Manufacturing techniques for flexible solar cells
There are millions of square meters of flat roof that could be converted to carry photovoltaic (PV) systems; a huge potential exists for the mass deployment of PV roofing membranes. However, major issues still need to be overcome; one such issue is the adhesives and barrier encapsulations currently used for flexible PV roofs are not as reliable as standard construction materials.
The PV-GUM project aims to develop new manufacturing technologies and equipment capable of producing a low-cost, high-efficiency, flexible building-integrated PV (BIPV) solar cell on a bituminous roofing membrane. If the PV-GUM membrane is going to make real inroads into the building market, it will need to be very close to a conventional bituminous roofing membrane in terms of size, ease of installation, and quality. The membrane under development will be based on Imperbel’s “Derbibrite” white-coated bituminous membrane technology, and VHF-Technologies’ FlexCell flexible PV module technology. The flexible PV modules will be fully integrated within the membrane during manufacturing. Integration occurs using a new standardized roll-to-roll encapsulation process to produce PV laminates, followed by roll-to-roll bitumen impregnation of the PV laminates. DNV KEMA is closely involved with membrane and module manufacturing quality procedures. We are also helping to develop guidelines for product certification. In parallel with that work, we will be implementing a new standardized plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) reactor and process. These innovations will increase FlexCell’s PV cell’s efficiency to at least 8%.
Project objectives are to reduce the overall cost of producing the new PV bituminous roofing membrane, to increase the integration of PV modules, to raise PV module efficiency, to improve quality, and to achieve full recyclability.
The PV-GUM project intends to yield PV laminates with a production capacity of 20 MW. The high degree of PV module integration and the roll-to-roll lamination technique will facilitate process automation. This in turn will mean much lower costs per output Watt. Other benefits of PV-GUM include enhanced sustainability, improved quality procedures, in-line monitoring, BIPV standard compliance, and full product recyclability.
DNV KEMA’s role
Quality procedures and in-line monitoring of the production process
Compliance with building and electrical standards; new guidelines for product certification and sustainability tests
Developing full recycling capability of the new product
Nine partners from five countries, including DNV KEMA
EU Seventh Framework Program
Duration: November 2010 – October 2013