Solar cell materials webcast

“Advances in Materials Converting and PSA Tapes, Including Bus Bar Tapes, for Solar Manufacturing,” a free webcast available on demand, focused on the role of materials in solar photovoltaics manufacturing, as well as the importance of effective, robust bus bar tapes. Here are the main points presenters Craig McClenachan and Deepak Hariharan want PV cell and module assemblers to consider before going to market.

(December 1, 2010)“Advances in Materials Converting and PSA Tapes, Including Bus Bar Tapes, for Solar Manufacturing,” a free webcast available on demand, focused on the role of materials in solar photovoltaics manufacturing, as well as the importance of effective, robust bus bar tapes. Here are the main points presenters Craig McClenachan and Deepak Hariharan want PV cell and module assemblers to consider before going to market.

Craig McClenachan, VP, Fabrication and Assembly Business Unit, Fabrico, pointed out that the materials used can increase the lifetime of PV module components, increase efficiency, and reduce total system cost. Materials used in solar cell manufacturing can account for 30-40% of total panel cost, much higher than those for related markets, such as semiconductor assembly. McClenachan says that PV cell makers should get materials converters involved during materials selection, at the outset of PV cell design. They can identify critical product requirements like outgassing level and electrical conductivity, preventing failures at the prototype stage, or in-field.

Deepak Hariharan, electronics business manager, Adhesives Research, explained that solar cells have to function under changing environments, such as warm days and cold nights, rain or shine, in locations from Alaska to Australia. These cells require materials that will function in this environment for long lifecycles.

Pressure-sensitive adhesives are inherently tacky at room temperature; can be tailored to various specifications; avoid bond sites, such as that of a rivet; and generate little waste. All of these factors are good for the low-cost, high-reliability, automated-production world of photovoltaics module assembly. Hariharan wants cell makers to consider the PSA+ range of materials: pressure-sensitive adhesives with additional characteristics such as electrical conductivity.

Bus bar tapes formulated with PSA+ materials can replace solder interconnects on solar cells, adding flexibility and durability, as well as moisture prevention. The purpose of a bus bar tape is to transfer charge away from the PV cell to a junction box. Working with a materials specialist to choose bus bar tapes will help avoid problems like bubbles (caused by high outgassing) or other defects, and can guide a design in different ways depending on the desired properties. Getting a tape that can pass the most current from cell to junction box will increase a solar panel’s efficiency.

For information on PSA+ properties and uses, as well as other considerations in materials selection for PV cell assembly, watch the webcast now.

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