Osaka, Japan [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Sometimes it can take a little something extra to stand out in the competitive solar grid-tie inverter market. If you’re a purist, no-frills type, not easily swayed by gadgetry, don’t read any further about Sharp Electronic’s latest offerings.The company unveiled a new line of inverters for the residential market that feature a 5-inch color LCD screen to provide various display functions. Since inverters send power from a user’s photovoltaic (PV) system out to the grid when the system is generating more power than can be used (and vice versa), Sharp decided to make this data more interactive with the homeowner. An energy savings tracker enables users to set a target power consumption level and then track how closely their home’s actual consumption matches it on a daily basis. Furthermore, a real-time status display provides a numerical read-out of the power being generated by the solar panels, the power being consumed by the household, the power sold back to the electric utility, and the power purchased from the utility (assuming a net-metering, or feed-in credit arrangement). This new line-up features six models to match output capacity and number of input circuits, and meet the widest range of installation scenarios for solar panels. So far, the announcement appears targeted solely for the Japanese market, with a release date of June 17, 2005, but these items have a way of eventually following the global market.