Prices of solar cells have been falling very fast because Chinese producers increased the production capacity drastically, but spherical solar cells are not affected by this trend. Innovative Network Corporations of Japan and Hitachi High-Technologies will establish a new company to develop and produce spherical solar cells next month in alliance with Kyosemi, a Kyoto-based venture company. Kyosemi’s spherical solar cell is 1.2 mm in diameter, and it can generate electricity with sunlight coming from every angle. Kyosemi started to ship its spherical solar cells in 2005, but sales stagnated due to a lack of mass production technology. In fact, the sales in 2011 were 32 million yen.
The new company, in which Innovative Network invested 500 million yen and Hitachi High-Tech invested 100 million yen, will be staffed with Kyosemi’s development team and Hitachi High-Tech’s engineers. It will be named Sphelar Power. It will build test facilities for mass production technology in the initial year. It wishes to cultivate new applications of sphere cells, such as incorporating sphere solar cells in window glass and interior goods.
Window glass that generates electricity using sphere solar cells (Sphelar)