An anonymous reader writes: Solar power may hold the promise of free energy from the sun, but the panels used are expensive and do take up a lot of room. Typically you’ll find them installed on a roof or filling an area of land next to the building requiring the green energy. But now Sharp is offering up a third option: solar panels that double as windows.
Sharp has managed to develop a solar panel that takes the form of a sheet of glass and only partially blocks light passing through it. That allows it to still generate energy, but also act as a window. Sharp achieved this by cutting tiny slits in thin-film silicon PV cells. The trade-off for cutting into the cells is lower energy generation. Sharp can currently produce the see-through panels at sizes up to 1.4 x 1.0 meters, and a thickness of just 9.5mm. Each panel weighs 33kg and can produce a maximum output of 95W. Pricing has not yet been revealed.