Amorphous Silicon Solar Manufacturing Process
Take a look behind the scenes into our innovative production process and learn how we turn raw solar film into finished products for companies, the United States military and consumers everywhere. (First video segment produced by Definition Media Ltd as part of the Wicked Inventions series).
Roll-to-roll manufacturing significantly reduces manufacturing costs. Our company was the first and remains the only company in the world that manufactures and sells monolithically-integrated solar panels on plastic using a true roll-to-roll manufacturing process.
Flexible yet durable polyimide substrate results in enhanced flexibility, paper thinness and lighter weight. The substrate is as thin as 1 mil (0.025mm) thick.
Thin Film Amorphous Silicon
Amorphous silicon is the absorber layer in the solar panels. The amount of silicon used in PowerFilm® solar panels is as low as 1 percent of the amount used in traditional solar panels. PowerFilm has a strong environmental profile and is cadmium free. Single and tandem junction devices are manufactured. Finished panels are encapsulated in materials appropriate for the application environment.
Manufactured 13 inches wide, up to 2,400 feet long.
Monolithic integration is the automatic built-in-connection of individual solar cells. Monolithic integration reduces manufacturing costs (eliminates expensive labor for manual connection) and increases durability (eliminates stress-prone manual connections of individual solar cells).
PowerFilm Solar also has developed low-cost technology to integrate the solar panels with products.
To optimize the tradeoffs between product functionality, lifetime and cost, the core solar panels are encapsulated in a variety of materials to meet the requirements of diverse applications and use environments.
The solar panels can be combined with several backing materials, including fabric, metal and fiberglass.
Finally, it all ends on a roll.