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Thin-Film Photovoltaic Manufacturing Facility
Terra Solar North America Inc. Tel 718.422.0100 Fax 718.422.0300 November 2004
Introduction Photovoltaics Overview
Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics Thin-Film Photovoltaics Amorphous Silicon vs Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide Performance and Ratings Longevity
2 2 4 6 6
The Amorphous Silicon Line
Photovoltaic Cells and Modules Manufacturing Process Facility and Crew Requirements Manufacturing Cost Analysis a-Si Product 5 MW Amorphous Silicon Equipment List 8 10 11 11 12 13
a-Si TS–40S Specification Sheet The Copper Indium Diselenide Line
Photovoltaic Cells and Modules Manufacturing Process Facility and Crew Requirements Manufacturing Cost Analysis CIGS Product 5MW Copper Indium-Gallium Diselenide Equipment List
16 18 19 20 20 21
CIGS TS–60C Specification Sheet Combined a-Si/CIS Manufacturing Facility Specialty Equipment Using Thin-film Photovoltaics The Contract
22 23 23 25
Overview of Solar Energy Current world events have accelerated the demand for renewable energy. The case for global warming has grown stronger each year with new findings pointing to the danger of carbon emissions. The constant conflict in the Middle East and the events of 9/11 have not only stressed the dangers of dependence on oil and gas but have also called into question the safety and viability of nuclear power plants in this age of global terrorism. Furthermore, the California energy crisis, shortages in the North Eastern United States and fears that many utilities may fail to be able to supply peak energy use, has awakened consumer and businesses to the need to be energy independent. In the wake of these circumstances the demand and need for renewable energy sources is becoming more and more crucial. Solar powered products can meet these demands and needs. TerraSolar TerraSolar was started in 1990 by Dr Zoltan Kiss to develop, manufacture and market solar power products for residential, commercial and industrial markets worldwide. For the past 30 years TerraSolar’s employees have been involved with the Photovoltaic industry on all fronts including the research and development of PV modules, the design and construction of manufacturing equipment for PV modules, and also the operation of these manufacturing facilities. Our PV product line includes PV lights, PV water pumps and PV power stations. TerraSolar is therefore a vertically integrated PV company in that not only do we research and develop PV modules but also manufacture and market PV components, products, systems and turnkey manufacturing facilities. Only a handful of U.S companies are actively involved in the PV manufacturing industry which has the potential to grow to a $10 billion market and create thousands of jobs. TerraSolar provides you a host of different opportunities in which you can enter into this up and coming industry.
Photovoltaic1 (PV) cells convert sunlight directly into electricity. PV cells are constructed out of semiconducting materials so that when light shines onto the cells a certain amount of the light is absorbed by the semiconductor. The energy of the absorbed light frees the electrons within the semiconductor so that the electrons are allowed to flow freely. The flow of electrons produces a current that can be extracted and used as electricity. The semiconductors of PV cells or modules2 can be made of different types of materials. The first material used was crystalline and polycrystalline silicone but there is now a shift to using thin-film for manufacturing PV cells.
Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics Crystalline silicon (c-Si) is the leading commercial material for photovoltaic cells and is used in several forms: single-crystalline or monocrystalline silicon, multicrystalline or polycrystalline silicon, ribbon or sheet silicon and thin-layer silicon. Polycrystalline silicon is less expensive to manufacture than single crystalline silicon but the efficiency of polycrystalline is a couple of percent less than that of single crystalline silicon. c-Si is well established in the commercial solar energy market as the first PV cell built was with crystalline silicon and extensive research has been carried out to improve its efficiency and manufacturing cost. A 25% efficiency for laboratory cells have been achieved but there still remains a large gap between laboratory and commercial cells. The difficulty with reducing the manufacturing cost of c-Si cells is due to the properties of c-Si. Silicon requires not only relatively thick cells of about 300 microns (µm) but also requires the greatest thickness to absorb sunlight compared to all other viable semiconductors. Silicon is also the weakest semiconductor material used for solar cells. Thin-Film Photovoltaics An alternative to c-Si photovoltaic cells is thin-film photovoltaic cells where the photovoltaic cells use layers of semiconductor materials only a few microns (µm) thick, which means it’s 100 times thinner than Si cells.
Photo means light. Voltaic means electricity. PV modules are a group of PV cells packaged together. 2
These thin layers can be attached to an inexpensive substrate such as glass, flexible plastic, or stainless steel. TerraSolar’s focus is on thin-film photovoltaics. TerraSolar has conducted research into three thin-film photovoltaic technologies – amorphous silicon (a-Si), copper indium diselenide (CIS), and cadmium telluride (CdTe). Although TerraSolar’s manufacturing equipment is capable of producing all three thin-film materials we have decided only to manufacture a-Si and CIS modules because cadmium has been showed to be carcinogenic. TerraSolar has also opted, with the CIS line, to focus on researching and using CIS with Gallium (CIGS) as the addition of Gallium makes the semiconductor more efficient. There are several advantages of thin-film photovoltaics over crystalline photovoltaics. The first advantage is the reduced manufacturing cost for thin-films. For example the manufacturing cost for a-Si in a developed country averages around $1.50/Watt while the manufacturing cost for crystalline silicon averages $3/Watt to $4/Watt. In countries with lower labor costs the manufacturing cost for a-Si photovoltaics could range between $0.70/Watt to $1.00/Watt. Currently the only thin-film photovoltaic that is being manufactured is with a-Si but it is estimated that the manufacturing cost of CIS photovoltaic modules in a developed country will be around $1/Watt. The second advantage of thin-film photovoltaics is that thin-film modules can easily be encapsulated between two pieces of glass which is both durable and easily accessible. On the other hand it is more difficult to encapsulate crystalline modules due to its necessary thickness. There are 20 and 30 year product guarantees for crystalline modules as the lifetime of these modules is expected to exceed 20 years. As for the quality and life expectancy of thin-film photovoltaic modules, not only can they match those of the crystalline silicon modules but it can also be argued that glass encapsulation of thin-film modules make them even more durable and impervious to weather-induced degradation. From Table 1 one can see that the manufacturing costs of a CIS module is one-third of the polycrystalline module with the same efficiency. Therefore there is less incentive to build further crystalline silicon modules based on the manufacturing costs and the fact that the quality and life expectancy of thin-film photovoltaic modules can exceed those of crystalline.
Cost Comparison for 3 Different PV Module Technologies* ($/Wpeak)
Costs Cell Material Cell Labor Module Material Module Labor Indirect Material Energy Manufacturing Overhead Total Manufacturing Cost Corporate Overhead (30%) Total Cost 50% Profit Margin Selling Price ** 12% Poly Xtl 0.40 0.40 0.25 0.50 0.20 0.30 0.10 2.55 0.77 3.32 1.66 4.98 6% a-Si 0.15 0.31 0.16 0.31 0.22 0.06 0.10 1.31 0.40 1.71 0.86 2.57 12% CIS 0.20 0.20 0.12 0.21 0.11 0.04 0.10 0.98 0.22 1.20 0.60 1.80
*Calculations are based on a 10MW annual rate of production. Potential cost of debt in building the manufacturing facility or financing the product is not taken into account. **The actual selling price will be determined by the competitive market conditions. An initial selling price of $2.00/W is anticipated in the 2005 time frame.
The disadvantage of thin-film technology is that so far they are less efficient than crystalline silicon. Currently only a-SI photovoltaic modules are available in commercial quantities. CIGS modules are available in small quantities with efficiencies ranging from 8%-12%. There, however, is a catch-22 within the thin-film photovoltaics industry. The thin-film PV industry has had to develop technologies all by itself with considerably less financial resources than the crystalline silicon PV industry. Solar energy companies have had to struggle not only to develop thin-film materials and devices but also the equipment and processing to manufacture them3. This struggle hinders rapid progress and widespread use of thin-film photovoltaics as customers are reluctant to switch to thin-film due to the lack of operational experience with thin-film modules. The 400 kW AC a-Si array at PVUSA in Davis, CA, however, is proof of the manufacturability and reliability of a-Si photovoltaics. This array at PVUSA was installed in 1992 by TerraSolar employees and has been in full operation since then. Thin-film photovoltaics with improved stabilized4 efficiencies for a-Si modules and increased manufacturing experience with CIS modules will unquestionably be a major player in the energy markets. It is difficult to justify building further crystalline silicon module manufacturing factories where thin-film factories can be built at substantially lower costs Amorphous Silicon vs Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide When a company is interested in manufacturing thin-film PV modules the first important question is which thin-film technology to utilize. In addressing this question several key issues should be kept in mind: Cost of the Modules Once CIGS is being manufactured it will be the lowest cost thin-film module on the PV market but as of right now a-Si has the lowest manufacturing cost. Experience in Manufacturing the Modules a-Si modules have been in production for more than a decade while CIGS is only expected to be in full volume production in the near future. Position for Long Term Future Competitiveness In an effort towards producing thin-film PV modules with 20% efficiency, tandem devices that combine different band gap materials such as a-Si and different alloys of CIGS will be possibilities. Usage in BIPV Applications Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) is where solar panels are integrated directly into the building’s architecture to provide one source of electricity for the building. Aesthetically thin-film rather than crystalline silicon is preferred for BIPV because thin-film PV modules can be made transparent. TerraSolar has recently developed a specularly transparent a-Si module that can be used for photovoltaic windows. Since a-Si material is itself transparent it is thus must suitable for transparent modules. CIGS modules can be made transparent by taking away some of the materials but this will reduce the module’s efficiency and create additional production cost and time. High Temperature Performance Amorphous silicon loses less of its efficiency as temperatures increases in comparison to other photovoltaic materials. Since CIGS is closer in structure to crystalline silicon it does not perform as well as a-Si under high temperature conditions. Low Light Level Performance a-Si continues to operate well at very low light levels whereas the effectiveness of other thin-films decrease. CIGS is expected to work as well as a-Si under very low light levels
Handbook of Photovoltaic Science and Engineering p.28 The efficiency of a-Si is effected by light degradation which is also known as the Staebler-Wronski effect. Therefore the a-Si efficiency referred to is the one that has leveled off. 4
Table 2: a-Si and CIGS Facilities offered by TerraSolar Catgeories of Comparison Annual Capacity (# of plates) Module Output (W) Efficiency (%) Facility Requirements (sq. ft) Electrical Demand for 40,000 sq. ft. Manpower: Production Workers Managers, Engineers, and Technicians Total Direct Cost at Rated Capacity*
* Using US Labor costs
Thin-film Technology 5 MW a-Si 125,000 40 5% 40,000 2MW 80 9 89 $1.31/W 5 MW CIGS 84,000 60 8 40,000 2MW 50 9 59 $0.98/W
Currently the only thin-film based photovoltaic modules being manufactured are a-Si modules. The total cumulative world production of a-Si between 1983 – 2004 is approximately 100MW as estimated by TerraSolar. 70MW of the total production of a-Si modules were produced by manufacturing facilities TerraSolar helped to construct. 9 out of 11 of these facilities are still in operation (Table 3). The facility in Lens, France has now been in operation for just over 20 years and is an example of the durability of TerraSolar’s thin-film manufacturing equipment.
Table 3: TerraSolar Thin-Film PV Factories Date Opened 1982 1984 1985 1985 1986 1987 1988 1991 1994 1997 1998 Location Port Jervis, NY USA Lens, France Bridgend, UK Birmingham, AL USA Split, Croatia Harbin, China Taipei, Taiwan Shenzen, China Fairfield, CA USA Princeton, NJ USA DunaSolar, Hungary Cum. Output 2004 (MW) 5.0 12.0 12.0 2.5 10.0 5.0 12.0 3.0 4.0 15.0 Status Closed * Operating Operating Closed * Operating Operating Operating Operating Operating Operating Operating
*Factory was closed down because U.S. was no longer producing single junction PV module. Factory equipment was transferred to Taiwan.
TerraSolar offers a line of modular factories. From TerraSolar’s experience in installing the eleven manufacturing facilities around the world, TerraSolar is capable of delivering turnkey manufacturing equipment on average 7 months after receipt of the down payment. The full production capacity of the facility can then be achieved six months after installation of the equipment. TerraSolar’s designs for manufacturing equipment are optimized to be: 1) Cost effective yet highly durable – High material utilization vacuum processing 2) User-friendly – Equipment can be effectively operated, even in extremely hot/cold environments, with trained and unskilled labor. 3) Built-in redundancy for minimum disruption in manufacturing operations
Performance and Ratings The electrical performance of PV modules has traditionally been reported under Standard Test Conditions (STC). These conditions are full sunlight (1000 W/m2 irradiance, AM1.5 solar spectral distribution) and 25°C cell temperature. In bright sunlight, however, the operating temperature of a free-standing module can be 28°C above ambient temperature and for a roof mounted module the operating temperature will be even higher. Thus, an operating temperature of 55°C is not unusual for a PV module. Therefore the issue of temperature coefficients for the various technologies is an important one. The coefficient for power is always negative because modules lose output as their temperature is raised. The coefficient for a-Si is -0.17%/ºC and for for c-Si is -0.5 %/ºC. This means that an amorphous module operating at 55°C has an efficiency loss of only 5% relative to its STC rating, while a crystalline silicon module suffers an efficiency loss of 15% relative to its STC rating. Thus, under real world conditions the performance of the amorphous module, despite its lower STC efficiency, approaches more closely to that of the crystalline module. There is another effect that in practice improves the performance of a-Si relative to other thin-film PV technologies and that is thin-film under low light performance. A deployed module spends only a small fraction of its time receiving 1000 W/m2 because of the low angle of incidence near sunrise and sunset. For ideal solar cells the output power should be roughly proportional to the light intensity. Amorphous silicon obeys this rule but polycrystalline silicon does not. In fact at 200 W/m2 some polycrystalline cells only produce about 85% of the power that you would expect from the proportionality rule. In some applications this makes a big difference. For example for solar operated water pumps, the pumps running on polycrystalline Silicon modules may start much later after sunrise compared to pumps running on amorphous silicon modules because of the collapse of the poly-Si power at low irradiances. Yet another advantage of a-Si photovoltaics over crystalline silicone photovoltaics can be seen in the less steep I-V curve of a-Si. The rounder curve shows that it is easier to draw the maximum power from an amorphous array, whereas for c-Si the power falls rapidly if the operating voltage is allowed to rise beyond that of the maximum power point One disadvantage of a-Si, however, is the Staebler-Wronski effect where the efficiency of a-Si devices decrease as the temperature increases. Therefore if modules are being built for hot climate areas it is important to take into consideration the Staebler-Wronski effect of the PV material. Despite the deficiency of a-Si due to the Staebler-Wronski effect, the three advantages of a-Si, namely, its temperature coefficient, good performance under low light conditions, and less steep I-V curve, contribute to good overall performance and the user-friendliness of amorphous silicon arrays, which have led to many positive reports from users. Longevity Solar cells are solid-state electronic devices that are not operated at extreme temperatures or current density and that in principle are capable of indefinite operation, certainly longer than 20 years. Corrosion, however, is a common problem that if allowed to occur can limit a module's lifetime. Corrosion can result from moisture penetrating the packaging or result due to leakage currents from the active circuitry to the outside world. TerraSolar’s glass-EVA-glass encapsulation does a good job of limiting moisture ingress firstly by keeping the thin-film within the glass so that no conductors protrude to the edge and secondly by deploying frameless modules that are mounted using rails glued to the rear glass surface. Sealing surfaces bearing thin-films with a 1-2mm deep laser cut is a lot easier to accomplish than to uniformly surround the wafers with a thickness of around 350 microns and its bonding ribbons with encapsulant. Hence not only is it easier to encapsulate thin-films but its encapsulation method also adds to the module’s longevity. Amorphous silicon modules have several other advantages as well. One is that the less steep reverse I-V characteristics do not allow hot spots to build up if an individual cell is shaded. Thus damage due to hot spots is almost unheard of in a-Si arrays. Another advantage is that for glass-based modules, the films are deposited on the rear side of the front glass so that the encapsulating polymer, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) 6
lies behind the solar cells and cannot reduce the trans-mission of light to the cells. Thus the loss in output observed in some wafer-based modules due to yellowing of the EVA simply cannot occur. Another advantage of thin-film over wafer technologies such as c-Si has to do with inter-cell connections. Wafers are linked together using metal ribbons attached to the cells at discrete points. Thin-film technology, however, uses monolithic integration that results in a continuous, distributed line of contact between the front and back thin-film conductors. While broken connections are not uncommon in wafer-based modules, it is virtually impossible for thin-film modules to have broken connections due to inter-cell contact failure. Thinfilms have contact redundancy to prevent connections failure, which is an important factor in determining a module’s longevity.
The Amorphous Silicon Line
Photovoltaic Cells Hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) is the active material responsible for generating the voltage of the a-Si device. It is a semiconductor, as is crystalline silicon (from which conventional solar modules and computer chips are made) but the difference being that a-Si does not possess a regular crystal lattice. It is prepared as a thin-film, and is a remarkable material from which a variety of optoelectronic elements and devices can be made, including solar cells, field effect transistors, photoreceptors and image sensors. Because a-Si:H can be coated onto large substrates it has opened the door to large area electronics and photovoltaics. The manufacturing steps and a complete a-Si:H cell structure is shown on the next page. The a-Si:H is sandwiched between a transparent conductor (tin oxide) and the back metallic conductor (Aluminum), all of these layers are deposited onto a glass substrate. The a-Si:H in turn consists of six layers – the double p, i and n layers. Boron and phosphorous atoms are doped5 into the p and n layers; since these atoms are normally ionized, the p-layer acquires a fixed negative charge and the n-layer a fixed positive charge. These fixed charges establish a permanent electric field in the i-layer. The i-layer (the i stands for intrinsic) is undoped. The overall p-i-n structure is essentially a semiconductor diode that absorbs sunlight. Each solar photon absorbed in the i-layer excites a bound electron from one energy band to another, yielding a mobile (and negatively-charged) electron, and a mobile (and positively-charged) hole. The internal electric field drives the hole to the p-layer and the electron to the n-layer, thereby building up a voltage across the cell. This is the essence of the photovoltaic effect in amorphous silicon. The polarity of the voltage is positive on the tin-oxide side and negative on the aluminum side. The new tandem cells stack two cells, one above the other, to form a p-i-n/p-i-n structure, which has exhibited better performances in energy efficiency. Each tandem cell generates around 1.6 volts under open-circuit conditions, while single junction cells only generates around 0.8 volts. Photovoltaic Modules The width of individual a-Si solar cell is around 1.5cm. These cells are serially interconnected via a pattering process consisting of three linear laser scribes per cell running the entire length of the module, as shown in the cross section of the a-Si device in figure 2. This scheme is called monolithic integration and is a strong advantage of thin-film technology because it avoids the handling and the interconnection of a large number of wafers that is typical with crystalline silicon technology. The voltage in the a-Si device builds up across the module and the current is extracted via two metal foils bonded to the first and last cells. The a-Si module is encapsulated between a back cover sheet of glass that is vacuum laminated to the thinfilm-bearing front sheet of glass using ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) as an adhesive. The resulting thin-film module is currently not only the least expensive photovoltaic technology available on the market in terms of $/W but is also only available through TerraSolar.
Doping is the process of adding impurities. 8
Structure of Amorphous Silicon Device
Manufacturing Process The manufacturing process for amorphous silicon photovoltaic modules is a third-generation technology6 based upon a highly successful and field-proven large batch approach to amorphous silicon deposition. In this approach, a large number of tin oxide coated glass plates (typically 48 plates) are coated simultaneously with amorphous silicon in a single vacuum chamber where the substrates are fixed. This method allows a high plate throughput with the advantages of relatively low capital costs, straightforward maintenance, and minimal downtime. Specific features of this design for the chambers and fixturing result in low atmospheric and other impurities, low dopant cross-contamination, low particulates, and good gas utilization. Proprietary designs are employed to obtain amorphous silicon deposits with unusually good thickness uniformity. The source of the silicon and hydrogen atoms in a-Si:H is from the gas silane (SiH4). Silane is decomposed in a vacuum chamber by electron impact in a glow discharge that is excited by applying radio-frequency (RF) power to a set of planar electrodes. This RF-glow discharge process, which has become a manufacturing standard, was developed by TerraSolar. The decomposited fragments are highly reactive and represent the precursor for deposition. The precursor specified bonds to the surface of the growing film. The versatility of a-Si:H results from the nature of the deposition process wherein the materials are laid down, from convenient gaseous sources, layer by layer. This allows sequential deposition of any number of layers of different materials, where each layer can have any desired compositional or dopant profile. a-Si Manufacturing Steps Step 1 Glass preparation Step 2 Sputter deposition of tin oxide Step 3 Laser patterning of the tin oxide conductor Step 4 Sputter deposition of a-Si Step 5 Laser patterning of a-Si semiconductor Step 6 Sputter deposition of aluminum Figure 4: a-Si Process Flow Diagram Step 7 Laser patterning of aluminum conductor Step 8 Encapsulation Step 9 Module testing
1st generation PV modules are 3’x1’ panels of single junction cells. These are no longer manufactured in the US. 2nd generation PV modules are 2’x4’ panels of tandem cells. 10
Facility and Crew Requirements The overall requirement for a 5 MW factory is approximately a 40,000 sq. ft. facility, with approximately 20,000 sq. ft. for the manufacturing area, 4,000 sq. ft. of office space and 16,000 sq. ft. of storage area, preparation areas and shops. The building requires certain utilities and a specific infrastructure. The manufacturing area should not have temperature variations exceeding the range of 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, thus, heating and air conditioning are important. Manpower Requirements General and Administrative: 1 General Manager 1 Secretary 1 Accountant/Bookkeeper 1 Purchasing Agent 1 Production Manager 2 Engineer 80 Production Workers 3 Process Technicians 3 Maintenance Technicians _______________________ 93 Total Employees
Manufacturing Cost Analysis The financial forecast for a 5 MWp a-Si manufacturing line will vary depending on labor costs and the initial capital equipment costs. Table 4: Breakdown of Amorphous Silicon Module Costs (cents/Watt)1
Plate Costs 2 Glass Tin chloride Silane Diborane Phospine Hydrogen Argon Methane Al ZnO Total 7.00 2.00 1.20 3.50 0.20 0.10 0.20 0.10 0.30 0.50 15.10 Encapsulation Costs Glass 7.00 Al foil 0.20 Mylar tape 0.10 EVA 3.00 Sylgard 3.00 Al bracket 0.80 Diode 0.10 Wire 0.50 Label 0.40 Shipping box 1.00 Total 16.10 Indirect Utilities Cost Liquid N2 Deionized water Sandblasted metal Solvents/cleaners Pump oil Vinyl gloves Materials misc. Electricity Yield Loss Other Total: 4.00 1.00 0.50 1.00 0.30 0.80 2.50 6.00 7.00 5.00 28.10
Developing Country Labor Costs 80 production worker ($7,000/year) 11.20 3 process tech. ($10,000/year) 0.60 3 maint. Tech. ($10,000/year) 0.60 Total direct labor: Manufacturing Overhead 1 prod. manager ($20,000/year) 2 engineers. ($15,000/year) Space Total Labor: 12.40 0.40 0.60 1.00 2.00
Developed Country Labor Costs 80 production worker ($35,000/year) 56.00 3 process tech. ($50,000/year) 3.00 3 maint. Tech. ($50,000/year) 3.00 Total direct labor: Manufacturing Overhead 1 prod. manager ($100,000/year) 2 engineers. ($75,000/year) Space Total Labor: 62.00 2.00 3.00 5.00 10.00
Total Module Cost - 73.70 cents/Watt
Total Module Cost - 1.31 dollars/Watt
Assume 100% yield and 6% efficiency. Glass sheets purchased with a coating of tin oxide will cost an additional 25 cents/watt.
a-Si Product The TerraSolar a-Si modules utilize a dual junction (tandem) a-Si cell structure for improved stability. Other notable aspects of the TerraSolar process include the possibility of in-house deposition of the doped tin oxide transparent conductor, laser scribing for all three patterning steps, and sputtering of a zinc/aluminum back reflector. The benefits of these processes include tin oxide with properties optimized for photovoltaic applications, minimal dead area associated with patterning, the ability to change cell widths via software changes, the superior long term contact stability, and an enhanced red response. Figure 5 is the current-voltage curve of the standard TS-40S (40 watt) module.
Typical IV Characteristic at 1000W/m2 Irradiation for TS-40S
Figure 5 The TS-40S has passed safety tests conducted by Underwriters Laboratories Inc. The listing mark is printed on the module label.
5 MW Amorphous Silicon Equipment List
Station 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Station 2 2.1 2.2 2.3 Station 3 3.1 3.2 Station 4 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Station 5 5.1 5.2 Station 6 6.1 6.2 Station 7 7.1 7.2 Station 8 9.1 9.1 Station 9 9.1 9.1 Station 10 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 10.10 Glass Preparation Glass driller Edge seamer Glass washer (4) Holding carts Tin Oxide Deposition (2) Roller tables (1) Tin oxide deposition system (4) Holding carts Tin Oxide Patterning I.R. laser patterning system (4 beams) (2) Holding carts Amorphous Silicon Deposition System (2) Preheat ovens (2) Amorphous silicon deposition systems (2) Cool down ovens (2) Holding carts (6) Box carriers (2) Box carrier carts Amorphous Silicon Patterning (1) Green laser (4 beams) (2) holding carts Aluminum Sputtering Sputtering station (2-5 minute throughput) for Al and ZnO (4) Holding carts Aluminum Patterning Green laser station (4 beams) (2) Holding carts Electrical Testing I-V Tester (1 minute throughput) (2) Holding carts Anneal Station (2) Anneal ovens (2) Anneal carts Encapsulation (1) Edge Isolation (1) Foil bonder (2) EVA applications (2) Preheat stations (2) Laminators (10) Roller tables (1) Adhesive applicator (5) Electrical applicators (5) Mechanical applicators (5) Sorters 13
TS–40S Module Specifications Sheet
TS–40S Module Specification Sheet The TS-40S is a thin-film photovoltaic (PV) module with tandem junction amorphous silicon (p-i-n/p-i-n) monolithically-integrated devices, and a stabilized power rating of 40 watts at maximum power point under standard test conditions (STC). This module is rated for use in applications with a maximum system voltage of 600 VDC. Physical Characteristics The module is a frameless glass laminate consisting of two 0.125 in. (.3 cm) annealed float glass lites laminated with EVA. The glass dimensions are 25 in. x 49 in. (63.5 cm x 124.5 cm), and the weight is 29 lbs. (13.2kg). Four 6 in. (15 cm) long aluminum channel mounting rails bonded to the rear glass surface may be used for mounting the module. These rails are designed to hold a ¼ in. or 6mm hex head bolt (head diameter 7/16 in. or 11 mm respectively). Electrical connections are made via one red and one black, stress relieved, 14-gauge, XLP 600 V leads (RHW-2) rated per the U.S. National Electrical Code article 690) emanating from a sealed boot. The location of the mounting rails and boot are shown on the attached drawing. Care must be taken when handling and installing the module to avoid edge damage to the glass or undue glass stress. Modules are normally shipped with a slip on plastic edge protector that must be removed after the module is installed. Please refer to the TS-40S Module Installation Guide for additional details. Electrical Characteristics The rated electrical parameters at STC and PVUSA Test Conditions (PTC) are: STC(1) 60.2 V 1.14 A 44.6 V 0.90 A 40 W 58.2% Voc, Vmp Isc, Imp Pmp PTC(2) 56.5 V 1.16 A 41.8 V 0.92 A 38.5 W 58.7% -0.28%/0C +0.09%/0C -0.19%/oC
Open-Circuit Voltage (Voc) Short-Circuit Voltage (Isc) Operating Voltage (Vmp) Operating Current (Imp) Maximum Power (Pmp) Fill Factor (%) Temperature coefficients:
STC is defined as 1000 W/m2 irradiance, AM1.5 solar spectral distribution, 250C cell temperature. PTC is defined as 800 W/m2, AM1.5, 200C ambient temperature, 1m/s wind speed. Individual modules may exhibit a Pmp of 40 W ± 10%.
A label on the rear of the module provides the rated and measured electrical parameters, and other information. Initial Performance When a TS-40S module is first deployed, its output characteristics at STC is higher than the rated values at STC. Power may be 20% higher than the rated value, operating voltage may be 8% higher, operating current may be 12% higher, open-circuit voltage may be 4% higher, and short-circuit current may be 5% higher. These higher values should be considered when designing the PV system. Certifications The TS-40S, TS-30 (a 30 watt module of similar construction to the TS-40S) and TS-40LV (a low voltage module of similar construction to the TS-40S) are Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed under Category Control Number QIGU, “Photovoltaic Modules and Panels”. The Listing Mark is printed on the module label. The TS-30 has also passed all Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)1262, and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 1646 tests as certified by the Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory of Arizona State University (ASU PTL). Options and Specialty Modules Options, such as longer or shorter lead lengths, deletion of mounting brackets, an added junction box, bypass diode or fuse, or different module voltage ratings, are available to meet specific customer requirements. Specialty modules, including semi-transparent (with custom logos or artwork, if desired) or triple-laminate building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) modules, are also available.
The Copper Indium Diselenide Line
Photovoltaic Cells Thin-film copper indium diselenide (CIS), unlike the non-crystalline a-Si, is a polycrystalline material consisting of small crystallites approximately 0.5 - 1.0 microns (µm) in size (1 µm = 1/10,000 cm). A strong advantage of CIS over conventional crystalline silicon is the high optical absorption of CIS, which allows its active layer to be 2 µm in thickness rather than the 200 - 350 µm for the typical silicon wafers. In the Copper Indium Diselenide (CIS) device the CIS material is deposited onto a layer of molybdenum (Mo), the base electrode. Molybdenum has been chosen to be the base electrode because of its refractory nature and good electrical conductivity. CIS is a p-type semiconductor and a junction is formed at the surface by deposition of a very thin layer of cadmium sulfide. We believe that this creates a n-p homojunction just inside the CIS, rather than a simple heterojunction. TerraSolar has also demonstrated effective junction formation without the use of CdS and anticipates being able to manufacture the device either with or without the use of CdS. The device is completed by deposition of a transparent conductor such as zinc oxide on top of the junction to help collect the light-generated current. The principle of operation of the CIS device is similar to that of conventional crystalline silicon solar cells. Light absorbed by the CIS creates free electrons and empty holes in the material. The electrons flow through the CIS grains until they reach the electric field within the junction region at which point they are driven into the CdS/ZnO, thereby building up a voltage between the ZnO electrode and the Mo base electrode. The loss of the electrons and holes due to recombination on the surfaces of the crystallites does not occur in CIS nearly as readily as it does in silicon. Thus, CIS solar cells work perfectly well at this crystallite size whereas use of such tiny crystallites is usually a disaster for silicon. To create a more efficient device, gallium (Ga) atoms are substituted for some of the indium (In) atoms to form copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS). Devices made from CIGS generate a higher open-circuit voltage. To create a more efficient device, gallium (Ga) atoms are substituted for some of the indium (In) atoms to form copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS). Devices made from CIGS generate a higher open-circuit voltage. Photovoltaic Modules In a manner similar to the definition and monolithic integration of thin-film a-Si cells, individual CIS cells are defined and serially interconnected via three patterning steps. The first patterning step is to scribe the Mo layer using a laser beam. The second and third patterning steps scribes the CIS and separates the ZnO layer either mechanically or with a laser. The resulting structure is shown in Figure 7. Metal foils are bonded to the first and last cells, and the module is encapsulated using a top cover glass laminated with ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). The laminate is depicted in figure 8.
Structure of CIGS Device
Figure 8 17
Manufacturing Process The following principles have been observed by TerraSolar in its development of CIS and CIGS technology. Firstly, for safety reasons, solid elemental selenium is used, rather than hydrogen selenide. Secondly, an all-vacuum process is used to ensure an even defect-free coating while also providing impurity control. Thirdly, scalable deposition methods are used and developed when needed. Lastly, the substrate used is glass because it is the flattest smoothest and lowest cost substrate available that offers both structural support and high temperature capability. A 5MW module manufacturing facility rated at 60 Watts and with dimensions of 25 inches by 49 inches could produce 84,000 CIS modules annually. The molybdenum layer is deposited on the glass by DC magnetron sputtering. This process is carried out in a multi-chamber, in-line sputtering system, and the properties of the Mo are sensitive to the sputtering conditions. After laser patterning of the Mo, the glass substrate is transferred to another in-line vacuum system where extensive use is made of sources capable of downward evaporation. Three custom designed sources are employed to supply the Cu, In, Ga and Se needed to form the Cu(In,Ga)Se2 compound. During this process the glass is heated to 550°C. After deposition of the CdS (or other junction-forming material) and the scribing of the CIGS, a second in-line sputtering system is used to deposit highly conductive zinc oxide as the top transparent electrode. This electrode is then patterned by scribing. The plate is now ready for testing. CIGS Manufacturing Steps Step 1 Glass preparation Step 2 Sputter deposition of molybdenum (Mo) Step 3 Laser patterning of the molybdenum conductor Step 4 Compound formation to create CIGS Step 5 Patterning to open up the CIGS material Step 6 Sputter deposition of zinc oxide conductor Step 7 Laser patterning of the zinc oxide Step 8 Encapsulation Step 9 Module testing
Figure 9: CIGS Process Flow Diagram
The heart of the CIGS technology is Step 4 where the CIGS compound is formed. TerraSolar has designed this key piece of equipment so that different compound formations can be accomplished with this one piece of equipment. The following compounds were successfully produced: 1) Compound precursors CuSe, InSe2, GaSe2, InGaSe2 2) Metallic precursors Cu, In, Ga 3) Coevaporation Cu, In, Ga, Se 4) Combination compound and metallic precursors All of the CIGS compound formation techniques require a selenization and annealization step. TerraSolar has demonstrated device efficiencies of greater than 13% for all four methods of CIGS formation. TerraSolar recommends using the metallic and compound precursors for forming the CIGS compounds. This technique utilizes both thermal evaporation and sputter deposition. TerraSolar’s process for the formation of polycrystalline thin-films of CIS for photovoltaic applications that is inherently compatible with large-scale manufacturing. This all-vacuum process has several advantages: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Adaptability to high throughput Absence of major manufacturing hazards Efficient use of materials Increased reliability and ease of maintenance Excellent control over process parameters
PV device efficiencies in excess of 12% were achieved using this process. Facility and Crew Requirements The overall requirement for a 5 MW factory is approximately a 40,000 sq. ft. facility, with approximately 20,000 sq. ft. for the manufacturing area, 4,000 sq. ft. of office space and 16,000 sq. ft. of storage area, preparation areas and shops. The building requires certain utilities and a specific infrastructure. The manufacturing area should not temperature variations exceeding the range of 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, thus, heating and air conditioning are important. Manpower Requirements General and Administrative: 1 General Manager 1 Secretary 1 Accountant/Bookkeeper 1 Purchasing Agent 1 Production Manager 2 Engineer 50 Production Workers 3 Process Technicians 3 Maintenance Technicians _______________________ 63 Total Employees
Manufacturing Cost Analysis Table 5: Breakdown of Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide Module Costs (cents/Watt)
Plate Costs Glass Indium/Gallium Zinc Oxide Molybdenum Selenium Copper Other 4.00 10.00 0.50 1.00 2.00 0.50 2.00 Encapsulation Costs Glass 4.00 EVA 1.50 Aluminum Brackets 0.40 Connectors 3.00 Aluminum Foil 0.10 Other 3.00 Total: 12.00 cents/Watt Utilities Cost Power Liquid N2 Deionized Water Yield Loss Other 4.00 2.00 1.00 7.00 1.00
Total: 20.00 cents/Watt
Total: 15.00 cents/Watt
Developing Country Labor Costs 50 Production Worker ($7,000/year) 7.00 3 Process Tech. ($10,000/year) 0.60 3 Maint. Tech. ($10,000/year) 0.60 Total direct labor: 8.20 cents/Watt Manufacturing Overhead 1 Prod. Manager ($20,000/year) 0.40 2 Engineers. ($15,000/year) 0.60 Space 1.00 Total Labor 2.00 cents/Watt:
Developed Country Labor Costs 50 Production Worker ($35,000/year) 35.00 3 Process Tech. ($50,000/year) 3.00 3 Maint. Tech. ($50,000/year) 3.00 Total direct labor: 41.00 cents/Watt Manufacturing Overhead 1 Prod. Manager ($100,000/year) 2.00 2 Engineers. ($75,000/year) 3.00 Space 5.00 Total Labor 10.00 cents/Watt:
Total Module Cost - 57.20cents/Watt
Total Module Cost - 98.00cents/Watt
10% CIGS Module I-V Curve
Figure 6 CIGS Product CIGS photovoltaic modules have been shown to possess attributes that should enable them not only to compete head-on with silicon-based modules but also allow the realization of a lower $/Wpeak cost through its stability, high efficiency, and low materials cost.
5MW Copper Indium-Gallium Diselenide (CIGS) Equipment List
Station 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Station 2 2.1 2.2 2.3 Station 3 3.1 3.2 Station 4 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Station 5 5.1 5.2 Station 6 6.1 6.2 Station 7 7.1 7.2 Station 8 8.1 8.2 Glass Preparation Glass driller Edge seamer Glass washer (4) holding carts Molybdenum Deposition 2) Roller tables (1) Sputtering system (4) Holding carts Mollybdenum Patterning I.R. laser patterning system (4 beams) (2) Holding carts CIGS Compound Formation (4) Roller tables CIGS compound formation deposition system with (2) sputtering targets and (9) thermal evaporation sources (2) Cool down ovens (2) Holding carts Junction formation Insulating ZnO2 deposition CIGS Patterning (1) Green laser (4 beams) (2) Holding carts ZnO2 Sputtering Sputtering Station (4) Holding carts ZnO2 Patterning Green laser station (4 beams) (2) Holding carts Electrical Testing I-V tester (1 minute throughput) (2) Holding carts
Station 9 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9 9.10
Encapsulation (1) Edge isolation (1) Foil bonder (2) EVA applications (2) Preheat stations (2) Laminators (1) Roller tables (1) Adhesive applicator (5) Electrical applicators (5) Mechanical applicators (5) Sorters
TS–60C Specifications Sheet
TS–60C Module Specifications Sheet The TS–60C is a thin-film photovoltaic (PV) module composed of small crystallites approximately 0.5 - 1.0 µm in size (1 µm = 1/10,000 cm) and has a stabilized power rating of 60 watts at maximum power point under standard test conditions (STC). This module is rated for use in applications with a maximum system voltage of 600 VDC. Physical Characteristics The module is a frameless glass laminate consisting of two 0.125 in. (.3 cm) annealed float glass lites laminated with EVA. The glass dimensions are 25 in. x 49 in. (63.5 cm x 124.5 cm), and the weight is 29 lbs. (13.2kg). Four 6 in. (15 cm) long aluminum channel mounting rails bonded to the rear glass surface may be used for mounting the module. These rails are designed to hold a ¼ in. or 6mm hex head bolt (head diameter 7/16 in. or 11 mm respectively). Electrical connections are made via one red and one black, stress relieved, 14-gauge, XLP 600 V leads (RHW-2) rated per the U.S. National Electrical Code article 690) emanating from a sealed boot. The location of the mounting rails and boot are shown on the attached drawing. Care must be taken when handling and installing the module to avoid edge damage to the glass or undue glass stress. Modules are normally shipped with a slip on plastic edge protector that must be removed after the module is installed. Please refer to the TS-60C Module Installation Guide for additional details. Electrical Characteristics The rated electrical parameters at STC and PVUSA Test Conditions (PTC) are: STC(1) 65.5 V 1.70 A 47.6 V 1.53 A 60 W +/- 10% 53.9%
Open-Circuit Voltage (Voc) Short-Circuit Voltage (Isc) Operating Voltage (Vmp) Operating Current (Imp) Maximum Power (Pmp) Fill Factor
STC is defined as 1000 W/m2 irradiance, AM1.5 solar spectral distribution, 250C cell temperature.
Combined a-Si/CIS Facility
Inspection of the process flow diagrams for a-Si and CIS facilities reveal that seven of the nine major steps are the same for both thin-film technologies (Figure 10). Therefore to switch from an a-Si line to CIS line requires only a relatively straightforward addition of CIS capabilities to an existing a-Si line. One could also pursue the establishment of a combined a-Si/CIS manufacturing facility at the outset. An equipment layout for such a combined facility is shown on the following layout drawing.
Mo Glass Prep SnO2 Patterning
CIGS Patterning a-Si:H ZnO(AI) Patterning Encapsulation Testing
Specialty Equipment Using Thin-film Photovoltaics
BIPV Equipment The integration of photovoltaics in buildings, building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), is one of the best niche markets for the PV industry. In the most favorable cases, a PV module can replace a standard building material such as glass with little or no extra installation cost. Furthermore, the cost of the standard building material is saved, while the thin-film PV itself might not be more expensive than high-end standard materials. Since building products are normally several times larger than the dimensions of current thin-film modules, which are usually about 2' x 4', a large area laminator is required to produce special BIPV modules containing several individual PV glass sheets. Terra Solar has built and operates such vacuum laminators for manufacturing a-Si BIPV modules of up to 49” x 100” in size. These large format BIPV modules consist of multiple pieces of thin-film photovoltaic plates sandwiched between larger single sheets of glass on the front and back, thus forming a triple laminate. The front sheet of glass is thicker and is tempered to meet building codes. The active material can be either a-Si or CIS. In the case of CIS (substrate-type device), the back glass may not be required. Thin-film modules produced on Terra Solar's equipment are uniquely suited for BIPV applications: large area, uniform in appearance, low cost per unit area, and semi-transparent if desired. Our thin-film modules offer substantial advantages over integration of single crystal or polycrystalline silicon wafers. TerraSolar’s modules can replace conventional building cladding materials and generate electricity without maintenance or pollution. Partially Transparent PV Modules Semitransparent thin-film modules can be produced for skylights, atrium glazing, or vision glazing. For a-Si, the basic method for manufacturing transparent modules is to increase light transmission by widening the series of scribe lines produced in the third laser patterning process
and optionally add another series of lines perpendicular to the first. Another possibility for manufacturing semitransparent thin-film modules is to produce an array of tiny holes in the thinfilm structure. Custom hardware consisting of a high power laser station with appropriate optics are available to generate a variety of patterns to provide transparency. Insulation is also important in transparent glazing applications. This can be achieved either by the use of doubleglazing units, or integration of the PV module into a translucent insulating unit. Colored PV Modules Integration of photovoltaics into buildings for direct electricity generation and usage started around 1991. Interest in BIPV is now booming. However, having to accept the natural color of the particular PV technology employed is seen as a significant limitation in terms of architectural design. Since a facade must be attractive and blend well with other construction materials, the ability to offer a PV product in a range of colors is considered by architects and designers to be a strong asset. TerraSolar is currently engaged in a project to impart a controlled tint or coloration to glass-glass laminated thin-film PV modules to enable architectural integration of modules in visually unique and striking designs. It is anticipated that more than one method will be developed for accomplishing this goal and that equipment will be built to enable colored BIPV modules to be manufactured.
TerraSolar offers a number of benefits and services to companies who have bought from us turnkey manufacturing facilities for thin-film based PV modules. Construction of the Equipment TerraSolar requires a down payment of 30% of the turnkey manufacturing facility selling price to be made when a purchase contact has been signed. Once the down payment has been received it will take on average 7 months for TerraSolar to complete the construction and the delivery of the manufacturing equipment to the manufacturing site. Depending on the type of equipment, however, it can take up to 12 months for construction of the equipment to be completed. Partial deliveries of the equipment and workstations as they are completed will be made to the manufacturing site once the site is ready to receive them. The documentation provided for the turnkey set of equipment specifies what kind of electrical requirements, gas and water facilities, exhaust and other facilities have to be provided at the manufacturing site. While TerraSolar provides the specification and design for the facilities and infrastructure hookup, it is the buyer’s responsibility to complete this necessary infrastructure by the time the equipment has been constructed and is ready to be installed. As soon as the manufacturing site is ready to receive the equipment, the setup of the equipment, training of the personnel, and the manufacturing startup can commence. Based on past experiences with building turnkey manufacturing equipment, the initial yields of modules produced may be low but within 6 months the facility is expected to operate with better than 80% yields. Therefore on average it will be 12 months after TerraSolar has received the down payment that full-scale manufacturing can be expected to start. However, depending on the special circumstances and equipment required, the time elapsed between the down payment and full-scale manufacturing capacity could be up to 18 months. Training, Installation and Start-up Costs The three key technical personnel who will oversee the manufacturing facility will be trained in the operation of the equipment at TerraSolar. This training is three months long and takes place during the construction of the manufacturing site and equipment. TerraSolar will cover the training expenses. Equipment Setup Once the equipment has been delivered to the manufacturing site, TerraSolar and the technical personnel, as part of their training, will install the equipment. TerraSolar will be responsible for the overall operation of the manufacturing facility until performance guarantees have been demonstrated. During this period TerraSolar will cover the cost of their own employees while the manufacturing venture will cover the cost of their own employees and also the material costs associated with the startup of the manufacturing operations. Figure 11: Average Timeline for Setup of a TerraSolar Manufacturing Facility
Performance Guarantees Factory performance will be demonstrated after the manufacturing startup is complete. The performance factors include: a. Efficiency. The average module efficiency is to meet the criteria for the specific factory. For example, for an 8% efficient 5.0 MW CIS facility, more than 85% of the modules produced will be within ±10% of the guaranteed 60 W module output expected. The average module efficiency produced will be 60 W. b. Throughput. One 8-hour shift production rate shall be demonstrated over a one-week period. By maintaining a rate over a one-year period of 250 working days with a total of 3 shifts (each 8 hours long) per day (hence a total of 24 hours of operating time per day), the useful output of the factory will be the specified capacity for that particular manufacturing facility. c. Manufacturing costs. Taking into account the manufacturing location and manufacturing conditions, the direct manufacturing costs of the modules would be consistent with the manufacturing costs given in the present documentation. The performance guarantee is to be demonstrated while TerraSolar employees are on location and will be carried out over a one-week period with one 8-hour shift a day. Technology Update TerraSolar offers a 5-year technology update agreement along with the purchase of a manufacturing facility in order to ensure that the manufacturing facility will fully benefit from the continuing R&D efforts at TerraSolar. This agreement states that every 6 months after the facility is in full operation TerraSolar will inform the technical crew of the manufacturing venture of the latest developments and improvements relevant to the turnkey manufacturing equipment. Any technological improvements related to the production yield or the efficiency of the modules will be transferred to the manufacturing venture.