Photovoltaic manufacturing technology monolithic amorphous silicon modules on continuous polymer substrates: Final technical report, July 5, 1995--December 31, 1999

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Iowa Thin Film Technologies is completing a three-phase program that has increased throughput and decreased costs in nearly all aspects of its thin-film photovoltaic manufacturing process. The overall manufacturing costs have been reduced by 61 percent through implementation of the improvements developed under this program. Development of the ability to use a 1-mil substrate, rather than the standard 2-mil substrate, results in a 50 percent cost-saving for this material. Process development on a single-pass amorphous silicon deposition system has resulted in a 37 percent throughput improvement. A wide range of process and machine improvements have been implemented on the transparent ... continued below

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Jeffrey, F. March 28, 2000.

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Iowa Thin Film Technologies is completing a three-phase program that has increased throughput and decreased costs in nearly all aspects of its thin-film photovoltaic manufacturing process. The overall manufacturing costs have been reduced by 61 percent through implementation of the improvements developed under this program. Development of the ability to use a 1-mil substrate, rather than the standard 2-mil substrate, results in a 50 percent cost-saving for this material. Process development on a single-pass amorphous silicon deposition system has resulted in a 37 percent throughput improvement. A wide range of process and machine improvements have been implemented on the transparent conducting oxide deposition system. These include detailed parameter optimization of deposition temperatures, process gas flows, carrier gas flows, and web speeds. An overall process throughput improvement of 275 percent was achieved based on this work. The new alignment technique was developed for the laser scriber and printer systems, which improved registration accuracy from 100 microns to 10 microns. The new technique also reduced alignment time for these registration systems significantly. This resulted in a throughput increase of 75 percent on the scriber and 600 percent on the printer. Automated techniques were designed and implemented for the module assembly processes. These include automated busbar attachment, roll-based lamination, and automated die cutting of finished modules. These processes were previously done by hand labor. Throughput improvements ranged from 200 percent to 1200 percent, relative to hand labor rates. A wide range of potential encapsulation materials were evaluated for suitability in a roll lamination process and for cost-effectiveness. A combination material was found that has a cost that is only 10 percent of the standard EVA/Tefzel cost and is suitable for medium-lifetime applications. The 20-year lifetime applications still require the more expensive material.

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  • Other Information: PBD: 28 Mar 2000

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  • Report No.: NREL/SR-520-27960
  • Grant Number: AC36-99GO10337
  • DOI: 10.2172/754636 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 754636
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc709615

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • March 28, 2000

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  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • March 31, 2016, 6:58 p.m.

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Jeffrey, F. Photovoltaic manufacturing technology monolithic amorphous silicon modules on continuous polymer substrates: Final technical report, July 5, 1995--December 31, 1999, report, March 28, 2000; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc709615/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.