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

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RE: Worth ANY upcharge?
By Keeir on 10/25/2012 9:01:44 PM , Rating: 2
::rolls eyes::


So, if the Panel was facing -perfectly- south, had -zero- blockage, and maintained efficieny without constant washing, you would get ~.25 kWh per day from a panel upto a maximum of .4 kWh per day.

Sorry. This is crazy ideal situation. Relatively few buildings are built to be perfectly square. Relatively few buildings have large expanses that never every have obstruction. Relatively few areas require the type of constant rainfall spaced with sun that ensure the panels keep at peak efficieny.

You also seem to want to use -residental- rates. I am thinking this is more of a business solution than private house. The amount of fixed costs do not makes sense unless you already own a roof-monted solar system or can install far more than the typical residential customer. I guess it would be valid for -apartment- dwellers... except that I personally wouldn't want to live in an apartment facing straight south... and if used to offset the general electrical costs would again fall into business and service rates which are often 50-75% of residential rates.

Installation cost is pretty much the same as an ordinary glass panel of similar dimensions, absent the PV capability. The additional cost of running a cable and putting in power plugs, ought to be negligible.

Have you ever installed an outdoor electrical system to code? Its not simplely a case of slapping some wire up. Significant work has to go into ensure the wiring is not a fire/shock/safety risk. The concept that it costs "just about the same" is laughable. Now, in a sufficently large installation of panels, the marginal reduction might make the average cost somewhat reasonable.

nd what you seem to neglect is that externalities are not free either. Just because we all get to offload our carbon footprints onto the future generations, doesn't mean they aren't eventually going to be paying (dearly) for our smug profligacy. Now, if the true costs of externalities were included into the market price of energy, I'd be more willing to go along with you free-market types when it comes to letting the markets find the optimal solution. But you all insist that the markets must be permanently biased to benefit the polluting technologies and energy sources. Your version of "free" markets ain't really free either.

Sure, lets price some Carbon my friend.

Today, a "Carbon offset" costs around 15 dollars per ton. Or 0.0075 dollars per lb.

The US power grid, on average, produces around 1 lb per kWh. Lets throw in a tax of 1 cent per kWh by all means and use it to purchase carbon offsets!

If this panel has a useful life of 20 years, and produces on average .25 kWh per day, it will over 20 years save 14 dollars of Carbon! YAY!!!!

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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