Mobil Solar Energy Corporation Thin EFG Octagons: Final Subcontract Report, 1 April 1992 - 31 January 1994

    Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


    Mobil Solar Energy Corporation manufactures photovoltaic modules based on its unique Edge-defined Film-fed Growth (EFG) process for producing octagon-shaped hollow polycrystalline silicon tubes. The octagons are cut by lasers into 100 mm x 100 mm wafers which are suitable for solar cell processing. This process avoids slicing, grinding and polishing operations which are wasteful of material andare typical of most other wafer production methods. EFG wafers are fabricated into solar cells and modules using processes that have been specially developed to allow scaling up to high throughput rates. The goals of the Photovoltaic Manufacturing Technology Initiative (PVMaT) program at Mobil Solar were to improve the EFG manufacturing line through technology advances that accelerate costreduction in production and stimulate market growth for its product. The program was structured into three main tasks: to decrease silicon utilization by lowering wafer thickness from 400 to 200 {mu}m; to enhance laser cutting yields and throughput while improving the wafer strength; and to raise crystal growth productivity and yield. The technical problems faced and the advances made in theMobil Solar PVMaT program are described. The author concludes with a presentation of the results of a detailed cost model for EFT module production. This model describes the accelerated reductions in manufacturing costs which are already in place and the future benefits anticipated to result from the technical achievements of the PVMaT program.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages28
    StatePublished - 1994

    Bibliographical note

    Work performed by Mobil Solar Energy Corporation, Billerica, Massachusetts

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/TP-411-6770


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