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Cable Technology Feature Article

August 02, 2010

Hitachi Cable Intros New Production Equipment in Response to Growing Demand for NoWarp Photovoltaic Wire

By Nathesh, TMCnet Contributor

Hitachi (News - Alert) Cable has unveiled new production equipment at Hitachi Cable (Johor) Sdn. Bhd. of Malaysia, a new production facility to take its place alongside Hitachi Cable Fine-Tech, Ltd. and Hitachi Cable (Suzhou) Co., Ltd.

The equipment is for the NoWarp photovoltaic wire (solder-plated rectangular wire) used in solar cell module conductors. Hitachi Cable has planned to launch new production equipment by investing 500 million yen – or $5.7 million -- at Hitachi Cable (Johor) of Malaysia, making it a new production facility for photovoltaic wire. Full-scale operations are slated to get underway in August 2010.

Hitachi Cable has stated that they launched production of photovoltaic wire in 2000 and now Hitachi Cable sells photovoltaic wire under the NoWarp brand name. Its long-continued expansion of operations internationally has given Hitachi Cable production and sales bases in 44 locations worldwide. The photovoltaic wires are used for connecting individual solar cells in a solar panel to conduct the generated power.

Unlike the currently used thinner crystalline solar cells that produce more solar power, but suffer thermal stress when connected to photovoltaic wires that results in warping of panels, the NoWarp wires are produced to offer flexibility and high electrical conductivity adroitly absorb the thermal stress of the panels and prevent cell warping. It is claimed to have an approximate 20 percent share of the global photovoltaic wire market. 

The company has also planned to increase the net sales of the NoWarp products and other wiring materials from roughly 4 billion yen – or $46 million -- in the 2009 fiscal year to 9 billion yen – or $104 million -- in the 2012 fiscal year. Hitachi Cable’s new step is intended to bring optimized production in other regions and enhancements in the production and product development capabilities. By 2015, the corresponding market is projected to grow to roughly 3.3 times in its size in 2009. This trend has been accompanied by growing demand for photovoltaic wire, creating a need to develop supply structures across a broad regional basis. 

Nathesh is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Nathesh's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri