utility scale products
Thin Film, Wide Impact.
For 30 years, Sharp scientists have researched, invented and improved solar cells made of very thin layers of semiconductors. In 2005, our first manufacturing line for fully-tested and market-ready thin film was up and running. From there we set forth on a powerful mission - to make thin film solar the technology of choice for multi-megawatt-scale power production. To meet this milestone, we continue to advance our technology and manufacturing capacity. In 2008, capacity met 160 megawatts of thin-film modules, as we simultaneously built the world's most advanced thin film manufacturing complex, capable of one gigawatt of thin film production per year.
Sharp's thin film offers reliability, long life, high efficiency and value. Our selection of silicon as the basic semiconductor springs from our exceptional knowledge of silicon thin films, based in part on our world-leading LCD technology and scientific knowledgebase, access to abundant raw material, environmentally friendly manufacturing (and end-of-life disposal) and performance relative to other thin film semiconductors.
These modules are made with less than 1% of the silicon used in our crystalline lines and are manufactured using automated equipment in fewer steps. This means a step-function change in cost per watt and a lower effective cost per kilowatt hours for large-scale applications.
With thin film, we address the emerging market for utility-scale solar power, especially for very large scale ground-based installations in hot climates where abundant open space is available. For every kW of rated power, thin film delivers more kilowatt hours-up to 10%-than its crystalline-silicon cousin, due to substantially greater resistance to losses caused by typical mid-day operating temperature.
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