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issue: January 2007 APPLIANCE Magazine

Tokyo Report
Energy Solutions Demonstrated at Tokyo Fair

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by Wasaku Ishida, Japan Correspondent, and president, JARN (Japan Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News)

The Energy Solution & Thermal Storage Fair ’06 was held at the Tokyo Big Sight under the sponsorship of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan and the Heat Pump & Thermal Storage Technology Center of Japan. The fair addressed the imminent requirements for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the need for further energy savings.
The fair’s theme was To Make Ecology Compatible with Economy, and included demonstrations of heat pumps, high-efficiency electrical appliances and systems using heat in the air as an energy source. Exhibitors included TEPCO as well as OEMs.
“Our company has been consistently developing solutions towards the reduction of CO2 emissions, and recommending the use of heat pumps as a powerful tool,” said a TEPCO sales manager. “About 40 percent of the electric power supplied by our company comes from electric power generation from non-fossil fuels. For customers, we stress that combining a heat pump with our electricity yields excellent results for both supply and demand in terms of efficiency, running cost and environmental friendliness.”
About 200 companies and groups proposing energy solutions as methods for effective utilization of electricity tailored to customer satisfaction participated in the fair. Electric heat pump air-conditioning systems, among others, played a key role.  TEPCO has been a provider of product design funding for air-conditioning and other manufacturers and, as a result, helped foster several jointly developed products that were shown at the 2006 fair.  The TEPCO Zone at the fair included exhibits of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries high-efficiency centrifugal chiller and the Toshiba-Carrier super flex modular chiller (heat pump).
Another such product was an induction heating (IH) rice cooker, the Suihan My Star (pictured), for commercial foodservice applications such as schools, hospitals and meal delivery services.  The rice maker was developed jointly by TEPCO with Satake Corporation, Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. and Chugoku Electric Power Co., Inc. Satake began selling the unit in September.
The unit has cylindrical kettles, with induction heating on both the bottom and side of the kettles. Two inverters are designed to offer a high level of control, achieving pattern-controlled  heating and creating strong convection in the kettles. Chubu Electric Power explains that the inverter is the device that sends the electric current through a coil to create magnetic force, which heats the kettle.


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