The Yanmar Group's Approach to Energy
The Yanmar Group wants to help create a society where people in every region of the world can use energy without waste, consuming just the amount they need, when they need it.
Our efforts are aimed at realizing energy-conserving lifestyles by pursuing highly efficient power generation, use of solar power and other sources of renewable energy, use of unused energy like waste heat and biomass from factories or power substations, and energy management to optimize energy consumption.
Pursuing Energy Conservation
The Yanmar Group is working on developing cogeneration systems that run on natural gas with low environmental impact or carbon-neutral biogas. These systems effectively use the heat generated by a gas engine when generating power for hot water supply and air conditioning or heating, achieving efficient use of energy.
Utilizing Unused Energy
Yanmar was quick to focus on the use of biogas obtained from methane fermentation, to make effective use of this biomass from such as sludge and food residue, which can be found in wastewater treatment plants, food/garbage disposal facilities, and manure handling facilities. We are working on the commercialization of biogas micro cogeneration systems using as fuel biogas generated from sludge and food residue, and proudly hold a top share in the 25kW class.
Yanmar aims to make optimal use of electric energy and heat energy by using ICT to network separately located cogeneration systems. Energy loss is minimized by sharing locally generated energy within the same region according to demand, for optimal distribution.
Rice Husk Biomass Power Generation Pilot Program in Myanmar
Background on Our Involvement in Myanmar
Myanmar is a leading agricultural country in Southeast Asia, where approximately 60% of the people are engaged in agriculture, which makes up 30% of the GDP. Its rice production in FY2013 was 28,770,000 tons, of which 1,300,000 tons was exported. Rice is an important export for Myanmar.
However, while electricity demand increases with the country's economic growth, approximately 70% of its power relies on hydroelectricity and the like, and the electrification rate, inclusive of rural areas, is limited to approximately 30%. The low electrification rate affects many types of manufacturing equipment. The gasification equipment used for rice is unstable due the low technological level, resulting in cracked rice with lower quality. For major rice exporters like Myanmar, ensuring the stable supply of power and improving the quality of rice is vital.
Yanmar Group Initiatives
Myanmar generates huge amounts of chaff from locally cultivated and harvested rice each year. Seeing the potential to help improve Myanmar's electrification rate and contribute to high-quality rice production, the Yanmar Group is engaged in a pilot program to generate electricity from biomass-derived biogas.
Using the chaff as fuel for gasification power generation systems, the aim is to provide all the required electricity for running the rice mills, while using the waste heat via a cogeneration system to dry the chaff. The residues from rice husks left over from burning the chaff contain fertilizer components which can be returned to farmland to help recycling-oriented agriculture. The amount of CO2 emissions is also expected to be much reduced compared to electricity from conventional power systems like power plants.2 The pilot program is planned to last until March 2018, and in the future we hope to spread such systems to other Southeast Asian nations with unstable supplies of electricity.