Printed Interconnects for Photovoltaic Modules

J. D. Fields, G. Pach, K. A.W. Horowitz, T. R. Stockert, M. Woodhouse, M. F.A.M. van Hest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus Citations


Film-based photovoltaic modules employ monolithic interconnects to minimize resistance loss and enhance module voltage via series connection. Conventional interconnect construction occurs sequentially, with a scribing step following deposition of the bottom electrode, a second scribe after deposition of absorber and intermediate layers, and a third following deposition of the top electrode. This method produces interconnect widths of about 300 µm, and the area comprised by interconnects within a module (generally about 3%) does not contribute to power generation. The present work reports on an increasingly popular strategy capable of reducing the interconnect width to less than 100 µm: printing interconnects. Cost modeling projects a savings of about $0.02/watt for CdTe module production through the use of printed interconnects, with savings coming from both reduced capital expense and increased module power output. Printed interconnect demonstrations with copper-indium-gallium-diselenide and cadmium-telluride solar cells show successful voltage addition and miniaturization down to 250 µm. Material selection guidelines and considerations for commercialization are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)536-545
Number of pages10
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-65594


  • Module construction
  • Monolithic interconnects
  • Printing
  • Thin-film photovoltaics


Dive into the research topics of 'Printed Interconnects for Photovoltaic Modules'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this