• The Panasonic 'Smart House' shows visitors how to live in a house with zero emissions.
• Save, create, store and manage energy are the key factors to an efficient home.  

The world is struggling to reduce emissions. However, changes in technology allow homeowners to achieve a zero emission lifestyle in their home.  

Panasonic envisions a future in which all families can almost completely eliminate CO2 emissions through the use of efficient appliances and the combination of solar power generation, fuel cells and storage batteries. Panasonic demonstrates this in a 'Smart House' in Ariake, Tokyo. Visitors are invited to experience what it would be to live in a house with practically zero emissions.

The Panasonic ‘Smart House’ highlights the four key factors to being energy efficient – saving, creating, storage and power management.

Save energy  
Whether you save energy, depends on the appliances which are used in the home. These days it is easy to find the most energy efficient product as most of them have an energy label.  

Panasonic has proposed that by 2016, over 80% of its labelled models will achieve one of the first two energy efficiency classes. This is already the case for some of Panasonic’s products. For example, its refrigerators have an insulation panel called U-vacuous, which allows twenty times more insulation than traditional panels.  

Panasonic’s HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) products also support this development.  It air conditioning units have an energy saving technology called ECONAVI.  This is a smart sensor system which is capable of controlling the intensity of sunlight, movement, activity level and human absence, automatically adjusting the cooling output and saving energy efficiently. This saves energy of up to 38% in cooling mode and up to 45% in heating mode.

Panasonic also used a system of sensors in its washing machines. This is the 3D sensor that adjusts the rotational speed to optimize the effect of the fall in the drum and maximize water and energy.  

Meanwhile, the Panasonic dryers have a heat pump, based on the same principle as heating with an air conditioner.  

Panasonic’s Inverter technology ensures optimal performance while minimizing energy consumption. In air conditioning systems for example, inverter technology allows the system to quickly reach the desired temperature and then keep it all the time increasing energy savings and comfort. Washers, dryers and refrigerators also feature Panasonic inverter technology.

Lighting is also very important in saving energy in a home. Using a Panasonic LED bulb instead of a traditional light bulb, results in energy consumption dropping by 85%. In addition, LED bulbs have a service life up to 40 times higher than incandescent bulbs.

Create energy  
It is important or a home to have the tools to generate energy by itself with minimal CO2 emissions. A good example is solar panels.

Panasonic aspires to be one of the three leaders in the field of solar panels by 2016.  

Panasonic Home Solar Power Generation System HIT are able to:  
• Offer one of the highest ratios of conversion efficiency: 24.7%.
• Provide energy production 5% higher than conventional solar panels.
• Ensure a high performance even in warm weather conditions.
• One of the most reliable products in the market, with a failure rate of 0.0036%. Of the 3.3 million solar panels that are sold in Europe, there has only been 120 cases requiring revision.  

Another tool for energy is the fuel cell for home use. Fuel cells are a highly efficient method to generate electricity through an electrochemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. Furthermore, the remaining residual heat of reaction is used to generate hot water. This system can save around 1.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, compared with a house that runs on electricity and heat with a heating system with gas. 

Panasonic was the first company in the world to sell fuel cells for use in the home.  It is called ENE FARM. Since its launch in May 2009, Panasonic has sold 31,000 units in Japan (up to September 2013). In Europe, Panasonic has two R & D centers located in Langen (Germany) and Wales (United Kingdom) that focus on developing residential fuel cells for the European market. Although not yet marketed in Europe, these research centers work closely with utility companies related to energy.

Store energy  
The storage of energy in a home is achieved through a combination of solar power generation, fuel cells and storage batteries.  

Devices such as Panasonic batteries lithium-ion, allow homeowners to conserve energy and ensure stable power supply.  

In June 2012 Panasonic started mass production of a set of lithium-ion compact, safe and long lasting systems. Thus, Panasonic has become the first company to mass produce a system of its kind in Europe.

Manage energy  
It is important to be able to control when, how and how much energy is consumed.  This is why the smart homes of the future integrate systems for managing home energy such as Panasonic’s Smart Home Energy Management System (SMARTHEMS). The main features of this system, which incorporates AiSEG (Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Smart Energy Gateway (SEG), are:

 • Real-time measurements of the consumption of electricity, water and gas. For electricity, the monitor displays the current state and the CO2 balance of the entire house, estimated electricity charges as well as the ability to generate energy through solar energy or fuel cells. The different types of data, including the amount of charge of storage batteries, can be monitored through televisions, computers, smart phone screens and other displays.  

• Artificial Intelligence (AiSEG) and Smart Energy Gatewway (SEG) is the control center SMARTHEMS, which allows connection and control of electrical equipment and appliances in the home, and helps to increase energy savings. 

• The cloud will play a key role in the field of energy. The cloud is essential not only to connect the devices, but also to anticipate and respond to consumer needs - both at home and outside. Panasonic has partnered with some of the world's leading IT companies to convert this vision into reality. In fact, Panasonic and IBM have agreed to work together to evaluate the commercial and technical appliances connected future in the cloud value.