Print 37 comment(s) - last by Keeir.. on Oct 25 at 9:01 PM

Now your architectural glass can produce power

Sharp Corp. (TYO:6753) announced in a press release a semi-transparent black architectural glass panel that has build in photovoltaic generation (aka solar power) capabilities.

The panel is 4.5-ft. x 3.2ft -- about the size of a glass coffee table.  It is a slender 0.37 in. thick.  Sharp brags the panel is "beautifully in harmony with the building".

The panel is laminated glass infused with semi-transparent thin film solar cells.  The cells both generate power and act as a natural insulator serving as a heat barrier.  Plus their black color could offer an extra degree of privacy to residents in buildings with the panels.

The panel can produce up to 95 watts at 6.8 percent efficiency [source] -- not great, but okay when you consider its multi-utility (construction, privacy, insulation, and generation).

Sharp solar panels
An artist's depiction of a building equipped with the special glass panels. [Image Source: Sharp Japan]

The panel will start shipping in Japan on Oct. 1, but no U.S. date has been announced.  Also not announced was one critical metric -- pricing in Japan.

Sources: Sharp [translated], CNET

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Worth ANY upcharge?
By Masospaghetti on 9/26/2012 3:44:30 PM , Rating: 2
A location that yielded sun about 10% of the time (your example) would obviously be a bad choice no matter what type of solar cell was used.

This new design trades easy integration for efficiency. If the cells are cheap enough, an entire building using these instead of tinted glass could reap significant energy savings. There wouldn't be much additional installation cost except running a couple wires along each wall.

RE: Worth ANY upcharge?
By fic2 on 9/26/2012 4:16:30 PM , Rating: 3
Well, just about any location is only going to yield 50% to start with considering that most places on earth do experience night. Then you add that this is fixed to the side of a building so you can cut that down to ~25% since it will only get semi-direct sun for 1/4 of the day. And that would be an optimal placing and doesn't account for shifting sun during the seasons or even during the day I would say his 10% is a pretty good swag for just about any fixed location on the side of a building.

It basically comes down to how much this costs over a regular panel that it replaces, how much your local electricity costs and what the ROI is.

RE: Worth ANY upcharge?
By Flunk on 9/26/2012 4:21:06 PM , Rating: 1
All places on earth experience night, it's just longer some places than others.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki