Xunlight Corp., a developer of flexible and lightweight thin-film silicon solar modules, says it has successfully demonstrated its high-throughput, wide-web, roll-to-roll photovoltaic manufacturing process for the production of high-efficiency thin-film silicon PV modules.
Xunlight's roll-to-roll manufacturing process allows the company to produce triple-junction thin-film silicon solar cells on rolls of thin, stainless steel substrates that are three feet wide and up to one mile long.
The long, stainless steel web is guided through a series of vacuum chambers for the deposition of nine semiconductor layers using a plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition process and back-reflector and top electrode layers using a sputtering process.
The combined thickness of the layers for the triple-junction solar cell is approximately one-hundredth of the thickness of a typical sheet of paper. Therefore, only a small amount of silicon is used.
Xunlight designed, developed, engineered and built its own manufacturing equipment with the assistance of its academic partner, the University of Toledo's Thin Film Silicon Photovoltaic Laboratory.