The world's first demonstration terminal for the storing and unloading of liquefied hydrogen (Hy touch Kobe) has been built on Kobe Airport Island, off the coast of Kobe City, by the CO2-free Hydrogen Energy Supply-chain Technology Research Association (known as HySTRA). In Hy touch Kobe, the pilot project will demonstrate brown coal gasification, hydrogen refining and liquefying in Australia, marine transportation of liquefied hydrogen from Australia to Japan, and unloading and storing of liquefied hydrogen in Japan to realize the CO2-free hydrogen energy supply chain. The facility has the largest liquefied hydrogen storage tank (2,250 m3 capacity) in Japan; it can stably store cryogenic liquefied hydrogen at −253°C with a volume reduced to 1/800 of its original volume and a loading arm system that can transfer hydrogen from a marine carrier to the hydrogen storage tank while maintaining the temperature at −253°C. In the hydrogen storage tank, in particular, a vacuum insulated double-walled structure was adopted based on Kawasaki’s liquefied hydrogen storage technology at JAXA’s Tanegashima Space Center rocket launch facilities and succeeded in achieving the ultimate in thermal insulation performance. Further, under the New Energy Industrial Technology Development Organization (known as NEDO) - subsidized project, a co-generation system with 1 MW hydrogen gas turbine generator fueled by hydrogen and natural gas has been constructed on Kobe Port Island, adjacent to Kobe Airport Island. Hydrogen burns seven times faster than natural gas and has a high combustion temperature, so it is necessary to solve the problems of fuel nozzle burnout, unstable combustion, and increased NOx emission. The hydrogen gas turbine generator has solved these problems by improving the fuel nozzle and combustion technology and has realized the world's first simultaneous supply of power and heat to nearby facilities by burning 100% hydrogen in an urban area. In this tour, you will be able to experience the first step toward realizing a hydrogen society by seeing these cutting-edge hydrogen supply facilities and listening to the real voices of the technical staff.
This tour will conclude with a visit to the Hakushika Memorial Museum of Sake (Sake Museum). The Sake Museum is located in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture. Surrounded by Mt. Rokko and the Seto Inland Sea, the city lies in the eastern part of Nadagogo, the largest sake brewing region in Japan. Since the Edo period (1603–1867), Nishinomiya has prospered thanks to the sake industry, and sake brewers helped to develop the infrastructure of the city and its art and culture as well. Here, the development of the region was and is deeply connected to the history of sake brewing. The Sake Museum was established in 1982, and the museum utilizes an old sake brewery that brings the city of sake of the past to life and preserves the traditional sake brewing tools that are gradually disappearing from the practice as well as historical materials related to sake. Over 1 million people have visited the museum since its opening. At the Nishinomiya City Sasabe Sakura Collection, entrusted by Nishinomiya City, you can enjoy to your heart’s content the works of art of cherry blossoms that have been capturing Japanese people’s hearts for innumerable generations. You can have new discoveries and encounters at the museum as well as relax and enjoy, where Japan’s own sake and sakura are fused together.
Photo Credit: HySTRA
Photo Credit: HySTRA
In Himeji city, the Himeji No. 2 power station (thermal) is located at the south of the city and close to the “Himeji Castle,” which is a World Cultural Heritage. Adopting a combined-cycle power generation system mainly used in Japan with state-of-the-art 1,600°C class gas turbines can increase the thermal efficiency of the power station to approximately 60%, the highest in the industry, which reduces CO2 emission by 50% compared with existing coal-fired thermal power stations. Moreover, this power station containing 6 generator units, a total of 2,919 MW, considers the global environment while playing a role in “supplying electricity” and “adjusting the balance of supply and demand.”
This tour will invite you to its central control room composed of the new equipment, a turbine building with the state-of-the-art turbines and heat recovery steam generator where you can see a panoramic view of the Seto Inland Sea. At that same time, you will be able to know the characteristics of each equipment and facility through the guidance of power station staff members and directly feel “generating sounds,” which occur when electricity is generated.
Moreover, because the Himeji No. 2 power station has the Himeji LNG*terminal, which has the comprehensive ability to receive LNG and use it for power generation, you will also be able to see LNG tanks, which can store LNG gas at −160°C (−256°F) and 300-m level LNG carriers if the timing is right.
*LNG : Liquefied Natural Gas
This tour will conclude with a visit to the Himeji Castle. This castle is also known as “Shirasagi/Hakuro (white egret) Castle” because it has an elegant appearance of a white egret with its wings spread out. In December 1993, being highly praised as the best perfect beauty among Japanese wooden buildings and a unique building in the world, it was the first Japanese cultural property to be registered in the World Cultural Heritage List. Moreover, it has been more bright and beautiful than before after a major renovation in 2015. Its main buildings, including the castle tower, have existed since 1617 when the entire building was completed, i.e., for approximately more than 400 years. You will be able to see a magnificent view from the castle tower and the combination of “white” of the castle with “pink” because of approximately a thousand cherry blossoms, which are well worth visiting once.