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Toshiba shows first independent energy supply system for emergencies

Staff writer |
Japan's first independent energy supply system using solar power to create hydrogen, which can be utilized in emergencies to provide electricity and hot water, was launched.

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The H2One system, operated by Toshiba Corp., began with a demonstration test at a public facility in Kawasaki.

The new system produces hydrogen through electricity generated by solar batteries. The hydrogen is stored and when required used in fuel cells for power generation.

It can store a large amount of electricity more efficiently than rechargeable batteries and can supply electricity and hot water to about 300 people for one week in the event of a disaster, the Tokyo-based company said.

The system electrolyzes water during the day when solar batteries can be used. Hydrogen taken from the water through the electrolysis is then stored in tanks, explained Toshiba.

The system is also equipped with water tanks, so even if the conventional water supply has stopped, it can continue to produce hydrogen as long as the sun is shining.

When the hydrogen is used in fuel cells to generate power, heat is produced that results in hot water.

The H2One system consists of four containers. Three of them are about six meters long while the remaining one is two meters long. When disasters occur, the four containers can be transported to impacted areas on trucks.

Toshiba plans to start selling the system to local governments and companies before September this year. It is also considering exporting it. The company is aiming to receive 50 orders for the system per year.

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