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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



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RE: Worth ANY upcharge?
By jbeenemd on 9/26/2012 10:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
Well first of all, you will not get 24 hours of energy production. At best will get maybe 6 hours and that is if the glass panel is at an optimum angle. I don't see these being anywhere near 10% efficient even at an appropriate placement. The angle that windows are placed is not conducive to any energy production. Now having said all that, I say let them price these puppies and then let the bean counters make an educated decision on putting these on their buildings.


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