skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Photovoltaic sub-cell interconnects

Abstract

Photovoltaic sub-cell interconnect systems and methods are provided. In one embodiment, a photovoltaic device comprises a thin film stack of layers deposited upon a substrate, wherein the thin film stack layers are subdivided into a plurality of sub-cells interconnected in series by a plurality of electrical interconnection structures; and wherein the plurality of electrical interconnection structures each comprise no more than two scribes that penetrate into the thin film stack layers.

Inventors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1356197
Patent Number(s):
9,647,158
Application Number:
14/283,349
Assignee:
Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC NREL
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Patent File Date: 2014 May 21
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 14 SOLAR ENERGY

Citation Formats

van Hest, Marinus Franciscus Antonius Maria, and Swinger Platt, Heather Anne. Photovoltaic sub-cell interconnects. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
van Hest, Marinus Franciscus Antonius Maria, & Swinger Platt, Heather Anne. Photovoltaic sub-cell interconnects. United States.
van Hest, Marinus Franciscus Antonius Maria, and Swinger Platt, Heather Anne. Tue . "Photovoltaic sub-cell interconnects". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1356197.
@article{osti_1356197,
title = {Photovoltaic sub-cell interconnects},
author = {van Hest, Marinus Franciscus Antonius Maria and Swinger Platt, Heather Anne},
abstractNote = {Photovoltaic sub-cell interconnect systems and methods are provided. In one embodiment, a photovoltaic device comprises a thin film stack of layers deposited upon a substrate, wherein the thin film stack layers are subdivided into a plurality of sub-cells interconnected in series by a plurality of electrical interconnection structures; and wherein the plurality of electrical interconnection structures each comprise no more than two scribes that penetrate into the thin film stack layers.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue May 09 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Tue May 09 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Patent:

Save / Share:
  • A photovoltaic cell is formed by combining a spray process, forming a crystalline layer containing cadmium and sulfur, and an evaporation process, depositing copper chloride for converting to Cu /SUP X/. The crystals containing cadmium and sulfur are heated in an atmosphere of cadmium and chlorides to obtain crystals having at least one dimension greater than 0.5 micron and a planar layer of Cu /SUB x/ formed on the large crystals. A layer of Cu /SUB x/ S having a thickness of 0.5-1.0 micron is obtained. Electrodes are formed from evaporated gold or chromium or a metallic paste including silvermore » or cop Zn /SUB x/ Cd/sub 1//sub -/ /SUB x/ S may be substituted for CdS through at least part of the crystalline layer of improved Voc.« less
  • High performance photovoltaic modules are produced with improved interconnects by a special process. Advantageously, the photovoltaic modules have a dual layer back (rear) contact and a front contact with at least one layer. The front contact and the inner layer of the back contact can comprise a transparent conductive oxide. The outer layer of the back contact can comprise a metal or metal oxide. The front contact can also have a dielectric layer. In one form, the dual layer back contact comprises a zinc oxide inner layer and an aluminum outer layer and the front contact comprises a tin oxidemore » inner layer and a silicon dioxide dielectric outer layer. One or more amorphous silicon-containing thin film semiconductors can be deposited between the front and back contacts. The contacts can be positioned between a substrate and an optional superstrate. During production, the transparent conductive oxide layer of the front contact is scribed by a laser, then the amorphous silicon-containing semiconductors and inner layer of the dual layer back contact are simultaneously scribed and trenched (drilled) by the laser and the trench is subsequently filled with the same metal as the outer layer of the dual layer back contact to provide a superb mechanical and electrical interconnect between the front contact and the outer layer of the dual layer back contact. The outer layer of the dual layer back contact can then be scribed by the laser. For enhanced environmental protection, the photovoltaic modules can be encapsulated.« less
  • High performance photovoltaic modules are produced with improved interconnects by a special process. Advantageously, the photovoltaic modules have a dual layer back (rear) contact and a front contact with at least one layer. The front contact and the inner layer of the back contact can comprise a transparent conductive oxide. The outer layer of the back contact can comprise a metal or metal oxide. The front contact can also have a dielectric layer. In one form, the dual layer back contact comprises a zinc oxide inner layer and an aluminum outer layer and the front contact comprises a tin oxidemore » inner layer and a silicon dioxide dielectric outer layer. One or more amorphous silicon-containing thin film semiconductors can be deposited between the front and back contacts. The contacts can be positioned between a substrate and an optional superstrate. During production, the transparent conductive oxide layer of the front contact is scribed by a laser, then the amorphous silicon-containing semiconductors and inner layer of the dual layer back contact are simultaneously scribed and trenched (drilled) by the laser and the trench is subsequently filled with the same metal as the outer layer of the dual layer back contact to provide a superb mechanical and electrical interconnect between the front contact and the outer layer of the dual layer back contact. The outer layer of the dual layer back contact can then be scribed by the laser. For enhanced environmental protection, the photovoltaic modules can be encapsulated.« less
  • High performance photovoltaic modules are produced with improved interconnects by a special process. Advantageously, the photovoltaic modules have a dual layer back (rear) contact and a front contact with at least one layer. The front contact and the inner layer of the back contact can comprise a transparent conductive oxide. The outer layer of the back contact can comprise a metal or metal oxide. The front contact can also have a dielectric layer. In one form, the dual layer back contact comprises a zinc oxide inner layer and an aluminum outer layer and the front contact comprises a tin oxidemore » inner layer and a silicon dioxide dielectric outer layer. One or more amorphous silicon-containing thin film semiconductors can be deposited between the front and back contacts. The contacts can be positioned between a substrate and an optional superstrate. During production, the transparent conductive oxide layer of the front contact is scribed by a laser, then the amorphous silicon-containing semiconductors and inner layer of the dual layer back contact are simultaneously scribed and trenched (drilled) by the laser and the trench is subsequently filled with the same metal as the outer layer of the dual layer back contact to provide a superb mechanical and electrical interconnect between the front contact and the outer layer of the dual layer back contact. The outer layer of the dual layer back contact can then be scribed by the laser. For enhanced environmental protection, the photovoltaic modules can be encapsulated.« less
  • Electrical interconnects are disclosed for solar cells or other electronic components using a silver-silicone paste or a lead-tin (Pb-Sn) no-clean fluxless solder cream, whereby the high breakage of thin (<6 mil thick) solar cells using conventional solder interconnect is eliminated. The interconnects of this invention employs copper strips which are secured to the solar cells by a silver-silicone conductive paste which can be used at room temperature, or by a Pb-Sn solder cream which eliminates undesired residue on the active surfaces of the solar cells. Electrical testing using the interconnects of this invention has shown that no degradation of themore » interconnects developed under high current testing, while providing a very low contact resistance value. 4 figs.« less