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.
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.
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.
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.
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
This project comprises the de-risking phase of the PVA automated manufacturing project.
COMPLETED. With the successful manufacturing and thermal cycling of the two first PVA test coupons.