Social Needs and Kaneka’s Plan

From an era of energy consumption to an era of energy creation

To supply energy, it is necessary to ensure stable supply, greater economic efficiency, environmental compliance and safety in a sustainable manner. In Japan, there are various energy-related issues, including low energy self-sufficiency, regional dependence in oil and gas procurement, and greenhouse gas emissions. We strive to resolve these issues by offering solar cells as renewable energy sources and net zero energy management system materials for houses and buildings.

Source: IRENA REthinking Energy 2017 "Accelerating the global energy transformation"

Kaneka Group’s Efforts

Kaneka’s technologies that expand solar power generation possibilities

Solar power generation is gaining attention as an important renewable energy source in Japan, which aims to create a low carbon society.
How much more energy can be generated from incoming sunlight? To this end, we have advanced the development of crystalline silicon solar cells and have achieved the world’s highest*1 cell conversion efficiency of 26.63% in a practical size (180 m²) cell.
We are also trying to enable these solar cells to be placed not only on the ground and rooftops, but also on other surfaces, including building walls and openings. This will provide a wider range of choices for creating energy. However, we face many difficulties in realizing it, as we are strictly required to meet requirements, including securing durability and glare resistance under any environmental conditions and creating designs that do not detract from the original appearance. We will expand energy possibilities by resolutely addressing these challenges.

*1 As of August 21, 2017, for non-concentration type crystalline silicon solar cells [Search by Kaneka Corporation]

Kaneka Sustainable New Town
(Front) A show house that enables the physical experience of living in a Solar Circuit House

Wisely using energy in a “local production for local consumption” manner

Energy generated from natural resources should be efficiently used. One of our greatest strengths is that we offer a wide lineup of materials for net zero energy houses (ZEHs).*2
Specifically, our Solar Circuit House is a highly airtight, heat-insulating house that provides comfort and energy-saving performance. The entire house is completely covered with an insulation material called Kanelite Foam, and the Solar Circuit (SC) method, combining external heat insulation and double ventilation techniques, realizes a comfortable life without excessive dependence on air conditioners.
If equipped with VISOLA, a solar-cell system built into house tiles, the Solar Circuit House can have storage batteries and an energy management system, so that lighting equipment and air conditioners can be used with the electricity generated during daylight hours on sunny days, and surplus power can be sold. This can help local production for local consumption of energy.
We are also committed to realizing net zero energy buildings (ZEBs).*2 To promote ZEBs, it is important to increase the energy self-sufficiency rate by installing a photovoltaic system in various locations, including walls, windows and roofs. We are making progress on ZEB solutions, developing photovoltaic windows and photovoltaic walls (building integrated photovoltaics [BIPV]).

*2 A net zero energy house (ZEH) or a net zero energy building (ZEB) refers to a house or building that basically achieves zero net primary energy consumption (for air conditioning, hot-water supply, lighting and ventilation) annually by increasing heat insulating and energy saving properties and creating energy through photovoltaic systems.

Kaneka “Dreamology” Center with low-reflective solar cells installed on walls and handrails equipped with thin-layer see-through solar cells that transmit light

Solar Circuit (SC) method, combining external heat insulation and double ventilation techniques

 Solar Circuit (SC) method, combining external heat insulation and double ventilation techniques

Future Prospects

Proposing multiple business models, using diverse materials, to help resolve energy issues

The development of net zero energy management systems for houses and buildings designed with a focus on solar cells is reviewed globally. We will promote projects combining our diverse materials and multiple business models to enhance solutions to global energy issues.

Wellness-first and Comfortable Life
Offering highly functional materials to support the evolution of equipment that uses IoT and AI technologies fundamental to wellness and comfortable living

The arrival of an IoT- and AI-based society has rapidly improved the performance of digital devices and communication systems, and has brought significant changes to our work and life styles. These trends are expected to accelerate, leading to a surge in the use of home sensors and the evolution of wearable terminals and devices, such as smart glasses, followed by higher complexity and greater heat generation and densification in communication design.
To respond to these market changes, we have focused on heat- and cold-resistant polyimide film and polyimide-based graphite sheet with three times the thermal conductivity of copper, and have established an integrated production system for these materials. This enables us to quickly develop products tailored to customer needs.
We will continue to support equipment that serves as infrastructure for more comfortable lives.

* Scheduled to operate in the spring of 2019

Expanding polyimide-related market

Expanding polyimide-related market