Technology support for initiation of high-throughput processing of thin-film CdTe PV modules. Phase 3 final technical report, 14 March 1997--1 April 1998
Description: Thin-film PV devices based on cadmium telluride have been identified as one of the candidates for high-performance, low-cost source of renewable electrical energy. Roadblocks to their becoming a part of the booming PV market growth have been a low rate of production and high manufacturing cost caused by several rate-limiting process steps. Solar Cells Inc. has focused on the development of manufacturing processes that will lead to high volume and low-cost manufacturing of solar cells and on increasing the performance of the present product. The process research in Phase 3 was concentrated on further refinement of a newly developed vapor transport deposition (VTD) process and its implementation into the manufacturing line. This development included subsystems for glass substrate transport, continuous feed of source materials, generation of source vapors, and uniform deposition of the semiconductor layers. As a result of this R and D effort, the VTD process has now achieved a status in which linear coating speeds in excess of 8 ft/min have been achieved for the semiconductor, equal to about two modules per minute, or 144 kW per 24 hour day. The process has been implemented in a production line, which is capable of round-the-clock continuous production of coated substrates 120 cm x 60 cm in size at a rate of 1 module every four minutes, equal to 18 kW/day. Currently the system cycle time is limited by the rate of glass introduction into the system and glass heating, but not by the rate of the semiconductor deposition. A new SCI record efficiency of 14.1% has been achieved for the cells.
Date: September 1, 1998
Creator: Powell, R.C.; Dorer, G.L.; Jayamaha, U. & Hanak, J.J.
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