PowerFilm Solar Inc

The Triple Test

Posted on 10/20/2017 at 12:00 AM by Seth Hansen

The Triple Test Blog Post Title Graphic


At PowerFilm we take great pride in our products and quality is of the utmost importance.

To ensure quality at a reasonable price, periodic tests are performed throughout the manufacturing process.

Today we focus on the testing procedure of the material that is built into a foldable product, but this testing process is similar for all products.

Throughout the process material quality is monitored by measuring thickness, resistivity, and optical transmission of each of the thin film layers of the solar cell.

Once cell fabrication is complete, a roll of material is tested on a custom-built piece of equipment that we call a roll-to-roll auto-tester.

For this test, a roll of finished material is loaded on the machine and each module in the roll is placed consecutively under a light source at 100% and 25% sun while measurements are performed. This creates a roll performance map of the material.

Watch this video to see the machine and test process in action: 



(President: Dan Stieler, PhD)


Upon completion of the auto testing, the roll is then designated to be used for a specific product.  Then the material has the buss bar and laminate applied to it and is converted from a roll of material into individual panels.

After the material is panelized, it is tested once again using another autotester. This second autotester is setup to pick panelized modules from a stack, test individual modules, and sort them based on performance.

Watch this video to see the machine and test process in action:



(President: Dan Stieler, PhD)


Next, the individual modules are built into the final form factor and one last electrical test is done to confirm the final assembly is functioning properly before shipping to customers.

All of the test stations at PowerFilm are built around a proprietary LED light source that is spectrally matched to outdoor light in the range of wavelengths of light that amorphous silicon responds to. This is done using a series of 9 different LED colors and adjusting their individual intensities until the overall spectrum of light is well matched to outdoor light.

In addition to the light spectrum matching, the testers are also built to provide a very uniform light intensity at the test surface as would be expected in ideal outdoor conditions.   

Watch this video to see the machine and test process in action:



(President: Dan Stieler, PhD)


Want to learn more about our entire manufacturing process?


Check out this feature on PowerFilm from How It’s Made:


Do you have an application that we can help power?

We would love to connect and learn more about how we can help make your product a reality!

Contact us or leave a comment below.


Categories: Solar Education

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