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Honda to Mass Produce Next-Generation Thin Film Solar Cell

Discussion in 'Photovoltaics' started by Larry Dighera, Dec 27, 2005.

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    Corporate December 19, 2005
    Honda to Mass Produce Next-Generation Thin Film Solar Cell

    TOKYO, Japan, December 19, 2005 – Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced its
    plan to begin mass production in 2007, of an independently developed
    thin film solar cell composed of non-silicon compound materials, which
    requires 50% less energy, and thus generate 50% less CO2, during
    production compared to a conventional solar cell. A mass production
    plant with annual capacity of 27.5 megawatts will be established at
    Honda’s Kumamoto factory.

    Honda will produce and sell solar panels in a limited area, starting
    from 2006 fall, using assembly line within Honda Engineering Co.,
    Ltd., the production engineering subsidiary of Honda.

    By using thin film made from a compound of copper, indium, gallium and
    selenium (CIGS), Honda’s next-generation solar cell achieved a major
    reduction in energy consumed during the manufacturing process to
    approximately 50% of the amount required by conventional crystal
    silicon solar cells. Thus, this new solar cell is more
    environmentally-friendly by reducing the amount of CO2 even from the
    production stage. Further, this next-generation solar cell has
    achieved the highest level of photoelectric transfer efficiency for a
    thin film solar cell (almost equivalent to the conventional crystal
    silicon solar cell).

    Since spring 2002, Honda has been using and monitoring the performance
    of this solar cell, first at the Outboard Engine Plant in Hosoe, and
    then also at 12 other Honda facilities including Honda Engineering
    headquarters and the Honda Wako Building in Japan and 3 overseas sites
    such as the U.S. and Thailand.

    Achieving lower costs and higher photoelectric transfer efficiency is
    required in order to expand use of solar cells which will help protect
    the global environment. This non-silicon thin film solar cell has been
    attracting significant attention as a potential solution to these
    challenges. The only remaining challenges were the stabilization of
    performance and development of mass production technologies. The mass
    production of Honda’s next-generation solar cell became possible with
    a new mass production process for thin film solar cells developed
    independently by Honda Engineering – a production engineering company
    that has long developed production equipment and technologies for
    Honda’s motorcycle, automobile, engine, electric motor for hybrid
    vehicles and other items.

    In addition to its effort to lower environmental load through
    achieving reduced emissions and higher fuel efficiency, as the first
    automaker to enter into solar cell business, Honda will contribute to
    the effort to prevent global warming through production and sales of a
    clean energy source which does not use fossil fuels. In its vision for
    2010, Honda has committed itself to take on new challenges in new
    areas and to develop environmentally-friendly and sustainable energy
    technologies. Honda’s entrance into the solar cell business with
    independently developed technologies is an example of the realization
    of Honda’s 2010 vision.

    About New Mass Production Line

    Location: Within the current site of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Kumamoto

    Establishment: The line will become operational in latter half of 2007

    Facility size: 12,000 square meters

    Production capacity: 27.5 megawatts annually, (Equivalent amount of
    electricity to power approximately 8,000 houses when calculated at
    3.5kw per house)

    Product/Use: Solar cell panel for individual residential use and
    public industrial use

    Irrational beliefs ultimately lead to irrational acts.
    -- Larry Dighera,

    According to Abbas, Bush said: "God told me to strike at al Qaida and
    I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I
    did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East.
    If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I
    will have to focus on them."
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