Sharp began its involvement with research and development of photovoltaics in 1959. Since then, Sharp solar cells and peripheral products have been improved and applied to a wide range of applications: from satellites out in space to terrestrial purposes for lighthouses, industrial applications, and residential use.
History of Sharp Solar
1959 - Started development of solar cells.
1963 - Mass production of solar cells.
1966 - Installed photovoltaic (PV) module on the lighthouse in Nagasaki-the world’s largest output power at the time.
1976 - Sharp’s first installation of a PV system to power a Japanese satellite.
1980 - Introduced calculators with solar cell batteries into the market.
1992 - The world's highest cell conversion efficiency of 22% for single-crystal type solar cells capable of mass production is achieved.
1994 - Introduced PV Power Generation System into the residential market.
1995 - Received the 8th Technology Award from the Japan Society of Energy and Resources for its residential-use PV Power Generation System.
1998 - Installed a 200 kW system, one of the largest in Japan, with the world's first snow melting function.
2000 - Worldwide-leading manufacturer of solar cells/modules.
2000 - Multi-power conditioner (inverter) that increases installability is commercialized in an industry first.
2002 - Development of the industry's first string power conditioner.
2003 - Space photovoltaic module installed on Satellite Observatory "Free Flyer" (SFU).
2005 - Started mass-production of thin-film solar cells.
2006 - Katsuragi plant expands its annual solar cell production capacity to 600 MW, the world's highest at that time.
2006 - Realization of the world’s most advanced environmentally-conscious production protocols at Kameyama Plant.
2007 - Success in developing mass-production of triple-junction thin-film solar cells.
2007 - Sharp sets up additional solar cell production line, production capacity to be expanded to 710MW per year, the world’s highest.
2008 - First in the world to achieve cumulative production of 2.5GW of solar cells.
2008 - Achieved the industry's highest (*1) conversion efficiency for a polycrystalline photovoltaic module, 14.4%.