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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 JPForums on 9/27/2012 1:13:29 PM , Rating: 2
The one nice thing about these panels is that they serve a purpose other than power generation. They are meant to be put in place of tinted or frosted glass. If they were somehow cheaper than their alternative (not bloody likely), they would justify their cost without even considering power generation.
quote:
I'd only be willing to pay an extra 150 upfront for panel cost and installation costs per each panel.
For new installations/planned renovations, which are the target market, this "extra $150" should be beyond the cost of whatever you were planning to put there in the first place. Perhaps that is what you meant, but I was unclear on that.


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