Sharp’s solar manufacturing plant in Wrexham is to begin the production of polycrystalline black-on-black modules in August. Sharp hopes to manufacture 4,800 ND-R245A6 modules which will incorporate both black frames and black back film, with the possibility of expanding the production run if they prove successful.
Commenting on the news, Peter Thiele, Executive Vice President of Sharp Energy Solution Europe, said: “We are delighted that we are now also able to offer the black/black module in Europe following several months of development and thus expand our product portfolio.”
The solar manufacturer hopes that the increased aesthetics of the black-on-black modules will appeal to the European market. The 245W modules will have a maximum efficiency of 14.9 percent and will be mostly targeted towards the residential market.
The new black-on-black panels will also be available under Sharp’s newly-launched PV kit offerings, which offer all-in-one solutions for residential customers. Sharp also recently announced a partnership with Hitachi Capital to offer an innovative finance offering for its products. Thiele commented: “In conjunction with the PV kits and our new finance offer, we are now able to offer our customers a good deal with a tailored offering combining performance and looks.
The launch of Sharp’s black-on-black modules continues the industry trend of manufacturing all-black panels for increased aesthetic appeal. Thiele admitted that the level of positive feedback following the panel’s unveiling at InterSolar persuaded Sharp to manufacture the module at its Wrexham facility. He said: “The positive feedback from customers and installers and the rising demand for completely black modules convinced us to start producing the modules in Europe.”