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Giving Shape to Eco Technologies for the Future
-Feasibility Studies of New Environmental Technologies-

Optimizing district energy use to realize a zero-carbon society


Ricoh has established the “Group’s Environmental Goals” for 2050 based on the Paris Agreement, international agreement adopted at COP 21 to address the issue of global warming, and conducts business activities to be able to achieve the goals. Also, Ricoh has joined RE100*, a global initiative network of companies committed to use 100% renewable electricity, marking a first for Japan. As part of these efforts aimed at a zero-carbon society, the Center operates experimental research projects on energy management for individual offices and buildings, while also beginning to expand the target of these projects to cover the entire district, seeking to optimize energy use as a whole.
Our plan is to build a system that monitors energy demand for each facility in the district in terms of volume, location and hours, compares the data with energy generation status, and controls power distribution within the entire district so as to optimize supply-demand balance.


* RE100:Companies collaborating in this global initiative seek to source 100% renewable electricity.

image:Image of an energy flow model

* The above shows a conceptual image of an energy flow model


Energy Creation

Local-production-for-local-use model covering a range of processes from deliberate tree thinning to generating energy from it

Collaborating with the local government and forestry companies, we have simultaneously achieved forest management, CO2 emissions reduction and energy creation. We will create a recycling model for woody biomass energy that utilizes unused thinned wood in Gotemba, and will introduce this "Gotemba model" across the country to contribute to regional revitalization.

image:Woody biomass utilization

image:Environment Minister’s Award for Global Warming Prevention Activity

Power generation system that utilizes water flows in various locations

A micro hydroelectric power generation system utilizes numerous water flows that exist as an unused resource in agricultural fields, town area, buildings and factories. We are planning to develop a model that integrates the waterwheel and motor mechanisms to enable water power generation even from low flows and small height differences, which is difficult with conventional technologies, in order to construct locally produced and locally used energy infrastructure.

image:Micro hydroelectric power generation

Complete solid-state dye-sensitized solar cell with high conversion rate even from indoor lighting

We produce a safe and durable solar cell that enables stable and permanent operation of sensors without any external power supply from a wall socket or battery. The cell is expected to be a clean and smart independent power source to contribute to spread of the Internet of Things (IoT).

image:Energy-harvesting lighting devices

Energy Conservation

Control to optimize lighting and air-conditioning operations using indoor environment sensors

The system manages the information obtained via sensors such as lightness, human occupancy and temperature in the cloud, and controls lighting and air-conditioning operations to appropriate levels. It allows for the effortless improvement of energy efficiency while achieving energy conservation, comfort and convenience levels all at once.

image:Lighting and air-conditioning control system

Energy conservation and creation interlocking control system

This system is for more than just saving electricity for buildings and plants; it aims to optimize energy usage for the entire facility through interlocking control of power conservation, creation and distribution. We also plan to incorporate clean energy generation functions, focusing on solar power, micro hydroelectric power and other systems suitable to building and plant facilities.

image:Energy-conservation/creation/storage control system for building and plant facility

Saving energy for existing equipment such as pums and fans in buildings and plants

This system has been developed to conserve energy required to operate air-conditioners in buildings and plants as well as factory equipment, such as pumps and fans. The system employs a sensor-linked variable-frequency drive, in place of the conventional fixed-frequency inverter control, to optimize facility equipment operations and also to maximize energy conservation effect.

image:Energy-conservation control system for building and plant facility

Space-saving, high-efficiency plant cultivation system

Housed in a facility refurbished from a previous clean room and equipped with generalized products to save costs, this laboratory specializes in research on plant cultivation technologies. The research function focuses on developments directed at high value-added cultivated plants, such as the rapid growth of plants using ultrafine bubbles and light control for improved antioxidant effect. We are also working on minimizing the power consumption through energy-saving lights for cultivation and utilizing unused energy sources.

image:Next-generation agricultural system

Resource Conservation