Development of Automated Production Line Processes for Solar Brightfield Modules: Annual Technical Progress Report, 1 January 2003 -- 30 June 2004

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report

Abstract

This report describes how Spire Corporation is addressing the PV Manufacturing R&D project goals of improving photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing processes and products while reducing costs and providing a technology foundation that supports significant manufacturing scale-up. To accomplish this, we are focusing our efforts on the design of a large-area utility-scale module and the development of thenecessary manufacturing techniques and equipment to manufacture such a module in a high-volume production environment. A three-phase program is under way for developing and demonstrating new automated systems for fabricating very large PV modules ideal for use in multi-megawatt grid-connected applications. We designed a large-area 800 W module and we are developing associated module productionequipment that will minimize the total installed system cost for utility-scale PV arrays. Unique features of the module design include a cantilevered glass superstrate to reduce the glass thickness and internally laminated bypass diodes that simplify internal busing and junction-box designs. Other program activities include the development of automation for solar cell string inspections, stringbusing, materials lay-up, and lamination; enhancements to the lamination process; and performance testing of large-area modules.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages46
StatePublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Spire Corporation, Bedford, Massachusetts

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-520-36608

Keywords

  • automated systems
  • high-volume production
  • lamination
  • large-area module
  • manufacturing
  • manufacturing scale-up
  • materials lay-up
  • PV
  • solar cells
  • string busing
  • string inspections
  • utility-scale module

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