Toyota
is looking to cool its energy usage during the heat of summer. The company's installing eight new gas-powered generators to help reduce demand from the energy grid in and around Toyota City by five percent, as the Japanese automaker looks to comply with the Japanese government's energy-reduction mandate for the summer months.

The generators will allow Toyota to get almost a third of its required power internally. Toyota has already cut its peak-power usage by about 40 percent from 1996 levels with a combination of more efficient energy sourcing and production techniques. Toyota early last year opened its first Japanese factory in almost two decades and designed it to reduce energy use while speeding up production. For instance, the cars on the factory line are positioned parallel to each other instead of nose to tail so that employees can work on both the front and back of the cars at the same time. The new Miyagi factory cuts assembly-line time by 35 percent.

The generators are part of a broader efforts by Japan's manufacturers to reduce energy demand from the grid this summer. Earlier this week, the Japanese publication the Asahi Shimbun reported that all but one of Japan's nuclear reactors have been shut down, with the government requiring that power in various areas of the country be cut by between five percent and 15 percent from 2010 levels until Sept. 7.

Utilities are planning for rolling blackouts in order to manage supply and prevent unexpected blackouts, according to the publication. Companies like Panasonic are moving holidays into the summer to cut power use, while Kyushu Railway Co. will reduce its number of routes, according to the paper.
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Toyota Announces Summer Energy-saving Measures
8 New Generators, 'Toyota Total Demand Management' to Boost Self-sufficiency


Toyota City, Japan, Jul 03, 2012 (JCN Newswire via COMTEX) -- Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) plans to save more energy this summer by installing eight additional cogeneration gas power generators and the new Toyota Total Demand Management (TTDM) system for further enhancing electricity supply-and-demand efficiency at all TMC plants. These measures will enable TMC to meet the demand for businesses in areas serviced by Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. to reduce electricity use by five percent(1).

To strengthen its operations by firmly establishing an energy-saving production structure, TMC has long been striving to enhance efficient use of energy at its production plants by coordinating the use of energy in all production processes with on-site power generation and other sources of electricity supply. Its efforts to save electricity resulted in a 35-percent reduction in the purchase of peak power from power companies and a 45-percent reduction in total annual purchases of electricity in the fiscal year ended March 30, 2011, compared to the fiscal year ended March 30, 1996. In the current fiscal year, TMC plans to achieve reductions(2), respectively, of 40 percent and 53 percent.

Details of TMC's unified energy use-and-supply management efforts are as follows:

1) Development and implementation of energy-saving production technologies

While establishing a production structure that is highly adaptive to changes in demand, TMC is furthering development and implementation of advanced, energy-saving production technologies. Examples include simplification and slimming down of stamping processes through the introduction of high-efficiency servo presses and high-speed robots and making assembly and painting processes more compact, as part of an overall "Simple, Slim, Compact" initiative that has led to reduced electricity use.

2) Introduction of highly efficient on-site power generators

TMC has been introducing on-site electric-power cogeneration generators at its plants since the 1970s. With the installation of eight new, state-of-the-art high-efficiency cogeneration gas power generators this year, TMC's on-site power generators (including diesel generators and other kinds) will enable its plants to be approximately 30-percent self-sufficient in electricity. Control rooms at all main plants enable unified management of efficient power use and supply.

3) Advancement of energy visualization

To facilitate awareness of electricity use, TMC started introducing the Toyota Energy Management (TEM) system in 1995. The highly accessible system - now in operation at all TMC's plants - uses measurements based on approximately 30,000 pieces of data to allow visual management of daily energy use by each process within a plant. This helps identify instances of overburden, waste or instability in energy supply, allowing independent adjustments on a daily basis.

As an evolution of TEM, TMC has developed and is starting to introduce this month the Toyota Total Demand Management (TTDM) consolidated visual management system, which enables unified management of overall power demand and supply at all plants. TTDM, which shows the real-time status of electricity use by each plant and on-site power generation, helps achieve targets set for curbing use of peak power and saving electricity.

4) Daily improvement and just-in-time energy supply

Centered on six rules for saving energy, various improvement activities are carried out on a daily basis regarding the production processes at each TMC plant and the electricity required to operate the machines and other equipment. The activities help reduce the volume of electricity used and enable just-in-time energy supply. The six rules are:

1) Stop using - Switch to mechanical devices and other production equipment that uses as little motive power as possible

2) Turn off - Discontinue energy supply and turn off equipment when either are not being used for the effective purposes of production

3) Fix - Quickly repair malfunctioning equipment that can cause energy waste

4) Reduce - Adjust energy supply quality and amount to only that needed for each process

5) Gather - Collect energy that is usually discarded, mostly heat, and use it efficiently

To further promote reductions in electricity use, TMC intends to broaden its energy-management activities to include implementation at production bases outside Japan.

TMC also intends to actively pursue new energy-management systems that center on individual plants. These include the first implementation of the F-Grid Concept(3) project started last autumn aimed at realizing a "smart community", with the Second North Sendai Central Industrial Area playing a central role, and the Smart Factory initiative now underway at Kitakyushu Plant of Toyoda Gosei, Co., Ltd.

(1) Compared to purchases of peak power in summer 2010; scheduled to be revised to four percent after restart of Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc.'s Ohi Power Station Unit

(2) Compared to the fiscal year ending March 30, 1996

(3) "F" stands for factory

About Toyota

Supported by people around the world, Toyota Motor Corporation TM -0.88% , has endeavored since its establishment in 1937 to serve society by creating better products. As of the end of March 2011, Toyota conducts its business worldwide with 50 overseas manufacturing companies in 26 countries and regions. Toyota's vehicles are sold in more than 170 countries and regions. Toyota's vehicles are sold in more than 170 countries and regions. For more information, please visit www.toyota-global.com .


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 70 Comments
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Toyota installs generators to cut power-usage at Japan plants" Seriously? This headline contradicts itself. "Toyota installs generators to reduce strain on grid" would make sense.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Also, there's nothing green about this. Story is really: "Toyota can't do business with existing grid problems, so they are putting in their own generators." Net CO2 output to increase.
          Dave
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          "Net CO2 output to increase." Transmission losses will decrease. However, natural gas does, of course, produce more CO2 than nuclear.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Transmission loss reduction is minor. Fact is, they will be using more energy (that's why they need the generation) and that energy will be coming from burning fossil fuels. So net CO2 output to increase.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      sounds like japan is in trouble. it's thorium time baby
        mchlrus1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Nuclear energy is THE energy, and I've been saying it for many years. The ratio of pollutants, efficiency and dependability beats any other energy source by an incredible amount. The United States infrastructure is 1950- 70's technology. It is not as efficient as it could be. If lets say Westinghouse was given the support it needs to build new plants and develop new technology, the world would have clean, virtually limitless energy. The one question is...is it safe? Yes. Japans Fukushima plant was not safe from the start. Japan's arrogance of its designs put many people in danger. There were many people who had better tsunami barriers, and other safety tech that was much more suitable in the given area for the plant. I know the generators catastrophically shut down but their were flaws in the designs and they knew it. Sorry for the rant.- I believe that nuclear power has a future, if we use it wiser. Nuclear power is in limbo right now because now both liberals and conservatives have their agendas on which energy source they want to use, and neither of them have nuclear as a main priority;I agree Dan, Thorium is a good source. I just like the idea of fusion...IMO
      Smoking_dude
      • 2 Years Ago
      First of all, this is normal. even before the exit of nuclear power some german companies installed small power plants. to generate process heat/steam and their own electricity. some factories generate their own fuel which is partially used. So the pro nuclear fanboys are ranting again. It is so clean and pristine. What to do with the waste, beeing radioactive for 100.000 of years. Just bury it somwhere. It is granted to be safe. what are 100.000 years? France has pipelines into the sea dumping their crap there. Britain has a nice history with windscale, oh pardon they had to rename it. with sellafield. The waste is carried to ireland, that is ok, it are only Irish... Accidents, leakages are kept secret, not to scare the population... even in HIGH TECH germany, there are busted emergency pipes, kept secret for over a year. Valves are stuck, emergency generators not working, dead batteries. Those systems were not needed, but if it all goes wrong. Oh yeah the super ceramic core catcher. the TÜV tested it with some molten steal. over 60 years ago europe was struck by a flood. luckiely there were no nukes then. 200-300 years ago there were strong earthquakes in europe, the npps were built at the same position. nothing in tearms of earth history. could shake again. kruemmel and brunsbuettel were close bith were struck by fire leading to a chain of problems. the coolant was far to low, vents stayed open, smoke from a fire was drawn into the controll room. inces away from doom. OH IT IS SAFE. sleep well. Only later they revealed that the personell was clueless. obrigheim is shut down, but the waste is stored there for the next indefinite years. unprotected by a thin metal shed. you can't just melt the steel. Just a second shake in japan is needed to bring the storage basins down. a second catastrophy could happen. What if the crap falls down on Tokio? Oh it are only a few victims. compared to burning some natural gas. I don't share the bright opinion that is shared here.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smoking_dude
        Do find out some basics on the technology you are going on about. 'What to do with the waste, beeing radioactive for 100.000 of years. Just bury it somwhere. It is granted to be safe. what are 100.000 years?' Opponents of nuclear power ably assisted by the regulatory agency, the NRC, have stymied most progress in making nuclear power safer and cleaner. Outside the US the 'waste' is largely processed, making more fuel. In France the total high level residue after such reprocessing to provide 75% of the electricity for a nation of 60 million would fit into a taxi per year. This compares to the 10,000 times as voluminous waste from coal, which with other fossil fuels is absolutely essential to enable renewables to function at all. Every wind turbine built and every solar panel builds in the use of fossil fuels for decades. Your fantasy of running society on unicorn horns is just that, a fantasy. Meanwhile we know perfectly well how to build reactors which would use almost all the tiny amounts of remaining waste, with the even more minute residue returning to the same level of radioactivity as the ores from which it came within 300 years. i ignore your conspiracy theory ravings. Meanwhile, due to the hysteria created by the likes of Greenpeace, perfectly good reactors which are in no danger from tsunami are kept turned off, and dozens die from heat prostration. Greenpeace kills, as does stupidity.
      SNP
      • 2 Years Ago
      @DaveMart - Regarding your post on 10% capacity loss. http://green.autoblog.com/2011/09/30/nissan-addresses-leaf-battery-life-replacement-costs/ http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1077107_more-nissan-leaf-battery-loss-nissan-doesnt-blink http://www.plugincars.com/tesla-ceo-rips-nissans-battery-technology-says-its-primitive-50527.html Those were just random articles from google. FYI - nissan jacked up the price of their Leafs. They were too conservative with their maintenance cost estimates. Of course they didnt just jack up the price, they threw in some "features". But it's funny right? It coincides with every other Li-ion battery powered device I have. My iPhone, iPod, Laptop all have about 10-15% annual capacity loss. And I dont even charge those every day. Some would almost say it's the current limitation of the technology. LoL. Good thing my iphone/ipod/laptop has more than enough capacity for my needs. It's not like those devices could ever strand me 10 miles off my target destination. LMAO
      Dave
      • 2 Years Ago
      High Temperature Steam Electrolysis: Demonstration of Improved Long-Term Performance http://www.fuelcellseminar.com/media/9066/hrd34-5.pdf
      JakeY
      • 2 Years Ago
      "We shouldnt be making stuff until we know how well they'll perform and that they're adequate for the market. " That's not how the market works. And there will always be someone somewhere with "needs" that a particular product won't be able to meet. If we wait until something is "adequate" (which, by the way, is an arbitrary standard, what's adequate varies depending on who you ask) we'll never get anything made. "Nissan never makes a peep about the charge times and has no way of addressing it." Not true at all. I think the issue is that YOU have never tried to look for it, not that Nissan has never mentioned it. Nissan's website says explicitly that it's 7 hours at home, 30 minutes with quick charge: http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car/home-charging http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car/ev-charging-stations?next=ev_micro.section_nav And since you brought up the iPad, early surveys said it was completely useless and that no one would buy it; you would not be able to know if it would be a success without first putting it out to market: http://www.retrevo.com/content/blog/2010/02/apple-ipad-hoopla-fails-convince-buyers And your analogy is completely wrong. There's a lot of things that an iPad costing twice as much can't do that a netbook can. Plus, a laptop that costs the same price can do a lot more. There's no keyboard, it had no web cam, it is missing usb and video out ports, it has no media drive, it has much less storage capacity, there are many productivity applications it can't run, etc. Yet it still sold.
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      @SNP: You don't seem to comprehend your own links. You claimed 10% pa capacity loss. The first link you give to support your position: http://green.autoblog.com/2011/09/30/nissan-addresses-leaf-battery-life-replacement-costs/ actually says: 'Nissan states that after five years (or 60,000 miles) of use, the Leaf's battery pack will still retain at least 80 percent of its original 24-kWh capacity.' That is around 4% pa loss, not 10% The second link you give: http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1077107_more-nissan-leaf-battery-loss-nissan-doesnt-blink 'a few isolated cases where a very small number of consumers are reporting a one bar loss,” but that “the battery will have 80 percent of its capacity under normal use after 5 years.”' You are referring to isolated cases, not a general principal. The same thing could be found in isolated instances for the horsepower of ICE engines. the third link: http://www.plugincars.com/tesla-ceo-rips-nissans-battery-technology-says-its-primitive-50527.html doesn't even mention battery capacity levels, and is merely Musk dissing the Nissan pack. It does however mention the 100,000 mile, 8 year guarantee on the Nissan pack, which we know is down to 70% so hardly helps your case. You then go on about laptop batteries etc, which have a different chemistry, different battery management system, and are not designed to cope with the demanding usage in cars. I am at a loss, You do not appear to understand what constitutes evidence. Posting a load of links which happen to mention batteries does not constitute evidence. Not a single link you have posted supports in any way your contention that car batteries normally loose 10% of capacity a year, the nearest they come is one mentions that a couple of cars kept in very hot areas have done so.
      pmpjunkie
      • 2 Years Ago
      @SNP You mean because you dont know or are unable or unwilling to comprehend, no one should be doing it? I'm sorry, you are spouting off so much nonsense, I really don't think your opinion is relevant at all. PS: I could not resist to try to sink to your level of discussion.
      SNP
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm against current generation of BEVs. We shouldnt be making stuff until we know how well they'll perform and that they're adequate for the market. This includes a combination of range, size, recharging options / time, cost, and safety. I understand that costs will be high, but how can any company release something with 4-8hr charge times or 50-70mi ranges in "ideal" conditions. Nissan never makes a peep about the charge times and has no way of addressing it. The Leaf is a prototype with a badge slapped on and pushed out the door. Capacity drops by 10% / yr ? They'll address it when someone important complains. Driving down the highway @65 to that new mall with the A/C on...just realized you wont be able to run the rest of the day's errands because the range is a bit short? Buyer beware.. Unless you plop down 6 figures for a fun toy like Tesla, low cost BEVs are prototypes and owners are being suckered in. Nissan might've realized they dont have the R&D dollars to finish their work, so they started producing this to subsidize R&D. Something they should've done by taking out loans or profits from their other vehicle sales. I bet none of you would've bought an iPad if it only had 1hr battery life, takes 8hrs to charge, no access to Apps market, and costed $2000. You see why the leaf is a stinker? It's a work in progress and people shouldnt be suckered into buying for the sole purpose of having those dollars go into R&D for a firm with access to plenty of cash.
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      It'll be interesting to see if local power generation technology gets a big boost from this disaster in Japan. It's an idea that is a lot more practical now than it ever has been before. It doesn't cut power use all that much though, just moves the generation around.
      Vlad
      • 2 Years Ago
      I still think Japan and especially Germany are making a huge mistake shutting nuclear plants down. If anything, Fukushima shows how resilient they are. It took a combination of once-a-century circumstances to break one. No one died, and it was an old design, too. I bet they could be hardened, backup systems could be improved, and they would continue to generate cheap, CO2-free electricity.
        Dave
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Vlad
        The plants that are currently in operation are old technology and the plants themselves are aging. We need to get serious about research into next generation nuclear reactors which are safer, more economical, and which have more easily handled waste. Another Fukushima disaster could derail funding for that research, so I have no problem with the mothballing of any reactor that is even mildly hazardous. "Generation IV reactors (Gen IV) are a set of theoretical nuclear reactor designs currently being researched. Most of these designs are generally not expected to be available for commercial construction before 2030. Current reactors in operation around the world are generally considered second- or third-generation systems, with most of the first-generation systems having been retired some time ago. Research into these reactor types was officially started by the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) based on eight technology goals, including to improve nuclear safety, improve proliferation resistance, minimize waste and natural resource utilization, and decrease the cost to build and run such plants." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_IV_reactor
        SNP
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Vlad
        For the time being, they can afford it. Not so much Japan, but Germany can afford it so long as the current Euro structure remains the same. If the German Mark were still around, it would be 20% more expensive, The german infrastructure/productivity is so high, they can afford to get more expensive alt energy. Watch what happens as soon as Germany accepts to share debt among other nations. LoL, this will all come crashing down and they will wish their nukes were never shut down. I would like to say the last 2 times germany was financially forced into a corner, WWI and WW2 broke out. Not saying this is will happen again, but it will create a lot of cultural tension within the EU. The Euro will not be the global reserve currency. LMAO - remember 2008-2009 when the EU wanted to overtake the US position as reserve ccy holder....
          budfox
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SNP
          "LMAO - 2008-2009 when the EU wanted to overtake the US position as reserve ccy holder" The EU did not want to overtake the mighty and glory US Dollar. However our current crisis was ignited by yr Banks dumping their toxic assets over here.Thanks! I literally can see yr scheming patriotic smile.
          Dave
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SNP
          "The Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Ukraine each have plans to build new reactors within the next decade. Finland and Sweden to the north also plan to expand their existing nuclear capacity. Wichterle says it's likely that power from these reactors will be sold to nearby markets, including Germany. 'If you look at the economics of it, those plants are being built to fill the void.'" http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/07/05/f-nuclear-power-post-fukushima.html?cmp=googleeditorspick
      Smoking_dude
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yes the mighty recycling of radioactive waste. done in france. only a few % are recovered. the remainings are highly dangerous. processing waste is dumped into the sea. Yes the germany tried, liquid sodium cooled reacotrs, or thorium pellet pile reactors. the pellets broke and radioactivity was released. every solar panel creates more energy than the ammount beeing used during manufacturing. spring to summer 2012: 16 to 22 gigawatt of solar on the german grid. 2013 I expect at least 30 or more gigawatts. The subsiedies end at 52gigawatts installed. even in winter peak output varied at 6 gigawatts. but to comparison of the low light conditions wind produced 10 to 24 gigawatts. I did not write any conspiracy theories. it is really nice that you imply that I am lying to undermine my position. yes it is shocking, that former nucler high tech country as germany did fail so hard. the operartors are unwilling to report defects or smaller incidents, even the ministries are not very reluctant to inform the people. Oh and I bet in 2010 the japanese goverment told that fukushima was perfectly safe. tell me, what to do with the storage basins in the damaged plant, if they collapse? What about the San-Andreas-fault line. a tsunami/quake could happen there. oh the plants are so safe testen tenfold. and guaranteed.
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