Sharp reveals see-through solar panel

Sharp's latest solar cell panel seems perfect for green fiends living within a sky-rise condominium.

Great potential exists in retrofitting old high-rise buildings with these innovative solar panels. Sharp Japan

A see-through solar energy panel announced today by Sharp -- primarily designed for balcony railings and skyscraper windows -- offers an uncommon alternative energy solution and sense of privacy in a single package.

The semi-transparent black solar panel launches in Japan on October 1, and delivers a solar power conversion efficiency of about 6.8-percent with a maximum output of 95 watts. While the low conversion rate seems lackluster comparative to the 10- to 20-percent efficiency standard these days, few see-through solar panel options exist commercially. Overall panel size stands at 4.5-feet wide by 3.2-feet tall and sports a super thin profile of only 0.37 inches.

A related press release notes that the module, which also acts as a heat shield, mostly consists of laminated glass infused with photovoltaic cells. Sharp did not announce plans for a U.S. debut of this nifty panel, nor did the company reveal pricing.

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