Toyota's Prius hybrid car has an optional Solar Ventilation System that uses Kyocera's solar cells. With this system, when the car is parked, the solar cells generate electricity to operate a fan and ventilate the inside of the vehicle, and thus prevent the interior temperature from rising.
Kyocera has been highly rated for possessing the technological ability to generate the necessary amount of electricity using the limited space of the roof of a vehicle, and for ensuring the product quality and high reliability required for automotive parts.
As a world's first in 1982, Kyocera succeeded in mass producing solar cells using the multicrystalline silicon casting method — which is now the standard method for manufacturing solar cells in the industry. Currently, by conducting all of the manufacturing processes in-house, from raw materials (silicon casting) to the finished product (module assembly), we are able to enhance our technology and product quality at each stage. The technological capability, product quality and high reliability of Kyocera's solar cells — which are a result of this fully integrated manufacturing process — are proven by the global automaker Toyota's choice to install our modules on their Prius, the world's leading eco-car.
Kyocera's ability to create a design in which a solar module could be elegantly installed on the curved roof of the vehicle, as well as the graceful appearance of uniform coloration achieved through strict quality control were highly rated. Considering that the module was to be installed on the curved roof of the Prius, Kyocera came up with a new design for cell configuration and layout to ensure it met the vehicle's roof design. In addition, in order to boost the power generation capacity, Kyocera used its unique technology to give the solar cells a dark navy color that reflects less light. Based on stringent quality control, the solar cells are given a uniform color and visually stunning appearance. This too was achieved thanks to Kyocera's fully integrated manufacturing process.