• Kyodo


Nippon Oil Corp. began testing fuel cells for residential use in a model house in Nishi Ward here Tuesday, the world’s first practical application of this kind of power generation system.

The Tokyo-based oil company said it also plans to begin testing the fuel cells in March at the official residence of Yokohama Mayor Hiroshi Nakada, who attended Tuesday’s opening ceremony for the experiment.

The fuel cell generates electricity to power household appliances through the chemical reaction between hydrogen, extracted from propane gas, and oxygen in the atmosphere. The only byproduct of the process is warm water, which will also be utilized in the kitchen and bathroom of the house, according to the company.

The experiment will last for about a year. Nippon Oil said it plans to begin sales of the system, which will cost about 500,000 yen, by fiscal 2005.

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