The Eco-Shell will incorporate photovoltaic cells into public shelters such as bus and taxi stops. The cells will then power energy-conserving LEDs for lighting. Lighting for advertising displays will also be powered by the photovoltaic cells. SJC has modified its conventional shelter unit to incorporate the Kyocera solar power-generating unit.
Available only in Japan from July 20, the two companies hope local councils and private companies will install the shelters. Environmental awareness in urban planning has received increased attention in Japan of late and SJC and Kyocera Solar hope the Eco-Shells will not only be self-sufficient in terms of electricity production, but that they will feed excess electricity back into the grid.
A further application of the Eco-Shell is that it could be used as emergency power source in the event of a natural disaster. The shelters have a power outlet so mobile phones or other electrical devices can be charged in the case of blackouts.