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Title: Post-Lamination Manufacturing Process Automation for Photovoltaic Modules

Abstract

This report describes work performed by Spire Corporation during Phase 1 of this three-phase PVMaT subcontract to develop new automated post-lamination processes for PV module manufacturing. These processes are applicable to a very broad range of module types, including those made with wafer-based and thin-film solar cells. No off-the-shelf automation was available for these processes prior to this program. Spire conducted a survey of PV module manufacturers to identify current industry practices and to determine the requirements for the automated systems being developed in this program. Spire also completed detailed mechanical and electrical designs and developed software for two prototype automation systems: a module buffer storage system, designated the SPI-BUFFER 350, and an integrated module testing system, designated the SPI-MODULE QA 350. Researchers fabricated, tested, and evaluated both systems with module components from several module manufacturers. A new size simulator , th e SPI-SUN SIMULATOR 350i, was designed with a test area that can handle most production modules without consuming excessive floor space. Spire's subcontractor, the Automation and Robotics Research Institute (ARRI) at the University of Texas, developed and demonstrated module edge trimming, edge sealing, and framing processes that are suitable for automation. The automated processes under development throughout thismore » program are being designed to be combined together to create automated production lines. ARRI completed a cost study to determine the level of investment that can be justified by implementing automation for post-lamination assembly and testing processes. The study concluded that a module production line operating two shifts per day and producing 10 MW of modules per year can justify $2.37 million in capital equipment, assuming a 5-year payback period.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. (Spire Corporation)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab., Golden, CO (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
12210
Report Number(s):
NREL/SR-520-27058
TRN: US200305%%992
DOE Contract Number:  
AC36-99GO10337
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: Supercedes report DE00012210; PBD: 31 Aug 1999; PBD: 31 Aug 1999
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 42 ENGINEERING; AUTOMATION; BUFFERS; CAPITAL; FLOORS; MANUFACTURERS; MANUFACTURING; PAYBACK PERIOD; PRODUCTION; SIMULATORS; SOLAR CELLS; STORAGE; TESTING; PHOTOVOLTAIC MANUFACTURING AND TECHNOLOGY; PVMAT; POST-LAMINATION MODULE MANUFACTURING; MODULES; THIN FILMS; PHOTOVOLTAICS; PROCESS AUTOMATION

Citation Formats

Nowlan, M. J., Murach, J. M., McCormick, T. W., Lewis, E. R., and Hogan, S. J. Post-Lamination Manufacturing Process Automation for Photovoltaic Modules. United States: N. p., 1999. Web. doi:10.2172/12210.
Nowlan, M. J., Murach, J. M., McCormick, T. W., Lewis, E. R., & Hogan, S. J. Post-Lamination Manufacturing Process Automation for Photovoltaic Modules. United States. doi:10.2172/12210.
Nowlan, M. J., Murach, J. M., McCormick, T. W., Lewis, E. R., and Hogan, S. J. Tue . "Post-Lamination Manufacturing Process Automation for Photovoltaic Modules". United States. doi:10.2172/12210. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/12210.
@article{osti_12210,
title = {Post-Lamination Manufacturing Process Automation for Photovoltaic Modules},
author = {Nowlan, M. J. and Murach, J. M. and McCormick, T. W. and Lewis, E. R. and Hogan, S. J.},
abstractNote = {This report describes work performed by Spire Corporation during Phase 1 of this three-phase PVMaT subcontract to develop new automated post-lamination processes for PV module manufacturing. These processes are applicable to a very broad range of module types, including those made with wafer-based and thin-film solar cells. No off-the-shelf automation was available for these processes prior to this program. Spire conducted a survey of PV module manufacturers to identify current industry practices and to determine the requirements for the automated systems being developed in this program. Spire also completed detailed mechanical and electrical designs and developed software for two prototype automation systems: a module buffer storage system, designated the SPI-BUFFER 350, and an integrated module testing system, designated the SPI-MODULE QA 350. Researchers fabricated, tested, and evaluated both systems with module components from several module manufacturers. A new size simulator , th e SPI-SUN SIMULATOR 350i, was designed with a test area that can handle most production modules without consuming excessive floor space. Spire's subcontractor, the Automation and Robotics Research Institute (ARRI) at the University of Texas, developed and demonstrated module edge trimming, edge sealing, and framing processes that are suitable for automation. The automated processes under development throughout this program are being designed to be combined together to create automated production lines. ARRI completed a cost study to determine the level of investment that can be justified by implementing automation for post-lamination assembly and testing processes. The study concluded that a module production line operating two shifts per day and producing 10 MW of modules per year can justify $2.37 million in capital equipment, assuming a 5-year payback period.},
doi = {10.2172/12210},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1999},
month = {8}
}

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