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Honda Soltec Begins Sales of New Residential-use Solar Cell Modules

Honda Soltec Co., Ltd., Honda’s wholly-owned solar cell subsidiary, began sales in Japan of two new residential-use solar cell modules with maximum output of 130W and 120W respectively, as well as a power conditioner with rated output of 5.5kW, adding to its lineup of home-use modules. (Earlier post.)

Honda Soltec has advanced its solar cell production technology to improve the quality of the electricity-generating layer. As a result, the new residential-use solar cell module with maximum output of 130W achieves solar energy conversion efficiency of 11.6%, which is the highest among CIGS-based solar cells currently being sold in Japan, according to Honda.

Honda Soltec is also enhancing its product lineup with the addition of a residential-use solar cell module with maximum output of 120W and a large-capacity power conditioner with rated output of 5.5 kW.

Honda Soltec’s solar cells use thin film made from a compound of copper, indium, gallium and selenium (CIGS). The company began production and sales of solar cell modules for residential use in 2007 and for public/industrial use in 2008. Before the new addition, Honda Soltec’s product lineup included two types of residential-use solar cell modules with maximum output of 125W and 115W respectively—and one type of power conditioner with a rated output of 4.0kW. The company will continue sales of these products along with the new products.

To date, Honda Soltec has sold residential-use solar cell modules to approximately 2,250 homes through home builders and contractors. The company has installed public/industrial-use solar cells to approximately 120 buildings including Hanshin Koshien Stadium, warehouse of logistics centers and hospitals, etc. The company will expand its business to regions outside Japan in the future.

Comments

HarveyD

This is a good first step towards domestic clean energy production.

citizen

i wonder what is the price for ~120 Watts, and how long the solar cells are guaranteed to last. Even if it can produce 1kW per day that replaces 10 cents worth of electricity in a typical U.S. market. Press releases like this are almost meaningless without a more complete list of specs. But it is good that people like this are working on solutions.

SJC

There is no "kW per day". If it is a 1kW system, it will produce around 2000 kWh per year. At 10 cents per kWh that is about $200 of electricity per year. At 5 hours per day, it would produce 5 kWh of electricity each sunny day.

Dave R

As always, the kWh generated by 1 kW of solar panels can vary immensely due to the amount of solar irradiation the panels receive as a result of location, mounting angles and weather.

2 MWh / year from 1 kW of solar panels will only happen in ideal locations near the equator.

1.5 MWw / year / kW is a much more realistic upper-bound for most locations and anything over 1 MWh /year is doing OK.

Dave R

BTW, the price of ~60,000 yen (~700 USD, $5.38/watt) for the 130W panel and ~52,000 yen (~600 USD, $5.00/watt) for the 120W panel doesn't strike me as particularly good when the retail price of solar panels in the USA is between $3-$4/watt and can be had for as little as $2/watt.

Of course, those are MSRPs and will likely sell for significantly less.

If manufacturing costs are around $1/watt they will have a hard time making it in this market.

SJC

Honda just wanted to get into CIGS, I don't think they wanted to become the low cost low price supplier.

Zhukova

$5 per watt seems rediculous for a CIGS 120 watt panel. Nanosolar makes their CIGS panels for about $1/watt. You can buy 125 watt panels for $1.30 per watt retail price from Suntech - http://sunelec.com/index.php?main_page=price_per_pallet

SJC

When you look at large installations, the customer may look at the companies supplying the components more than just the cost per watt for the panels. The individual end user may be focused on cost per watt, but wants a warranty as well.

Look at it this way, if I can sell twice as many panels if I cut my price in half, would I do that? Now I have to make twice as many panels and have to invest in greater plant capacity. It is my guess they are not doing that for good business reasons.

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