[PV Panel Quality] Sharp's Accelerated Degradation Test (1)

Test based on data of 30-year application

2014/08/02 21:44
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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Tsubosaka Temple in Takatori-cho, Takaichi-gun, Nara Prefecture, Japan, is the No. 6 temple of the 33 temples that are visited during the Kansai Kannon Pilgrimage. The temple is known for its auditorium and the three-story pagoda built in the Muromachi era, as well as being popular for those praying for cures for eye diseases.

The temple grounds are on a mountainside. In the grounds, there is a large Kannon statue, about 20m in height, which is believed to have been a present from India. You can see the statue from a short distance if you climb the stone steps behind the main building. Two lights were mounted at the bottom of the large Kannon statue in 1983 to illuminate it at night (Fig. 1).

The solar power generation system was incorporated responding to a request of the chief priest at the time to use natural energy to illuminate the Kannon statue"(Fig. 2).

"Solar power panels manufactured by Sharp were installed because the chief priest at that time had close relations with Tokuji Hayakawa, the founder of Sharp Corp," said Shoshin Kita, steward of Tsubosaka Temple.

The power supply system is a stand-alone power system. Electricity generated in the daytime by 40 sheets of 35W solar power panels is stored in lead-acid batteries, and the Kannon statue is illuminated automatically after sunset.

This solar power generation system is currently attracting attention. The "30 years," operating period of the system, is a short period for Tsubosaka Temple, which was established more than 1,300 years ago. The period, however, according to sources, is the longest among operation periods of solar power generation systems in Japan.

Amid the increased interest in renewable energy following the Great East Japan Earthquake, the temple is visited by a number of people from material manufacturers and others. In the research into solar power panel durability, the deterioration condition of the solar panels at the temple provides precious data that cannot be obtained at a laboratory. The solar power generation system at Tsubosaka Temple has also been playing an important role in quality control and development of solar power panels by Sharp.

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