Forget the frame — Sharp Electronics recently introduced a new thin film, glass-on-glass solar module designed for both efficiency and aesthetics. This frameless solar photovoltaic module is said to offer greater savings, reliability and longevity without the frame and associated complexity, time and expense than traditional framed modules demand in terms of installation and maintenance.
These modules lower costs in two ways: first, by producing more electricity per square foot than traditional crystalline silicon modules, and second, by lowering the cost of installation. The first is achieved by pairing amorphous silicon with a layer of Sharp’s proprietary microcrystalline silicon to capture more of the solar spectrum, while using less than one percent of the silicon used in crystalline solar cells, reducing the cost per killowatt hour — and the second, by removing the frame. The frameless feature also cuts down on maintenance and cleaning, as modules accumulate less dust.
These modules can be installed vertically or horizontally, or can be made adjustable using Sharp’s specially designed new Fixed-Tilt Ground Mount Structure, featuring “industry-leading” adjustability — 25 mm vertical, 25 mm lateral — and suitable for wind zones up to 95 miles per hour.
The modules are both American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Buy American compliant, are certified to IEC 61646, and were designed according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE 07) and the International Building Code (IBC 2006).