Sharp develops seethrough solar panel for windows

first_imgSolar power may hold the promise of free energy from the sun, but the panels used are expensive and do take up a lot of room. Typically you’ll find them installed on a roof or filling an area of land next to the building requiring the green energy. But now Sharp is offering up a third option: solar panels that double as windows.Sharp has managed to develop a solar panel that takes the form of a sheet of glass and only partially blocks light passing through it. That allows it to still generate energy, but also act as a window. Sharp achieved this by cutting tiny slits in thin-film silicon PV cells.The trade-off for cutting into the cells is lower energy generation. However, the glass panels can be used on an area of the building previously off limits because typical solar panels would block light out completely. And as the see-through panels block some of the light, they double as a light filter making them suitable for tall glass buildings that typically use coated glass anyway.Sharp can currently produce the see-through panels at sizes up to 1.4 x 1.0 meters, and a thickness of just 9.5mm. Each panel weighs 33kg and can produce a maximum output of 95W.Pricing has not yet been revealed, but if Sharp can continue to develop the see-through panels with a focus on efficiency, and offer different sizes, they may find interest from consumers wanting an easy way to add solar power generation to their homes without having to modify their roof.More at Tech-On!last_img read more