Months ago we talked about Sanwa’s window shutters equipped with advanced solar cells. And, now another Japanese company has followed on its heels to unveil their semi-transparent solar panels. Electronic giant Sharp has confirmed that they would commercially release these see-through solar panels from the 31st July of this year. The product certainly hints to a greater ‘green’ potential, where our conventional windows, wall facades and even door awnings can be replaced by transparent solar panels. In other words, it is the next big step for achieving the much needed carbon neutrality in both our homes and offices.
According to the researchers of the company, this state of semi-transparency was achieved by making ‘tiny cuts’ in the solar cells (responsible for converting natural sunlight into usable electricity). Furthermore, there are two different models of the solar panels – one with a greater degree of transparency yet lower capacity for power generation; and the other one with lesser degree of transparency but higher capacity for power generation. The difference in design between the two models is only based upon the tiny cuts made in their respective solar cells.
And, since we have mentioned their capacity for power, core figures suggest that the 100 centimeters high panels will come in variant widths of 70 cm, 115 cm and 140 cm respectively (corresponding to the size of common balconies and windows in Japan). The maximum output of the panels are as follows – for 70-cm-wide panel, output is 39 to 46 watts; for 115-cm-wide panel, output is 66 to 77 watts; and lastly for the 140-cm-wide panel, output is 80 to 95 watts. Finally as for pricing, the solar panels with their accessories would set you back by 200,000 yen ($2,000) and 250,000 yen ($2,500) per square meter.