Sharp Solar Components: Highly Efficient, and In Colour Too


electronica 2010, Hall 3A, Booth 207 & Hall A5, Booth 159 & 260

Sharp is expanding its portfolio of energy-harvesting components with new monocrystalline solar panels for portable applications. Compared to their predecessors, the new solar panels of the models LR0GC11 and LR0GC13 achieve a one-third better efficiency and a conversion rate of 16.5%. On a surface of just under 27cm² the LR0GC11 achieves a maximum output performance of 390 mW; its smaller sister, the LR0GC13, supplies a maximum of 180 mW with just half of the surface area. Sharp achieved this significant increase in conversion efficiency by redesigning the solar panels. With the new monocrystalline cells, all stripe conductors are placed inside of the module so that no active surface is shaded any longer. Nothing changes with the double wiring of the cells. It guarantees that, even in the case of a fracture of the cells, the full power output of the panel remains intact. This plays an important role for all mobile applications which can be exposed to high mechanical stress occasionally caused e.g. by being dropped. The new design is also a major leap forward with respect to aesthetics, because the new generation of small solar panels distinguishes itself by virtue of a completely homogeneous surface which is not interrupted by stripe conductors. In addition, with the new photovoltaic elements, design engineers have much more leeway in the colour configuration of applications. Alongside classic anthracite, Sharp solar panels can be designed, on request, in any conceivable colour if appropriate quantities are ordered. Depending on the colour this additional layer does indeed slightly decrease the output performance of the panel but, even with highly absorbent colours such as red, the conversion rate still lies way ahead of that of previous models. In addition, the new panels are appreciably thinner and lighter than the previous models. The thickness is only 0.65 millimetres for both models (LR0GC11 and LR0GC13). On account of the colour scheme, the low weight and the low installation depth the integration of the Sharp solar panels into mobile applications is virtually limitless, even in the case of fashionable applications that have extremely high requirements of the appliance design. In running and cycling sports computers, digital cameras, laptops, portable media players, pocket PCs, outdoor products and, of course, also technical toys, small solar cells can substantially lengthen the operation time between re-charging cycles. In the sector of power grid-independent sensors or remote controls (e.g. for TV sets), the energy requirements may possibly even be fully met by a single solar cell. Such energy self-sufficient solutions can in particular be realised in combination with the Memory LCDs from Sharp, which only require 1% of the power compared to conventional TFT displays of the same size. Availability Samples of the new monocrystalline solar panels of the models LR0GC11 and LR0GC13 are available at sales outlets of Sharp Microelectronics and distribution partners throughout Europe from Q4/2010 and Q1/2011 respectively.