Sharp Corporation has announced the introduction of a pair of Small Home System (SHS) photovoltaic (PV) power generating systems that make it simple and easy to get AC and DC power from sunlight. Aimed at regions of Asia, the Middle East and Africa where grid-supplied electricity is unavailable, these small-scale systems consist of a photovoltaic module, a charger/inverter unit, a battery and connecting cables in a single sales package, and will be available in early November of 2003.Mahwah, New Jersey – September 29, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The company said an estimated 1.6 billion people worldwide have no access to electricity. Countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa are actively working to reduce the number of rural residents that have no source of electrical power in their homes. However, the target regions are vast and population densities are relatively low, making it difficult and expensive to efficiently distribute electricity using a centralized power grid. As a result, demand in such areas for decentralized power generating systems is high, and one means of meeting this demand is the increasing introduction of small-scale solar-powered electrical generating systems that have low environmental impact and which are easy to maintain after installation. However, traditionally, it has been necessary to purchase the components for small-scale PV power generating systems, such as the photovoltaic module, battery and charge controller, separately from local sources. In addition to limited sales channels, the cost and quality have tended to vary widely. Sharp’s new Small Home Systems combine all the components necessary for a PV power generating system into a single sales package. The company said the components are matched to one another to provide the optimum system design and are thoroughly tested for long-term reliability. These systems offer high quality as well as simple, easy installation, and thus can be marketed through a wide range of sales channels, including consumer electrical goods stores and electrical contractor outlets, said the company. Two sizes of photovoltaic modules will be available: 80W and 123W. Users can select the photovoltaic module size according to the amount of solar radiation in the usage area, or according to the amount of power used per day, allowing the most efficient system application. In the future, Sharp plans to aggressively promote the development of easily manageable, clean systems to meet the demand for electricity and which are appropriate to the economic conditions in these non-electrified areas. To expand demand even further, the company also intends to introduce these systems to markets in Europe, the Americas and Japan as convenient AC-power generating systems.