Large-Area Silicon-Film(TM) Panels and Solar Cells: Final Technical Report, July 1995 - March 1998

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


Under this Photovoltaic Manufacturing Technology (PVMaT) subcontract, AstroPower, Inc., developed a number of new products, including a 130-kW array built using a new panel design. Improvements in laboratory-scale cell processing resulted in a confirmed efficiency of 16.6%. A new Silicon-Film(TM) production sheet machine was built that increased throughput by 70%. AstroPower also converted threesolar cell fabrication processes from low-throughput batch processes to high-throughput, continuous, belt processes. These new processes are capable of processing sheet over 31 cm in width. Finally, a new Silicon-Film(TM) sheet machine was built that demonstrated a sheet width of 38 cm. This tool enabled AstroPower to demonstrate a wide range of solar cell sizes, many of which have generatedconsiderable market interest. The achievement of continuous process has led to lower cost per watt by reducing labor, as well as improving control, quality, and yield. Under this program, three process steps were made continuous: gettering, diffusion of emitter layer, and large-area antireflection coating.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages32
StatePublished - 1998

Bibliographical note

Work performed by AstroPower Inc., Newark, Delaware

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-520-25270


  • capacity
  • EE
  • energy efficiency
  • manufacturing
  • production
  • productivity
  • progress report
  • solar cell arrays


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