Nickel Metal Hydride Battery Gigacell Proven to Smooth Wind Power Output

Jun. 20, 2007

Nickel Metal Hydride Battery Gigacell Proven to Smooth Wind Power Output

 Tokyo, June 20, 2007 – Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today that it has successfully demonstrated the Gigacell’s smoothing effect on wind power output fluctuations in a test conducted from August to December 2006. The test was conducted jointly by Kawasaki and the Ashikaga Institute of Technology using the Institute’s windmill with a rated output of 40 kW and the Gigacell.

 Although wind power generation as an alternative natural energy source has been sweeping the globe recently, one lingering problem has been wide fluctuations in output due to a total reliance on wind speed. This can cause power voltage and frequency fluctuations if the power is directly delivered to the power company’s network system. A much anticipated solution to this problem lies in a new system employing a battery that absorbs wind power output fluctuations to provide a stable output.

 Sending a fixed amount of power to the network system after storing the entire output from the windmill in a battery delivers a high-quality, stable supply of power while allowing for easier power control. All this requires a battery with a very large storage capacity. In testing most of the wind power output was directly fed into the power system as the Gigacell either absorbed or released power, depending on output fluctuations, to provide an economical and stabile supply of power. The testing proved that Kawasaki’s Gigacell delivers a quick charge/discharge and prevents fluctuations in generated output, even when there is a sudden surge in wind power output, when combined with Kawasaki’s proprietary control system. That control system is capable of responding to complex fluctuations in power input and output.

 The Gigacell is a nickel metal hydride battery employing Kawasaki’s unique technologies. It can be easily manufactured in large capacity sizes and has quick charge/discharge capabilities, as well as the potential for a wide range of applications. Kawasaki delivered a photovoltaic power generation system with a peak-cut function employing the Gigacell to Yachiyo Shoin Junior High and High School in Yachiyo City, Chiba Prefecture in July 2006. Kawasaki is working to expand applications of the Gigacell to include power control of microgrid distribution generation systems, battery-powered light rail vehicles and power storage systems for electric railways.

 In response to the success of the latest test, Kawasaki plans to begin larger scale verification testing at a commercial wind power plant. Kawasaki will step up its efforts geared toward commercialization with the support of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).