The new value that arises from collaborative innovation won't benefit people around the world unless it comes in the form of an available product.
Products must be made into business models that benefit a company, its customers, and society; otherwise, it's just an empty proposition.
In the field of energy, in 2017 Daikin established a new company that makes micro-hydroelectric power generation systems.
This company, DK-Power, Ltd., is the first start-up to come out of the Technology and Innovation Center (TIC); the first case of an R&D theme at TIC leading all the way to market participation.
There has been increasing focus on micro-hydroelectric power, which taps energy from the water flow of rivers, water supply and sewage systems, and other waterways. Although they provide only a fraction of the power of conventional large-scale power plants, they can be set up in a large number of locations where there is a water canal or other flow of water—not just in the mountains but in many other places close to towns and cities. These "water wheels of the future" can be used almost anywhere. However, this method of power generation has not spread significantly, due to the high cost per amount of power generated and the large size of the equipment.
Daikin has utilized its technologies in air conditioning and hydraulic machinery to develop a compact, low-cost micro-hydroelectric power generation system, equipped with vertical inline pump reverse turbine, for water channels. Through technology for making electricity from waterflow using the motor inverter technologies that Daikin has built up, it is now possible to create natural energy instead of discharging CO2 in the power generation process. The "small energy" created by micro-hydroelectric power generation systems is also green energy.
In 2013, Daikin's micro-hydroelectric power generation system was adopted under the Low Carbon Technology, Research, Development and Demonstration Program of Japan's Ministry of the Environment (MOE). It underwent demonstration testing over a three-year period in Nanto City, Toyama Prefecture, and Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture, which resulted in practical product application.
In June 2017, we established DK-Power, Ltd., a subsidiary whose business is generating power through micro-hydroelectric power generation systems. The company installs these systems on waterworks facilities owned by local governments, and manages, operates, and sells the electricity that is generated. We will collaborate with numerous partners—such as municipal waterworks contractors, regional construction companies, and energy transmission and distribution contractors—as we pursue the business of generating and providing renewable energy.
By using micro-hydroelectric power generation systems and the clean energy they provide, cities, towns, and neighborhoods in Japan and around the world get independently produced and sustainable electricity and thus contribute to a sustainable society.
We received an award from the local government for having generated more than 170 MWh of electricity in one year since the start of power generation, which is equivalent to the electricity consumption of about 57 households*, in Suita City, Osaka Prefecture,
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