skip to main content


Title: Printed interconnects for photovoltaic modules

Film-based photovoltaic modules employ monolithic interconnects to minimize resistance loss and enhance module voltage via series connection. Conventional interconnect construction occurs sequentially, with a scribing step following deposition of the bottom electrode, a second scribe after deposition of absorber and intermediate layers, and a third following deposition of the top electrode. This method produces interconnect widths of about 300 µm, and the area comprised by interconnects within a module (generally about 3%) does not contribute to power generation. The present work reports on an increasingly popular strategy capable of reducing the interconnect width to less than 100 µm: printing interconnects. Cost modeling projects a savings of about $0.02/watt for CdTe module production through the use of printed interconnects, with savings coming from both reduced capital expense and increased module power output. Printed interconnect demonstrations with copper-indium-gallium-diselenide and cadmium-telluride solar cells show successful voltage addition and miniaturization down to 250 µm. As a result, material selection guidelines and considerations for commercialization are discussed.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  3. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Univ. of Wyoming, Laramie, WY (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0927-0248
Grant/Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308; EE0004946
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 159; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0927-0248
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE); Bay Area Photovoltaic Consortium
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; thin-film photovoltaics; module construction; monolithic interconnects; printing
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1396835