Low-Cost Industrial Manufacturing of CIS-Based Flexible Solar Panels Using Roll-to-Roll Technology
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractHarnessing the power of the sun through photovoltaic cells is a new area of research and development and may hold the key to sustainable energy on earth. Currently, solar cells and panels with high efficiencies have been successfully created on a laboratory scale. However, in order for solar panels to be marketable and serve as a realistic replacement for current energy sources, a large-scale, high-throughput, and low-cost production system must be devised that is competitive with very cheap fossil fuels that currently dominate the market. The goal of this project is to mass scale the production and manufacturing of inorganic solar cells using cost-effective, roll-to-roll printing methods. Annually, 676 MW of power will be produced, representing 71% of the total US market share for photovoltaic technology, and sold to market at the price of $1/Watt. The design of the solar cell is based on a CuInS₂ absorber layer, ZnS buffer layer and ZnO and ZnO:Ga window layer. The film is printed on a flexible aluminum substrate, 20 inches wide, at a continuous rate of 100 ft/min and a silver-based metal contact is deposited on top. Over the project lifetime, a net present value assuming a 15% nominal interest of $1.7 billion is anticipated.
Degree ProgramHonors College