Fifth Medium-term Environmental Conservation Plan
Product-based Environmental Contribution
According to some estimates, motors account for approximately half the world’s power consumption. At present, a majority of those motors are AC, brushed DC, and other inefficient motors. Nidec delivers high-efficiency brushless DC motors to the world to improve the efficiency of entire motors, and contribute to reducing motors’ power consumption, while providing solutions to support the diffusion of renewable energy sources and be part of the global energy-saving and de-carbonizing initiative.
Meeting “Energy-saving and De-carbonizing” Needs
At the 21st Session of the UNFCCC-Conference of Parties (COP21)" held in Paris in December 2015, “the Paris Agreement,” a global framework to curb CO2 emissions toward 2020 and beyond, was adopted. Though actions based on the agreement differ among its signatory nations, the Paris Agreement established an international mid- and long-term direction of saving energy and reducing carbon emissions.
It is our belief that supplying to the world motors that are more energy-efficient than conventional ones is one of the most fundamental social responsibilities for Nidec, the world’s leading comprehensive motor manufacturer. Also, in the field of renewable energy, we use our group’s smart grid technology to utilize power efficiently in power generation, transformation, distribution, etc.
As part of our environmental conservation activities, we quantified the amount of greenhouse gases reduced during the actual use of the Nidec Group’s products, and included the amount as “environmental contributions (avoided emissions)” in the fifth three-year medium-term environmental conservation plan (FY2016 - FY2018). Our sixth three-year medium-term environmental conservation plan, launched in FY2019, too, includes data on “environmental contributions (avoided emissions)” by some of our products, as we try to ensure that the total amount of our products’ environmental contributions will eventually exceed the total amount of environmental load from our business activities.
Providing High-efficiency, Energy-saving Motors
The key to curbing automobile-generated CO2 emissions is to suppress engine load to improve fuel efficiency. It is in this regard that many automobile manufacturers in the world promote the use of the EPS (electric power steering) system, which, compared with the hydraulic power steering system, improves fuel efficiency by approximately 5%.
A trend is emerging in Europe and China where the DCT (dual clutch transmission) system, which is as operable as the AT (automatic transmission) system and yet capable of improving fuel-efficiency performance, is chosen to be used in vehicles. Compared with the AT system, the DCT system can improve fuel efficiency by approximately 9%.
Electric oil pump motor
The idling stop function, which stops the engine when the vehicle is parked, temporarily stopped, waiting for a traffic light, etc., can improve its fuel efficiency by approximately 5 – 8%. Realizing this improvement requires an electric oil pump motor, which can maintain the hydraulic pressure of the transmission in the engine when it stops.
The Nidec Group supplies automobile manufacturers with groups of products that effectively improve fuel efficiency, and that help curb CO2 and air pollutant emissions.
SR Motor for Large Vehicles
The Nidec Group, in addition to other motors, develops and produces SR (Switched Reluctance) motors*, which are used, instead of conventional engines, to drive construction equipment, mining & agricultural vehicles, and other industrial vehicles.
Industrial vehicles’ operating sections function by hydraulic pressure, and an engine is installed in these vehicles to enhance it. The SR motor accumulates the electricity generated by such an engine in a battery, and utilizes the electricity, spending energy very efficiently. This is how SR motors significantly save energy and reduce CO2 emissions when vehicles operate.
*SR (Switched Reluctance) motor: Motor that does not use magnets (rare earth-free).
EV & HEV SR Motor System (SiC Inverter-installed SR Motor System)
The Nidec Group has developed an inverter equipped with an SiC (silicon carbide) semiconductor device that is superior to the conventional Si (silicon) semiconductor in loss, withstanding pressure, high-pressure operation, etc. We combined the inverter with an SR motor to make a lighter and more compact system. The use of SiC with the inverter led to a significant reduction of electric loss, while the lighter weight helped batteries to consume less electricity. These features have enabled us to minimize the power consumption of EVs and HEVs, leading to a dramatic reduction in CO2 emissions.
Inverter Air Conditioner Motor
The inverters, installed in air conditioners, which are used in growing numbers worldwide, control their motors’ rotating speed, save energy significantly, and control air volume, helping air conditioners evolve into energy-saving, low-noise, and comfort-conscious products.
The brushless DC motor, one of the Nidec Group’s flagship products, is an essential component in these inverter air conditioners. Producing these motors in China, Thailand, and many other parts of Asia, we modularize them with blowing motors and inverter circuits to make high-performance motors, which are delivered to air conditioner manufacturers worldwide, while helping individual countries to reduce their electricity consumption.
High-performance Motor that Meets the IE3 (Premium Efficiency) Regulations
In Japan’s industrial sector, approximately 75% of electricity produced is estimated to be spent on motors.*1 If Japan’s industrial motors, almost all of which are currently at the IE1 (standard efficiency) level, were to be replaced entirely by IE3-level (premium efficiency) motors, it is estimated that a significant amount of power would be saved – 15.5 billion kWh per year,*2 and such savings would also be effective for many other countries in the world. The Nidec Group has been producing the “NEMA Premium Motor,” an industrial motor that meets the US’s NEMA*3 standard (equivalent to IE3), since 2011, and started, ahead of the regulations, the supply of IE3-level motors in September 2014. Furthermore, we have already developed advanced IE4- and IE5-level motors as part of our efforts to dramatically improve the energy efficiency and CO2 emissions reduction records of the world’s industrial equipment.
*1 & 2: Information by Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association (JEMA) (Top Runner Motor)
*3: National Electrical Manufacturers Association
The above chart is based on an energy-saving and CO2 emissions assessment of Nidec Techno Motor Corporation’s “Mighty Econo” motor (IE3 level), in which the energy-saving effects were calculated based on a scenario where a 7.5 kW, 4P, 50 Hz motor was operated for 10 hours a day and five days a week for a year. More energy will be saved with more units operated for a longer period of time.
Providing Renewable Energy Systems
Contributing to Realizing a Stable Power Supply and a Low-carbon Society
Nidec ASI, a company that handles everything concerned with renewable energy – from power generation to storing to transmission and distribution – offers system solutions to supply low-cost power reliably and stably to both large-scale facilities such as hospital and shopping malls, and remote places such as small regional villages.
The company smart micro-grid project integrates photovoltaic, wind, and other power generation systems with batteries, successfully developing a micro-grid technology that ensures optimum power management. Using this technology, Nidec ASI delivers stable power to various areas in the world where power supply has been unstable.
In its BESS (Battery Energy Storage System), Nidec ASI has developed and offers a power storage system that temporarily stores surplus electricity in a regional power network, and releases the electricity when power supply becomes unstable, to ensure stability of the power supply.
Micro-grid system in Chile
BESS (Battery Energy Storage System) system in Germany
Photovoltaic power generation plant in a suburb of Ciminna, Sicily, Italy
Smart Micro-grid Solution
In this project, we installed a large-scale power storage system in the village of Ollague, located 3,660 meters above sea level in the Andes Mountains which run through Chile in South America, to supplement the electricity generated by solar, wind, and other energies, which were unable to provide a stable supply. In addition, we launched a new project to integrate the existing diesel power generators with our new system, to provide a stable supply of electricity.
Now, with the necessary power supplied constantly, 24 hours a day, people in the Ollague village are able to read even at night, while TV sets, refrigerators, and other appliances are starting to be used widely in the village.
The World’s Largest-class BESS Project
In November 2016, Nidec ASI delivered the world’s largest-class BESS (Battery Energy Storage System), with a total capacity of 90 MW, to STEAG, Germany’s major electric power company. This project, which uses six of Nidec ASI’s large-scale BESS systems, further improves the safety and efficiency of the transmission network in Germany, where renewable energy is used at an increasing pace, contributing tremendously to suppressing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing electricity costs.
We will stay committed to improving the BESS systems’ reliability, power storing capability, price and cost, to develop and integrate highly reliable energy infrastructures that makes renewable energy more convenient to use.
Introduction to Products with Environment-friendly Design
Click the link to see how these environment-friendly motors are designed and with what effect through the use of product case studies.
Awards for Nidec's Eco-friendly Design Products
In March 2011, Nidec Corporation’s Shiga Technical Center was awarded the “Environmental Value Creation Pearl Grand Prize.”
Role of Brushless DC Motors in Environmental Conservation
Brushless DC motors are advantageous in terms of energy saving, long life, compactness, light weight, low noise, and other environmental characteristics.