One of the largest solar start-ups in the Silicon Valley asked DC Electronics to help develop a harness for their solar panels. They needed a company that understood demanding industrial conditions. The fact that DCE produces industrial grade cable assemblies for precision agriculture convinced them we were right for the job.
The solar panels had to withstand extreme weather conditions for at least 20 years. Because of DCE’s work on precision agriculture products, we already had mold compounds that were rated for 20 years in the field; we just needed to apply those technologies to the solar arena. As we helped them design the prototype we made eight different mold cavities, improving on the mold each time. We went through numerous mold compounds, formulas and processes, ironing everything out until it was a repeatable process.
DCE helped the customer get through UL certification. We then worked with them to find a long-term supplier who could mass-produce the harness using a fully automated production process. We interfaced with ten different contract manufacturers from around the world, and finally transferred all the technology we had developed for our customer over to their chosen manufacturer.
After the solar panel harness production was transferred, we continued to produce all the cables for the capital equipment that produced the solar panels and related components. Our customer grew from a 27-employee organization when they first contacted us to 1000 employees after we helped them launch their product. They are still building new fabrication facilities, and we continue to support them as they grow.
The upfront work that went into the prototype product was huge, but the process we learned and what we went through to get there gave us a lot of deliverables for other clients. This partnership approach is standard for DCE, and experiences like this are what make us so good at what we do.