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Over 50 Years of History

Sharp’s credibility is built upon its long history of solar development

Since 1959, Sharp's efforts in research and development have led to groundbreaking solar solutions. One shining example is our development of the solar cells that power the satellites in Japan's national projects. As a maker of products that consume power, we've always believed we should create power, too. It's all part of our Eco-Positive mission to brighten the lives of people around the world.

  • 2011

    • Italy's Largest Photovoltaic Panel Plant Opens Its Doors
    • Sharp Begins Solar Maintenance Business in Asia
  • 2010

    • Sharp signs agreement to help establish one of the world’s largest solar power plants
    • Sharp's Commercialization and Industrialization of Solar Cells Recognized as IEEE*1 Milestone*2
    • Tokai University’s Solar Car Equipped with Sharp Solar Cells Wins Second Consecutive Victory in a Race in the Republic of South Africa
  • 2009

    • Delivered new solar module for mobile devices
    • Accomplished 35.8% conversion efficiency of triple-junction compound solar cells
    • Tenerife Island Industrial Mega Solar Power Plant
    • Tokai University won the Global Green Challenge in solar car equipped with Sharp solar cells
  • 2008

    • First in the world to achieve cumulative production of 2 GW of solar cells
    • Installation of "Lumiwall", thin-film solar cells with built in LEDs, in the Yodoyabashi Redevelopment Building
    • Achieved annual production capacity on the 1 GW scale through horizontal deployment of thin-film technology for TFT LCDs
    • Achieved the industry's highest* conversion efficiency for a polycrystalline photovoltaic module, 14.4%
  • 2007

    • Opening of the Toyama site, start of silicon manufacture for solar cells
    • Success in developing mass-production of triple-junction thin-film solar cells
    • Groundbreaking ceremony for the Manufacturing Complex for the 21st Century
    • Award of Excellence at the 4th Eco Products Awards of Japan
    • Expanded production capacity of photovoltaic module to 220 MW in Europe
  • 2006

    • Katsuragi plant expands its annual solar cell production capacity to 600 MW, the world's highest at that time.
    • Realization of the world’s most advanced environmentally-conscious production protocols at Kameyama Plant
  • 2005

    • Development of solar cells that admit light and can be used as building materials for windows
    • Started mass-production of thin-film solar cells
    • Mass-production of tandem thin-film solar cells started
    • Solar panels cover the walls of a skyscraper in Manchester
  • 2004

    • The largest level corporate solar cells installation in the U.S., at an airport distribution hub
    • Announcement of an “illuminating solar cells,” a combined solar cells and LED
    • Started Solar Academy
  • 2003

    • Space photovoltaic module installed on Satellite Observatory "Free Flyer" (SFU)
    • Independent power generation system, operating stably even in a desert region of Mongolia
    • Photovoltaic module production begins in U. S.
    • European production of photovoltaic modules started
    • Release of a 3 kW system photovoltaic module capable of being installed in the smallest area
  • 2002

    • Development of the industry's first string power conditioner
  • 2001

    • Commercialization of a residential hip roof accommodating system
    • Obtained Overseas Safety Standard certification UL (United States) and TUV (EU) for photovoltaic modules
  • 2000

    • Worldwide-leading manufacturer of solar cells/modules
    • A multi-power conditioner that increases installability is commercialized in an industry first.
  • 1999

    • Received the Japan New Energy Award and Ministry of International Trade and Industry Award
  • 1998

    • A 200 kW system, one of the largest in Japan, with the world's first snow melting function
  • 1994

    • Commercialization of residential solar power system (Grid-connected)
  • 1992

    • Cell conversion efficiency of 17.1%, the world’s highest for polycrystalline solar cells, is achieved.
    • The world's highest cell conversion efficiency of 22% for single-crystal type solar cells capable of mass production is achieved
  • 1988

    • Oita Marine Ranching system employs photovoltaic module.
    • Cell conversion efficiency for amorphous silicon solar cells reaches 11.5%
  • 1983

    • Production of a two-layer stacked solar cell using a roll-to-roll method
  • 1981

    • Operations began at the Shinjo Plant (now Katsuragi Plant).
  • 1976

    • Successful launch of operational satellite "Ume" with Sharp's solar cells on board
    • First calculators with solar cell batteries released.
  • 1967

    • Started development of space solar cells
  • 1966

    • Ogami Island Lighthouse installed with solar cells, Nagasaki Prefecture; with 225W it had the worlds' largest solar power output at the time.
  • 1963

    • Success in mass producing solar cells
    • A lighted buoy in the Tsurumi Shipping Lane, Yokohama Bay, the world’s first buoy supplied with a solar cells.
  • 1961

    • A successful prototype transistor radio with solar cells was made and released in 1961.
  • 1959

    • Started development of solar cells

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