PV EXPO, Japan’s largest solar-related exposition, has attracted exhibitors from numerous countries. Many Japanese manufacturers have introduced equipments that meet the needs of local customers. The Renewable Energy Special Measure implemented in July 2012 stipulated that power companies are obligated to acquire renewable energy. Several exhibitors have launched small-and medium-sized solar farms in the name of land re-use, but in Japan, domestic and roof solar equipments remain the mainstream products. Approximately 70%-80% of the Japanese market is covered by such equipments, and though European countries have begun to enter this market, Japan remains the leader in this type of solar applications.
Many manufacturers have introduced products that meet lightweight, construction method, and product beautification requirements. As shown in the figure below, lightweight products are common among PV EXPO, and such products have been displayed every year using crane scales to emphasize its lightweight. The weight of products must be considered especially when applied to rooftops of houses mostly constructed by wood.
Because it is built on the roofs, construction methods including how to avoid damage on the roof and roof leaks are emphasized by manufacturers. As shown in the following figure, Hakuto has set up a roof at the exposition to introduce the product directly to the visitors.
As for product beautification, Japanese customers prefer solid black colored modules; irregular patterned modules are not their optimal choice. Some even require the modules to be fully integrated into the roof tiles to hide the presence of the modules. Kaneka even demonstrated the composition methods of their integrated modules at the exposition. This has shown the uniqueness of the Japanese market.
In addition, Japanese manufacturers have also invested in smart grids to integrate and manage electricity.