Enabling Technology Project

Next-Generation Smart Community

Outline of the area

Shigehito Deki
Professors Emeritus, Kobe University

As a part of reduction of GHG emission, it is promoted to create the future low carbon society where renewable energy is aggressively introduced. In this project, we aim at creating and socially implementing the science-based core technology with an eye on a disaster resilient smart community which hopes to be a low carbon and autonomous distributed energy community, for core social infrastructure such as buildings, platforms, transportation and so on.
We develop new high-efficiency solar battery revised from material level and an innovative power storage device which balances fluctuation in electricity generated by the amount of sunlight and variation in the amount of consumption by season and period of time.
In addition, by combining the high energy density battery and the high-efficiency fuel cell with high output and long-life to the developed high-efficacy solar battery, the stable supply of recyclable energy in the smart community is sought after.
Further, we also attempt to realize an advanced energy consumption saving by introducing an innovative heat insulating technology and low power consumption electric equipment.
In this project, we integrate the accumulated elemental technologies in the ALCA research so far and enhance the cooperation with the industry. In this way, we make each elemental technology closer to the practical use phase, and intend to contribute the formation of a low carbon society.


Development of Organic Inorganic Hybrid High Performance Solar Cells

Tsutomu Miyasaka
Specially-Appointed Professor, Toin University of Yokohama

Development of organic inorganic hybrid high performance solar cells

Hybrid perovskite crystal

The perovskite solar cell which was first invented by Tsutomu Miyasaka, ALCA PI, is a low cost solution-printable solar cell which has so far attracted the most global attention for high conversion efficiency over 22%. By optimizing the material, the crystal structure and the process in the past ALCA research, the efficiency and reproducibility are greatly increased.
The goal of research is to improve the cell performance and reliability which surpass those in Si solar cells and to convert the perovskite to lead-free structures. In addition, we collaborate with other research groups on tandem combination of perovskite solar cell with other photovoltaic cell for efficiency enhancement.

Development of organic inorganic hybrid high performance solar cells


Development of organic inorganic hybrid high performance solar cells

High-efficiency perovskite solar cell fabricated on plastic film.


Development of Metal Hydride/Air Secondary Battery

Masatsugu Morimitsu
Professor, Doshisha University

This project aims to develop a metal hydride/air secondary battery consisting of a metal hydride electrode, an alkaline solution, and a bi-functional air electrode, in which electric energy is stored with water decomposition and is generated with water production. Water is the only active mass of this battery, providing a potential of high safety even with an increase in energy density, which is quite different from other types of secondary batteries. One of the targets in this project is to achieve a high energy density over 1500 Wh/L or 500 Wh/kg which is impossible to realize with lithium ion secondary batteries.


Fig. 1 Reactions of MH/air secondary battery


Fig. 2 Photo of MH/air laminate cell


Development of a Reversible Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell for Efficient Hydrogen Production and Power Generation in the Fuel Cell Mode

Hiroyuki Uchida
Professor, CERC, University of Yamanashi

Development of a Reversible Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell for Efficient Hydrogen Production and Power Generation in the Fuel Cell Mode

We will develop novel high performance, durable electrodes in a solid oxide electrolysis cell for hydrogen production / power generation (solid oxide fuel cell mode), which can be applied as a reversibly operating device for a load-leveling of large-scale electric power from renewable energy such as photovoltaics or wind-power plants. We will also examine to establish a fabrication process of the cell/stacks, and clarify the subjects for constructing a practical system.

Development of a Reversible Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell for Efficient Hydrogen Production and Power Generation in the Fuel Cell Mode

Reversible Solid oxide electrolysis test cell
with electrode area (20 cm2)


Development of Graphene Capacitor Contributing to a Low-Carbon Society

Tang Jie
Group Leader, National Institute for Materials Science

Development of graphene capacitor contributing to a low-carbon sosiety

The unique characteristics of graphene such as huge specific surface area and autonomic nanopore formation lead to a highly sophisiticated supercapacitor by the core technologies of three dimensional stacking technology for single layer grpahene sheets and ionic solution system penetrating through nanopores in graphene electrode. High performance, low cost, safety and mentenance free graphene capacitors are developed by the core technologies and mounted to high power service vehicles.


Novel Rechargeable Non-Lithium Batteries Using Ionic Liquids Melting at Middle-Ranged Temperatures

Rika Hagiwara
Professor, Kyoto University

Novel rechargeable non-lithium batteries using ionic liquids melting at middle-ranged temperatures

Novel sodium secondary batteries will be developed by introducing ionic liquids of which the melting temperatures are around 100 ºC as electrolytes. This technology will solve the problems of the conventional secondary batteries, uneven distribution of the resources such as lithium and cobalt, flammability of organic electrolytes which enables the increasing size and mass production of the batteries without losing their safety.


Development and Evaluation of Carbon Alloys with Electrocatalytic Activity for Cathode Reaction in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

Jun-ichi Ozaki
Professor, Gunma University

Development and evaluation of carbon alloys with electrocatalytic activity for cathode reaction in proton exchange membrane fuel cell

Powder of carbon alloy catalyst

The carbon alloy catalysts which have been developed by Ozaki et al. are innovative carbon materials which are expected to be substitute for noble metal catalysts used for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Through past ALCA research the catalyst having a performance of about 650 mW/cm2 in maximum output was developed.
In the future, the characterization of the carbon alloy catalyst and an effort for securing long-term durability will be conducted and diffusion of proton exchange membrane fuel cells will finally be promoted to contribute to the formation of a next-generation smart community.

Development and evaluation of carbon alloys with electrocatalytic activity for cathode reaction in proton exchange membrane fuel cell

Transmission-type electron microscope image of nano-shell carbon
(one of the carbon alloy catalysts)

Development and evaluation of carbon alloys with electrocatalytic activity for cathode reaction in proton exchange membrane fuel cell

High magnifi cation image and model of nano-shell structure


Development of Advanced Hybrid Capacitor (AdHiCap)

Wataru Sugimoto
Professor, Shinshu University

A novel hybrid supercapacitor (Advanced Hybrid Capacitor; AdHiCapTM), which utilizes a water based electrolyte with a solid electrolyte was developed. This new ground breaking supercapacitor affords 10 times higher energy density compared to current state-of-the-art hybrid capacitors and has superior safety. As part of the on-going R&D of the AdHiCapTM based on ALCA project, we have now improved the long-term stability of the water stable Li-based anode.
Our performance goal is 400 Wh/kg in energy density and 3 kWh/kg in power density, which should be realized through further improvement in anode performance as well as new electrolytes.

Development of advanced hybrid capacitor (AdHiCap)

By using a water stable lithium anode in combination with a high capacity supercapacitor electrode as the cathode, a 4 V cell voltage is achieved even when using aqueous electrolyte, realizing both safety and environmental benigness.

Development of advanced hybrid capacitor (AdHiCap)

The newly developed 4V water based hybrid capacitor(AdHiCapTM


Development of Multi-Purpose Insulation Materials Based on Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Aerogels

Kazuki Nakanishi
Associate professor, Kyoto University

Development of multi-purpose insulation materials based on organic-inorganic hybrid aerogels

Flexural behavior of polymethyl silsesquioxane (PMSQ) xerogel

The innovative heat insulating material polymethyl silsesquioxane (PMSQ) xerogel has twice the heat insulating property of conventional materials such as polymeric foam, glass wool and other materials and has transparency to visible light. In past ALCA research, the flexural strength of the heat insulating material was successfully improved, which had been a bottleneck.
In this project, establishing a manufacturing process of granular xerogel and film forming process and further improving the strength of the material and heat insulating property of PMSQ xerogel is aimed for.


Pt-Free Fuel Cell Vehicle Using Liquid Fuel as Storage Medium of Electricity

Susumu Yamaguchi
Chief Coordinator, Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.

Pt-free fuel cell vehicle using liquid fuel as storage medium of electricity

Fuel cell technology using hydrazine hydrate which is one of the liquid fuels is developed in this project. Because liquid fuels like hydrazine hydrate can be transported and preserved by plastic bottle easily, electricity for vehicles and home use can be generated in smart communities. Moreover, precious-metal catalysts are not needed due to reaction in alkaline environment by anion exchange membrane. In the first stage of ALCA, high performance and durability anion exchange membrane has developed. In this stage of ALCA which aim to realize this technology in the world, new synthesis technology with low energy is also developing.

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