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Updated on August 21, 2015

Contributing to the International Community through Business Activities

Working to Address Social Development through the Utilization of Technology

I. Model Study of Community Electrification in Bangladesh Using a Long-life Storage Battery System

From August 2013 through February 2014, Sony undertook a study* in an unelectrified area of Bangladesh (Gaibandha district, Saghata sub-district) aimed at encouraging the effective use of renewable energy generation and improving living conditions and hygiene for local people using a long-life storage battery system** and photovoltaic (PV) panels. Based on the results of this study, Sony has begun considering the feasibility of building a new business model.

Project name:
Electrification of an unelectrified area using solar power generation and a long-life storage battery system

  • To effectively utilizes renewable energy generation and to promote the use of electricity
  • To contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
  • To improve living conditions and hygiene through the electrification of an unelectrified area
  • Project Overview
Research Overview:
  1. Store renewable energy generated by a solar PV system in Sony's long-life storage battery system.
  2. Transfer the stored energy to portable batteries and deliver to 100 households in an unelectrified area to supply power.
  3. This energy enables to replace kerosene lamps with LED light bulbs which consume lower energy. (A portable battery powers a 2-watt LED light bulb for approximately 15 hours.)
  4. Residents can work and study indoors even after sunset. Indoor air contamination is also reduced, thereby enhancing living environments.
  • Be able to charge the long-life storage battery system with solar power generation during daylight hours. The stored energy will be divided into portable batteries and are delivered to the village to supply power for use at night.
  • Residents can work and study indoors even after sunset, which leads to an improvement in residents' quality of life.
  • Inside the houses, air contamination by kerosene lamps is reduced.
  • The power is also used to charge widely used mobile phones and enhances convenience.

Secondary benefits:
The project employed InfoLady***consultants to deliver portable batteries to each household and undertake programs to promote the uptake of the system. The InfoLady program is managed by a local NGO, and can be described as "a consultation-based assistance program carried out for women and by women." By utilizing the InfoLady program, the project promoted increased employment of local women and contributed to their empowerment.

Based on knowledge gained in the study conducted by Sony Energy Devices Corporation, Sony Corporation and cooperating organizations as outlined above, Sony has begun from May 2014 considering the feasibility of developing a new business in partnership with local companies.

Details on this study are here.

Sony used an olivine-type lithium-ion iron phosphate battery, which boasts a very stable crystalline structure, and even at high temperatures the material exhibits excellent thermal stability. Sony also applied its proprietary powder-design and cell-structure technologies to realize high output and long battery life of over 10 years (in the case of a room temperature of 23 ℃, and charging/discharging once per day).

This is an action program managed by local NGO D.Net. The program seeks to organize entrepreneurially minded women in rural areas. At present the program covers 12 areas from 13 offices, with approximately 80 women acting as InfoLady consultants. The participants use netbooks, digital still cameras and mobile phones while making rounds in their assigned coverage areas on bicycles. They provide information and knowledge necessary for life in rural areas (related to health and hygiene, legal matters affecting women and agricultural matters). This program is attracting significant worldwide attention as a successful case of ICT use in a developing country for poverty reduction and empowerment of women.

II. Solving Social Issues in Urban Bangladesh by Utilizing IC Card Technology

  • Commuter in Dacca, Bangladesh, pays his bus fare using a SPASS IC card
Sony is involved in activities that aim to solve social issues in urban Bangladesh by using Sony's FeliCa™ contactless IC card technology.

In the capital city of Dacca, majority of people use buses for their transportation, which causes traffic jams and were their social problem. Moreover, people have to purchase paper tickets by the roadside for every boarding, which made it inconvenient and easy to do fare dodging.

To help solve such problems, an IC card-based system using FeliCa technology was introduced in 2011 to replace paper tickets. In addition to improving convenience for passengers, it realized speedy boarding and alighting time, utilizing incoming and outgoing records to optimize bus operation management, and the system has also contributed to the alleviation of traffic jams and improvement of air pollution, and made fare collection more transparent.
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