Transparent panels for awning

bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭
I am looking at building an awning on the side of a shed to cover a homebrewing system.  Ideally it should provide shade but pass some light, and also provide protection from rain.  So two questions for everyone:

1) Is anyone making transparent/translucent panels nowadays?  The Sanyo HIT Bifacial panels would be ideal but I don't think they are being manufactured any more.  I'd be looking for approx. 8 ~65x~39 panels for this.

2) How do you provide basic waterproofing for such an awning?


  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,715 admin
    The last big awning project I saw was at the California Academy of Sciences. From this article, it said that they were custom with a translucent rear layer:

    Standard solar modules with opaque backsheets can be used with a racking structure to create awnings, but using glass-backed modules allows some light to pass through, which can be desirable for functional and aesthetic reasons. Sanyo’s HIT Double series are “bifacial” modules, which generate electricity from both sides. Used with a reflective ground surface, they can increase energy production, Sanyo estimates, by 15% to 20% compared to standard modules. Actual energy increase from bifacial modules depends on site specifics, such as the amount of incident light reflected from the ground.

    Bifacial awnings typically require a customized mounting frame to create a watertight structure, support the modules while not obscuring light transmission, and hide module wiring for better aesthetics. Several companies cater to the bifacial awning market niche, providing custom and prefabricated awning systems.


    For example, Applied Solar provided custom-built, glass PV modules for a 172 kW canopy at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Over time, it’s likely that these commercial solutions and products will also make their way into residential BIPV installations.


    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
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  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,273 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sanyo sold to panasonic several years back and the line was cancelled.

    Your second question about water proofing is the real problem with any solar panel. It is hard to do and needs maintenance.
    Much better to use them where a little water getting past is not much of an issue.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

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