Panasonic powers smart city


09 July 2020

Panasonic is providing a CO2-saving energy solution for the smart city project, Future Living Berlin, with almost carbon-free heating for 90 households thanks to its Aquarea air-to-water heat pumps.

The installation also incorporates Panasonic photovoltaic (PV) panels and storage batteries integrated into an intelligent energy management system.

Junichi Suzuki, Chairman and CEO of Panasonic Europe B.V, said: "We bring to the project over 60 years of heating and cooling expertise alongside decades in PV and battery solutions, and a passion for innovations that will shape the future for generations to come.''

Panasonic has achieved strong sales growth in the relevant energy business areas in Europe, including double-digit sales growth in the air-to-water heat pump business for the last 10 years. The company also committed in 2019 to grow its residential energy-saving equipment business multiple times over by 2025.

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Efficient energy management 
Panasonic says Future Living Berlin is an important experiment in building cutting-edge energy solutions. Energy experts and software engineers from its R&D centre in Europe have developed an intelligent energy management solution to optimise the use of energy and couple electricity with the heating sector. The smart control combines heat pumps together with other efficient, green Panasonic technologies, such as PV panels. The technologies have been integrated into an efficient energy saving solution not only controlled, but also constantly optimised by Panasonic’s intelligent energy management solution.

Ralf Becker, Project Leader Energy Group, Panasonic R&D Centre Europe, explains: "The solution is a world first, developed as a joint-venture with leading research institutions for decentralised energy management. In simulations together with university test labs, we achieved an improvement of used energy by up to 15%.‘
Beacon for sustainable living
The core energy component is the Aquarea line-up, which runs almost carbon-free when powered by the renewable energy provided by the 600 Panasonic HIT panels, which supply a capacity of 195kWp. Due the patented silicone technology, the Panasonic PV system is said to be 10% more efficient than conventional modules. Panasonic adds that its HIT technology achieves a significantly better performance in hot environments because of its superior temperature coefficient.

Utilising the renewable energy, the air-to-water system is used for space heating and warm water generation. For increased performance, the heat pumps include a cloud-based connectivity feature for installers called Aquarea Service Cloud which makes them even more reliable. It saves further CO2 emissions as maintenance visits can be organised more efficiently and partly even conducted remotely.

These energy solutions are brought together under a Aquarea Smart Cloud, which allows end-users to monitor their power usage and manage temperature settings accordingly. This results in increased efficiency and comfort while enjoying transparency of their consumption.

Panasonic is partnering in the smart city project with GSW Sigmaringen, the building-owner of Future Living Berlin.