Sharp to Sell See-through PV Cell Module as Window Glass

Sep 27, 2012
Motonobu Kawai, Nikkei Electronics
A prototype of the see-through photovoltaic (PV) cell module (photo courtesy of Sharp)
A prototype of the see-through photovoltaic (PV) cell module (photo courtesy of Sharp)
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Sharp Corp will release a see-through photovoltaic (PV) cell module, "NA-B095AA," Oct 1, 2012.

When the module is applied to a window, hand rail of a balcony, window roof, etc, it can be used as a power-saving glass that partially blocks sunlight and generates electricity.

To realize the see-through module, Sharp made minute slits on thin-film silicon PV cells. Because the areas having those slits do not contribute to power generation, the conversion efficiency of the module is as low as 6.8%. The conversion efficiency of normal thin-film silicon PV cell modules is about 10%.

The dimensions of the module (excluding its PV junction box) are 1,402 x 1,001 x 9.5mm. The maximum output of the module is 95W, and its mass is about 33kg. It is manufactured at Sharp's Sakai Plant.

Sharp eliminated a metal frame, which is used for normal thin-film silicon PV cell modules, and employed a laminated glass structure, enabling to install the module in frames such as window sashes like common glass building materials.

The shading coefficient of the module is 0.39. As the coefficient becomes smaller, less heat of sunlight can be transmitted. A 3mm-thick glass plate has a shading coefficient of 1.0. The company can provide the module together with window sashes, hand rail frames, etc, upon request, it said (See related article).