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August 30, 2017

Open Innovation Case by TEPCO : Stand-Alone Power Supply Unit

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About this project

[Overview]
 The TEPCO Group and its collaborators COSMOSWEB Co., Ltd., NTN Corporation, and Kandenko Co., Ltd. are jointly pursuing a “Technology to Feed Stable Power to Facilities and Equipment Distributed in the Mountains” on the TEPCO CUUSOO open innovation platform to create new value.


[Background]
 A secure power source is required to operate the various types of equipment installed for the control of the water used for power generation in small, canal-type hydroelectric power plants. This equipment is normally operated by the electric power generated by the plant or the electric power fed by the supplier’s power transmission line. If power generated by a downstream power plant is used in this case, it must be sent through an electric cable equal in length to the canal leading to the upper stream. This method is inefficient in terms of both cost and labor.

 The TEPCO Group has called for a “Technology to Feed Stable Power to Facilities and Equipment Distributed in the Mountains” on its Open Innovation Platform, TEPCO CUUSOO. The objective is to prepare for the realization of more efficient power source development for small-to-mid size hydroelectric power plants by finding a technology to secure a stand-alone power source lying on power cables from power plants to various types of equipment instead.


[Results]
 As a result of the application and screening, TEPCO has decided to promote the development of demonstration equipment for a standalone-type power supply unit after the cooperation with COSMOSWEB, NTN, and Kandenko.
 The COSMOSWEB company mainly engages in entrusted development ranging from the trial production of printed circuit boards to the development of electric and electronic devices, power-saving equipment, and jigs and tools. The development of a power supply unit that generates independently using COSMOSWEB’s excellent control system has been reviewed in the current technology application. In the process, high-performance hydroelectric technology was found to be effective for power generation in mountains. Hence, a small-size hydraulic power plant employing NTN unique wing technology will be provided by NTN.
In addition, Kandenko proposed a technology to construct a highly reliable photovoltaic facility at a lower cost.
 The initial investment for the existing small-size hydroelectric power plant is therefore significantly reduced. The hope, going forward, is to proceed more efficiently toward a home-grown renewable energy generation capability using unharnessed gravitational energy.

 The demonstration equipment is being produced and installed as of August 2017. Demonstration experiments will begin as soon as the equipment is ready.