Shared Research Program Innovative Module technology

Shared Research Program Innovative Module technology works on innovation in technology for packaging and interconnecting customized thin-film applications. Next to that, innovations in this field are also in cost reduction and redesign of exciting solutions leading to significant cost reduction.

Customizable back-end interconnect
New integrated solar systems, like used for e.g. vehicle integration, can have non-regular dimensions and be curved to fit the surface of the application this solar system is integrated in. This requires new designs and technology to fit the electrical design of the solar module to the product. Currently, thin-film solar cells in a module are typically long straight strips, but new shapes may demand curved, round, or odd shaped cell design.
To accommodate this requirement, we want to demonstrate in the coming years, a fully digital back-end interconnect process for CIGS and perovskite based solar cells. This allows the production of solar modules in any shape, any form and any output required, for flexible and rigid modules based on CIGS or perovskite technology. Additional advantage is found in the separation of ultra-clean deposition processes and dust producing scribing processes. This makes yield, and thus cost reduction, more controllable.

Enabling technology for integration
A close link to Roll-to-roll back-end interconnection will improve and expand the possibilities of mass-customized applications. It will open the door as an enabling technology for integrated applications such as vehicle, building and infrastructure integration.

Protection for life
Another step towards low cost integration of custom thin film modules, is the development of a reliable, low cost barrier and packaging. Product-life time of a solar module is a critical factor on the cost of production of electricity. For rigid applications, glass is the perfect packaging material, but it is rigid and fragile and doesn’t fit the flexible performances of thin-film PV. By researching cost effective packaging materials and application processes for light-weight and flexible applications, we create the technologies for the envisioned customized application of thin-film solar in vehicles, infrastructure and buildings.

Less material, more efficient
Using a thinner absorber will reduce the use of scarce materials such as indium and gallium. It can reduce the production cost without negative side effects such as a lower efficiency, under the right conditions. Together with an improved passivation and improved monolithic interconnection, this shared research program will demonstrate a potential cost reduction of 50% , compared to the current, glass substrate based and state-of-the-art CIGS technology. Therefore it will turn to flexible substrate and the possibility of roll-to-roll technology, since this has the potential to be the base of cost effective production.

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