Custom Solar Panel Options
Posted on 12/14/2018 at 02:07 PM by Samuel Jones
PowerFilm is an industry leader in providing innovative power solutions for next-generation electronics.
As the world becomes increasingly digital, electronics are more diverse in order to meet the needs of the ever-growing number of applications. Power needs of these electronics have also become highly diverse. Devices can be ultra-low power and operate on microwatts at low voltages while larger electronics may need higher voltages and 100s of watts of power.
In the solar industry, one size does not fit all. PowerFilm’s unique technology and custom solar capabilities enable us to develop power solutions that match the requirements of an application exactly. The custom options and configurations of our Electronic Component Solar Panels are a great example of these capabilities.
As the name implies, Electronic Component Solar Panels are intended to be integrated into electronic devices to provide renewable power or supplement/replace a battery. These panels are ultra-thin, flexible, durable and PowerFilm’s proprietary roll-to-roll manufacturing process allows them to be highly customized.
Electronic Component Solar Panels can be manufactured in different sizes and configurations. Panels can be made smaller than an inch squared or larger than a dinner table. Power output is directly proportional to surface area meaning panel size can be scaled to match an application’s exact power needs.
Custom dies can be designed to cut panel substrates into any desired shape. Figure 1 shows how a custom die can be used to cut fold-over tabs into the panel busbars. Cosmetic options, such as black busbar tape, are available and can alter the appearance of the panels.
Figure 1: Panels with custom die cut tabs.
The output voltage of Electronic Component Solar Panels is highly customizable and can range from 0 to 30+ volts. With the diversity of modern electronics, these panels can be tailored to match any supply voltage, battery type or charge controller circuitry.
Electronic Component Solar Panels can be optimized to collect light from ambient and artificial sources. PowerFilm’s Indoor Light Series panels are ideal power sources for ultra-low power wireless devices, sensors and electronics.
Connection and Mounting
A broad range of connection and mounting options are available accommodating both small and large-scale manufacturing.
Electronic Component Solar Panels can be mounted onto nearly any material using PSA adhesives, thermal adhesives, mechanical fasteners (velcro, screws, etc.) and other techniques as well.
An electrical connection can be made via soldering onto front or back-side contacts, conductive adhesive or mechanical connection. Typically busbars will be covered by an encapsulant, which must be removed before connection. This can be done using a hot soldering iron or laser ablation. Laser ablation removes the encapsulant and provides direct access to the busbars from the front or back side. Busbars can also be extended outside of the panel to allow easy connection.
Figure 2: Leads can be soldered directly to the busbars. Encapsulant can be burned through using a hot soldering iron (left) or laser ablation options are available to expose contacts on the front or back-side of the panel (right).
Many applications require panels to be directly mounted and connected to a PCB. Electrical connection to a PCB can be made using selective solder, conductive epoxies, conductive inks, conductive adhesives, z-axis adhesives, wire leads, fold-over tabs or manual soldering.
Whether it’s a harsh outdoor environment or an indoor desktop, PowerFilm has an optimal solution for your application. Weather sealing lamination can be added to any stock or custom Electronic Component Solar Panel making it completely weather and moisture proof. Weatherproofing can also be achieved by mounting panels in a clear weatherproof enclosure.
UV stable encapsulants are available for any Electronic Component Solar Panel. This will protect panels during long-term outdoor sun exposure. In general, for indoor and intermittent outdoor applications, UV stability and weatherproofing are not required.
Whatever your application, PowerFilm can provide the best solar solution. With extensive engineering expertise and flexible manufacturing processes, we can help you develop your next generation of sustainable electronics.
Contact us to learn more about our custom solutions and capabilities.
Categories: Solar Education