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Tsubakimoto Chain Introduces 1MW Solar Plant for Self-consumption

2019/07/17 17:50
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer & Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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The New Tensioner Factory Building (source: Tsubakimoto Chain)

Tsubakimoto Chain Co built a new factory building for manufacturing auto parts on the premises of the Saitama Plant in Hanno City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan, and had a ceremony to celebrate the completion of the building July 8, 2019.

In the building, "New Tensioner Factory Building," Tsubakimoto Chain introduced a solar power generation (PV) system with an output of about 1MW as well as energy-saving lighting and air-conditioning systems and environmentally-conscious facilities such as for rooftop greening.

Tsubakimoto Chain installed 3,318 solar panels manufactured by Hanwha Q Cells Co Ltd and two units of Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp's (TMEIC) PV inverter with a rated output of 500kW each.

The PV system is expected to generate 947,324kWh of electricity per year, and the company plans to use it in the plant. It is expected to reduce electricity cost by ¥13,376,215 (approx US$123,579) and eliminate CO2 emissions by 503t per year.

The New Tensioner Factory Building is the third factory building in the Saitama Plant, and tensioners, which are used for timing chain systems for automobiles, are manufactured in the building.

Tsubakimoto Chain made efforts to (1) automate facilities, (2) realize automatic conveyance on the premises, (3) establish new production lines supporting the production of many products in small quantities, (4) introduce a production management system using IoT and AI and (5) visualize operation states, which the company could not realize in the old, small factory buildings. The new factory building is scheduled to begin volume production in December 2019.

Tsubakimoto Chain has already introduced PV systems in the two other factory buildings of the plant. And the three buildings are expected to eliminate CO2 emissions by 850t in total per year. Also, the company has already installed PV facilities in its Kyoto/Kyotanabe Plant and is promoting the use of renewable energy at its overseas bases.

In Japan, the FIT-based purchasing price is dropping, and the number of companies that are promoting measures against global warming and introducing renewable energy in earnest by, for example, participating in the "RE100" international initiative is increasing. So, there is a clear trend of introducing self-consumption-type PV facilities (Related article: Cutting-edge 'Self-consumption Mega Solar Plant' Begins Operation).