"Smart House" Demonstration Project

Our investigation of the "Toyota City Low-Carbon Verification Project".

Toyota City was selected to participate, as one of four regions*, by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in the "Next-Generation Energy and Social System Demonstration" project.

note: the 4 regions are: Yokohama City, Toyota City, Kyoto Prefecture (Keihanna Science City) and Kita-Kyushu City

This is a large-scale project with 26 organizations including Toyota City and private enterprises. The aim of this project is the "pursuit of optimal energy use in living spaces at the household and community level, focused primarily on local citizens". The project is a demonstration test using IT to control power supply and to achieve a stable supply of electricity and energy conservation.

Model House for the demonstration

Batteries mounted outside the model house. Electricity is stored here.

On June 30, 2011, one model house for the demonstration project was completed in the Higashiyama district of the city and testing began of the Home Energy Management System (HEMS).

This model house - a "Smart House" - is a residence in which information from the living appliances such as home electronics; solar panels and household power storage; vehicle on-board batteries and other equipment is linked in a network to stabilize household power demand and optimize energy usage.

In addition to solar power generation, the model house is equipped with batteries to save generated electricity and a water heater "Eco Cute".

A charging stand is installed in the parking space and a PHV can be easily charged.

There is a monitor equipped with a touch panel in the house so that household power flow and power consumption, including the vehicle charge, can be checked.

This project is also working on energy management at the community level. By using the Energy Data Management System (EDMS), the aim is said to be to adjust the balance of power supply on a community level, including surrounding convenience stores, schools and so on.

Batteries mounted outside the model house. Electricity is stored here.

Power generation and consumption levels can be determined at a glance.

Further more, vehicles, homes and people are linked real time by using information communication terminals such as smart phones. Testing of energy optimization management is being concurrently carried out.

Full scale marketing of the Prius PHV will begin in 2012. In preparation for the wide adoption of vehicles using electricity, we plan to keep a close eye on this demonstration as one way that we can better utilize electricity.