PVA De-risking -PVA Automated Manufacturing De-risking phase

Objectives

The objectives of the de-risking phase performed within this contract are :

  • Identification of the critical steps in the manufacturing process
  • Development of a core process optimized for automation and low-cost assembly
  • Demonstration of the robustness of the process by testing coupons.
  • Evaluation of laser grooving to improve the solar cell performance
  • Co-engineering with tool supplier to define a preliminary technical solution for the PVA automated manufacturing line.

Challenges

The main challenge is to de-risk the critical process steps (i.e. solar cell bonding and welding) of the PVA assembly with focus on the automatization of the manufacturing.

Benefits

The automation of the PVA assembly process is key to ensure repeatability and reliability of the PVA manufacturing process at a lower recurrent cost and higher throughput than today.

Features

The PVA automated manufacturing line will contain different automated modules in order to prepare the solar substrates and solar cells, to bond the cells onto the substrate and to interconnect the cells together.

System Architecture

The new automated production line will include:

  • Incoming verification and sorting of Solar Cell Assemblies (SCA)
  • Laydown of SCAs on the PVA substrate (“bonding” step)
  • Interconnections of SCAs (“welding” step)
  • Harnessing and addition of individuals parts
  • In-line testing and inspection of the PVA

Plan

This project comprises the de-risking phase of the PVA automated manufacturing project.

Current status

COMPLETED. With the successful manufacturing and thermal cycling of the two first PVA test coupons.

Contacts

ESA Contacts

Status date

Monday, November 6, 2017 - 11:43