Saturday, October 26, 2013
Itochu To Sell Cheaper Battery Backup System For Buildings
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Itochu Corp. (8001) will start selling this month an electrical storage system for use in offices and retail businesses for about half the price of those currently available.
The system uses Samsung SDI Co.'s lithium ion batteries as opposed to pricier Japanese cells, helping to bring its cost below 5 million yen. Itochu targets sales of 200 units in fiscal 2014.
In addition to functioning as an emergency power source, the system can help cut electric bills by storing cheaper energy at night for use during peak daytime hours, generating savings of perhaps 150,000 yen a year. The unit slated for initial sale has a capacity of 16.8kwh.
Lithium ion battery systems for commercial buildings with storage capacities exceeding 10kwh are already being mass-produced by Eliiy Power Co. and NEC Corp. (6701), but these have proven a pricey investment for companies at 700,000 yen per kilowatt-hour of storage capacity. By teaming with Samsung SDI, Itochu is poised to meet demand for cost-saving backup devices for less than 300,000 yen per kilowatt-hour of capacity.
The domestic market for stationary electrical storage systems is expected to double between fiscal 2012 and 2015 to 1.26 million kilowatt-hours, according to Yano Research Institute. High-capacity battery arrays, including those in electric vehicles, require precise control systems, an area in which Japanese firms could excel.
(The Nikkei, Oct. 26 morning edition)