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Proceedings Paper

Novel in situ series connection for thin film photovoltaic modules
Author(s): Rainer Merz; Jens Kistner; Markus B. Schubert; Jürgen H. Werner
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Paper Abstract

The monolithically integrated series connection of single solar cell stripes into complete photovoltaic (PV) modules is one of the key advantages of thin film PV technologies. Instead of the well established laser scribing for series connection, this contribution focuses on a novel in situ series connection technology, without breaking the vacuum during module manufacturing, and without the need of costly laser-scribing equipment. Metallic wires or other filaments aligned along the slightly bent substrate, sequentially pattern the solar cell layers for implementing the monolithic series connection, simultaneously with the consecutive evaporation, plasma deposition, and sputtering of the semiconductor and contact layers. In addition to a proof of concept by flexible PV modules, this paper for the first time investigates wire-shading on rigid glass substrates and by multiple adjacent filaments. The results of these studies demonstrate that the in situ series connection is a promising candidate for competing with laser scribing, not only in roll-to-roll production of flexible PV modules, but also in batch or inline processing of standard large-area glass plates. Applying the novel in situ series connection to a laboratory-scale solar cell process, yields 40 cm2 sized PV modules, consisting of ten single junction amorphous silicon n-i-p cells on a flexible polymer foil. The modules' total area efficiency of 3 % is close to the non-optimized efficiency of reference cells of 3.3 %. Wire-shading with wire diameters down to 50 μm proves successful, and thereby projects total interconnection losses F < 5 %, whereas the first experimental modules exhibit F = 15 %.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 August 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7409, Thin Film Solar Technology, 74090K (20 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.826132
Show Author Affiliations
Rainer Merz, Univ. Stuttgart (Germany)
Jens Kistner, Univ. Stuttgart (Germany)
Markus B. Schubert, Univ. Stuttgart (Germany)
Jürgen H. Werner, Univ. Stuttgart (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7409:
Thin Film Solar Technology
Alan E. Delahoy; Louay A. Eldada, Editor(s)

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