Sharp Corp released five types of see-through photovoltaic (PV) modules.
The company announced the "NA-B095AA" PV module in September 2012 as its first PV module (See related article).
A see-through PV module is made by forming thin slits on a thin-film silicon PV module. The areas of the slits do not contribute to power generation, lowering the conversion efficiency of the module. However, it can generate electricity while letting in light.
Sharp expects that the new PV modules will be used for the handrails in the balconies of condominiums, windows, curtain walls, canopies, etc and in other places where glass materials are used.
Among the five PV modules, the "NA-B07A" and "NA-B07B" are smaller than the NA-B095AA so that they can be used for the handrails of condominiums that ensure ventilation areas and provide a sense of openness. Their resistance to static load is about 90% higher than that of the NA-B095AA. As a result, it becomes possible to use the modules for high-rise condominiums.
The "NA-B11A" and "NA-B11B" have a width of 1,150mm in consideration of the widths of electric lines connecting multiple modules and sashes and the 1,200mm inter-column pitch widely employed in the construction industry in Japan. Sharp considers that they will be used for curtain walls and top lights on ceilings.
The "NA-B07A" and "NA-B11A" have an aperture ratio of 10%, generating more electricity. And the other three types have an aperture ratio of 20% so that they let in more light.