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Friday, October 31, 2008
Honda Soltec Solar PV Panels
Image: © Honda Soltec 2008

Honda Starts Commercial Sales Of Solar PV Panels In Japan

The Honda Motor Company first started as a motorcycle manufacturer, and then in 1963 they manufactured their first car, called the S500. In October 2007, Honda Soltec, Honda's 100% owned subsidiary, began manufacturing solar panels for the Japanese market. Honda Soltec Co.'s manufacturing facility is located in Kumamoto, Japan, and it fabricates Honda Soltec thin film solar cell CIGS panels, meaning the solar panel's electricity generating surface chemistry is made up of copper, indium, gallium, and selenium, hence CIGS. Honda says they have taken great care to develop solar panel manufacturing processes with adherence to environmentally compliant requirements.

Honda Soltec is part of Honda Motor Co.'s capital growth plan that aims at establishing a strong international presence in zero emissions energy and zero emissions infrastructures. Honda first started selling the Soltec solar panels last year within Japan for home use. This month they established a commercial presence that markets industrial applications of solar electricity generation. Honda has installed an immense array of Soltec solar panels on their new Kumamoto Motorcycle Production Facility. There are 1000 Honda Soltec solar panels on the roof of this plant and the combined output power from these is 116 kW of electricity.

Honda Soltec currently manufactures and distributes two power output solar panels types - 125 watt, and 115 watt maximum output powers. These are available in both public and industry configurations, taking the total number of solar panels that Honda Soltec markets to four, or two configurations of each type. Both panels are manufactured in the dimensions 1417 x 791 x 37 mm. 

There are currently 150 associates working at the Kumamoto Soltec manufacturing plant, and the current output capacity of this facility is nearly 220,000 solar panels a year. Honda will potentially be looking for other manufacturing locations for their Soltec solar panels as part of their solar panel growth strategy in the international markets.

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