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ECN publication
Monolithic series interconnection of flexible thin-film PV devices
Wipliez, L.; Loffler, J.; Heijna, M.; Slooff, L.H.; Keijzer, M.A. de; Bosman, J.; Soppe, W.J.; Schoonderbeek, A.; Stute, U.; Rubingh, E.; Furthner, F.; Kruijt, P.G.M.
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Solar Energy 5-9-2011
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-M--11-016 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
4 Download PDF  

Roll-to-roll production of thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solar cells and modules is expected to substantially decrease the manufacturing costs, and thus enable a breakthrough in the price of solar electricity per kWh. Generic processes such as depth-selective laser scribing and the printing of insulating and conductive tracks curable at low temperature are a key requirement to enable cost efficient production of advanced thin-film PV concepts. In contrast to TCO glass based superstrate device concepts, no standard laser scribing processes and manufacturing tools to achieve fully monolithic series interconnection are presently available for so-called substrate type device concepts that are built on – often opaque and even flexible – substrates. Three key features of such advanced interconnection processes are presented here: laser scribing, printing and electrical modeling. We show that laser scribing of amorphous silicon solar cells with a 1064 nm ps laser leads to a minor loss in efficiency. The screen printing process of low-temperature curing Ag paste is also proven not to degrade the device performance, and by modelling the module interconnection, we calculated losses below 10% when going from individual cells to modules. Finally, efforts are underway to realize large area solar cells with printed current collecting grids, and a fully series interconnected module by combining laser scribing and printing as cost-effective processing operation.

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