Productivity Enhancement for Manufacturing of Amorphous Silicon PV Modules: Final Technical Progress Report; 1 July 2002--31 October 2004

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


The overall objective of this subcontract over its two-year duration is to continue the advancement of Energy Photovoltaics, Inc.'s (EPV) a-Si production manufacturing technology and improve the production equipment used in manufacturing. This will allow EPV to reduce module costs by increasing module output, throughput, and yield. EPV conducted parallel research efforts for achieving higherstabilized module power output through improvements in several manufacturing processing steps, with particular emphasis on the thin-film deposition process. The dual goals of achieving a 20% gain in stabilized output and a 20% reduction in direct costs were accomplished. The 20% gain in stabilized output increased the power of the standard 0.79 m2 module to about 45 watts. This was achievedthrough optimizing the a-Si deposition process to improve stability, increasing the active area of the module, and developing a ZnO/Al back reflector to increase the light absorption of the a-Si. Additionally, improvements were made to the a-Si uniformity, and an improved TCO was incorporated into the standard product. The goal of reducing costs by 20% was exceeded, resulting in an estimateddirect cost of $1.41/W, for the process in EPV's New Jersey facility. This was accomplished through a complete review of the process that resulted in lower material costs, lower labor costs, less downtime, and higher module power, as noted above. The process was streamlined and made more efficient by eliminating or combining process steps, and selected processes were automated. In addition,improvements were made to the characterization and measurement techniques used in the module optimization process.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages60
StatePublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Energy Photovoltaics, Inc., Lawrenceville, New Jersey

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-520-37659


  • back reflector
  • characterizations
  • light absorption
  • manufacturer
  • measurement
  • module
  • optimization process
  • output and throughput
  • production equipment
  • PV
  • solar cells
  • thin films


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