Solar panels transparent on the windows of a building? Yes, the Asian company announces it Sharp Corporation with the marketing of a ultra-thin photovoltaic panel and semi-transparent designed to be used in the construction sector.
The company released an important press release a few days ago describing features and applications for these innovative ones solar panels. At the moment they are only marketed in Japan in 1.4 × 1 m format versions, with a thickness of only 9mm. The material used for the construction of the semi-transparent panels is basically laminated glass infused with Photovoltaic cells immersed in it. They have a very light black color and are capable of generating 95 watts of energy with a conversion efficiency of 6.8 percent.
The efficiency of semi-transparent photovoltaic panels Sharp it cannot be compared to that of the most advanced traditional installations, now reaching percentages of 24% and more. However, they have potentially very interesting fields of application from a commercial and environmental point of view as they can increase the renewable fraction without impacting the environment in the least.
THE panels they have a multipurpose function that increases their practical usefulness: they can be used for the construction of floors, windows, balconies, skyscraper claddings and therefore take advantage of any other external position exposed to direct sunlight. Even if the conversion rate is not optimal, the Sharp panel can be an excellent thermal insulator.
This is why it is possible to think of replacing the glass windows with these panels: it would drastically increase the useful surface power. The application of these panels could make entire buildings autonomous from an energy point of view, opening much wider scenarios for a technology currently used only on roofs and intensive cultivation.
A combined use, considering that they can be used in different places from the others, which would lead to great advantages. These semi-transparent glasses could become part of everyday life: in addition to the facades of the most modern buildings, windows etc. could be installed on the windows of public transport such as buses and trains. We just have to know when the Sharp will decide to market them and at what price.