daiwa House (SMAEco) displayed their eco house concepts including solar panels, high capacity energy storage modules, and other electricity-using appliances controlled by the Home-EMS (HEMS). Part of the integrated network is also Eco Cute, which when pre-heated at night serves as a thermal energy storage device reducing day time peak electricity consumption.

More research into R744 technology

Japan as a pioneer research into R744 technology brings new innovations to different applications. Among ENEX 2013 exhibitors was Japanese company Miura, whose current main business is steam boilers and hot water boilers. Although details are not yet available for public, R744.com learned that Miura is now working on a new technology using CO2 as a refrigerant.

Find more information about the ENEX 2013 exhibition and products on display in the photo gallery bellow.


By R744.com Past Member

Feb 08, 2013, 10:06

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