Sharp has introduced a new type of solar lighting system that consolidates power generation, daylight transmission and illumination functions in a single module.
During the daytime, thin-film solar cells in the panel generate electricity from the sunlight that falls upon them. And due to the fact the solar cells are spaced apart in the panel, natural light from the sun can also pass through the thin panel to provide daytime illumination at the same time. During the night, it is the turn of the LEDs embedded in the same panel to produce light.
Sharp says that the new solar cell merges amorphous silicon and crystalline thin-film technology to achieve a cell conversion efficiency of 7.3% – approximately 1.5 times higher than conventional amorphous silicon cells.
The service life of the LEDs embedded in the panel is approximately 40,000 hours, significantly longer than incandescent electric bulbs (1,000 hours) and fluorescent lamps (5,000 to 12,000 hours). In addition, they are an environmentally friendly light source that contains no hazardous mercury.
With an output power rating of 35W and an illumination intensity of 30 lux at a distance of 2 metres, the new Crystalline, thin-film ‘see-through’ solar cell panel, dubbed the LN-H1W, will be introduced to the Japanese market in November this year.