Specific PVMaT R&D in CdTe Product Manufacturing: Final Subcontract Report, March 2003

    Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


    Results of a 3+ year subcontract are presented. The research was conducted under Phase 5A2 of the subcontract. The three areas of effort in the subcontract were 1) manufacturing line improvements, 2) product readiness, and 3) environmental, safety, and health programs. The subcontract consisted of three phases, approximately 1 year each. Phase I included the development, design, andimplementation of a high-throughput, low-cost lamination process. This goal was achieved using the support of key experts such as Automation and Robotics Research Institute (ARRI) to identify appropriate lamination equipment vendors, and material handling. Product designs were reviewed by Arizona State University Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory and Underwriters Laboratories. Modifications to themodule designs were implemented to meet future testing requirements. A complete review of the Environmental, Health, and Safety programs was conducted, along with training by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Work conducted during Phase II included the implementation of an improved potting procedure for the wiring junction. Thedesign of the equipment focused on high-throughput, low-cost operations. During Phase III , First Solar made significant progress in three areas: Manufacturing Readiness; Product Performance; and Environmental, Health, and Safety (EH&S). First Solar's accomplishments in laser scribing significantly exceeded the stated goals. Innovations implemented during Phase III were made possible by adoptinga new type of high-frequency, low-pulse-width laser, galvanometer-driven laser-beam system, and numerous advanced, automated, equipment features. Because of the greater than one order of magnitude increase in the throughput and laser life, a factor of two decrease in equipment cost, and complete automation, a major impact on lowering the cost of the PV product is anticipated.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages74
    StatePublished - 2004

    Bibliographical note

    Work performed by First Solar, LLC, Perrysburg, Ohio

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/SR-520-35177


    • cost reduction
    • lamination process
    • laser scribing
    • manufacturer
    • manufacturing line improvements
    • module
    • product readiness
    • PV
    • wiring junction


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