(EnergyAsia, July 20 2012, Friday) — Panasonic Asia Pacific, a unit of the Japanese electronic firm, has established its first Energy Solutions Development Center in the Asia Pacific region in Singapore.
At the recent World Cities Summit in Singapore, Panasonic said it will be investing S$10.2 million in the centre over the next two years to develop energy solutions which the company hopes to commercialise for the regional and global markets.
The centre will initially be supported by 22 R&D engineers, including experienced energy solutions experts from Japan.
The Panasonic Energy Solutions Development Center Singapore (PESDCSG), a division of Panasonic Asia Pacific, will focus on proposing, designing and integrating energy systems; developing an intellectual property strategy to facilitate commercialisation; and providing technical support on test-bed projects in collaboration with partners.
Over the next two years, the centre will support the total energy solutions project for a residential building at Punggol Eco Town in eastern Singapore. Started last August, Panasonic is collaborating with several government agencies including the Housing & Development Board (HDB), Energy Market Authority (EMA) and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).
Having installed rooftop solar panels, Panasonic is carrying out laboratory tests of the panels and lithium-ion battery systems at Nanyang Technological University.
Once the system is installed in the HDB block, it will power the water pumps, lifts and lightings to achieve zero emission for the common area.
Panasonic said its home energy management system and air-conditioners with demand response functions, which will be linked to EMA’s smart meters installed under the pilot Intelligent Energy System (IES) project, will be installed in 10 selected households by the end of the year.
If the results prove positive, Panasonic and its partnering local authorities will explore wider implementation in Singapore.
Yorihisa Shiokawa, managing director for Panasonic Asia Pacific, said:
“The Center is an important strategic move for Panasonic in line with our new business focus of becoming a more solutions and systems business-oriented company with a wider global business outlook focusing on green innovation. Having an energy solutions development center in Singapore will enable us to develop smart and sustainable solutions for a wider market beyond Japan.”
Julian Ho, assistant managing director at the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), said:
“We are glad that Panasonic has chosen Singapore to be a key innovation hub and reference site for their new energy solutions business. This project is well aligned with Singapore’s intent to be a “living laboratory”, where companies can co-create, demonstrate and commercialise innovative system solutions in our real-life urbanised environment, in partnership with our government agencies.”
Johnny Wong, Group Director at the HDB Building Research Institute, said:
“As a developing town, Punggol Eco Town serves as a “living laboratory” that presents numerous opportunities for HDB to collaborate and carry out test-bedding of emerging green urban solutions with industry partners. We are glad to have Panasonic onboard to augment HDB’s efforts in driving sustainable development in Punggol, and creating a green living environment for our residents.”
Yasuyuki Shintani, general manager for the Energy Solutions Development Center, said:
“Singapore is a high density tropical urban city, with conditions similar to other regional cities. This environment with Singapore’s excellent infrastructure makes Singapore an ideal “living lab” to test-bed our energy solutions.
We look forward to partner local public agencies and universities to research, develop and test-bed new energy solutions to realise a more energy efficient future.