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Mon12222014

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Sharp releases 7-percent-efficiency solar PV windows

Sharp released its new photovoltaic product which can generate clean power and function as natural lighting for buildings at the same time.

The see-through solar panels, especially designed for balcony railings or windows in industrial and residential buildings, produce electricity from the sun during daytime like any PV product, while letting light in. For those inside the building, the modules do not block the view outside.

Each panel is made of laminated glass infused with PV cells, measuring 4.5 feet wide by 3.2 feet tall, and only 0.37 inches thick.

Sharp said the modules moderately shade strong light and cut the heat of sunshine, thereby reducing the use of electricity for air conditioning.

Sharps product has a solar power conversion efficiency of about 6.8 percent with a maximum capacity of 95 watts. While this conversion rate is relatively low compared with the 15 percent to 20 percent efficiencies of standard solar panels, it is notable as typical solar panels do not normally work as windows.

With its tinted black color, Sharp hopes the panels will be welcome for developers looking for material that could act as heat shields but without foregoing aesthetics and the design of the building.

By October 1, the semi-transparent panel will be available to consumers in Japan. There are still no details regarding price and release dates in other countries. – EcoSeed Staff



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