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Proceedings Paper

Approaches to encapsulation of flexible CIGS cells
Author(s): L. C. Olsen; M. E. Gross; G. L. Graff; S. N. Kundu; Xi Chu; Steve Lin
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Paper Abstract

Thin-film solar cells based on CIGS are being considered for large scale power plants as well as building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) applications. Past studies indicate that CIGS cells degrade rapidly when exposed to moisture. As a result, an effective approach to encapsulation is required for CIGS cells to satisfy the international standard IEC 61646. CIGS modules fabricated for use in large power plants can be encapsulated with glass sheets on the top and bottom surfaces and can be effectively sealed around the edges. In the case of BIPV applications, however, it is desirable to utilize CIGS cells grown on flexible substrates, both for purposes of achieving reduced weight and for cases involving non-flat surfaces. For these cases, approaches to encapsulation must be compatible with the flexible substrate requirement. Even in the case of large power plants, the glass-to-glass approach to encapsulation may eventually be considered too costly. We are investigating encapsulation of flexible CIGS cells by lamination. Sheets of PET or PEN coated with multilayer barrier coatings are used to laminate the flexible cells. Results are discussed for laminated cells from two CIGS manufacturers. In both cases, the cell efficiency decreases less than 10% after 1000 hours of exposure to an environment of 85°C/85%RH. This paper discusses these two approaches, and reviews results for uncoated cells and mini-modules fabricated by the former Shell Solar Industries (SSI).

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 September 2008
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7048, Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components, and Systems, 70480O (10 September 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.796104
Show Author Affiliations
L. C. Olsen, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
M. E. Gross, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
G. L. Graff, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
S. N. Kundu, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
Xi Chu, Vitex Systems, Inc. (United States)
Steve Lin, Vitex Systems, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7048:
Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components, and Systems
Neelkanth G. Dhere, Editor(s)

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