New innovative see-through solar panels from Sharp
Aesthetically solar panels have improved as technology has advanced and now Sharp have unveiled a new kind of solar panel that doubles as a window.
Launching in Japan next month, Sharp Solar is to introduce a new see-through solar panel that can be used in windows, patio glass and skylights. Removing the need for rooftop space, the panels can be attached to balcony railings and high-rise windows and will also act as a heat shield.
Taking the form of a sheet of tinted black laminated glass which only partially blocks light passing through, Sharp have cut small slits into thin-film silicon solar PV cells. Which means not only does the panel act as a window but it can also generate solar energy.
The see-through solar panels are just 9.5mm thick, weigh 33kg and will be commercially available in sizes up 1.4 by 1.0 meters. Each panel will have a maximum output of 95W and a conversion efficiency of around 6.8%. Despite the obvious architectural applications there unfortunately has to be a bit of a trade off. By cutting into the cells it lowers the panel’s energy generation.
Sharp has been a major player in the solar industry since 1959 and its panels are well regarded for their reliability and performance. The new modules will be ideal for customers keen to take advantage of the benefits solar power offers without having to have the roof space to do so.