The future of solar energy doesn’t lie in the current, standard-sized solar panels. Today, the market demands inexpensive panels in non-standard colours and sizes. There is also a healthy market for flexible and semi-transparent films, which can be cost-effectively integrated into a variety of products. Do you see opportunities in manufacturing solar panels to customer specifications? Or in the processing of the latest generation of solar cells in semi-finished products? To innovate, you will need not only knowledge of equipment or materials, but also of thin film-film PV technology.
Solliance can provide you with the required knowledge of thin-film PV technology. We have expert knowledge, down to the micro level, of thin-film PV technology, covering the entire production chain – from raw materials to finished product. We have various machines set up for pilot production in our building in Eindhoven, which can add value to your company. We can help you to innovate by testing and evaluating your processes together with your company, and adapting them where necessary. We also have the equipment needed to test materials, separately, or in relation to other materials. Finally, we also offer support in conducting feasibility studies or cost calculations.
Determining service life
Solliance has a unique device in-house for accelerated testing of the lifespan of solar panels. The system is unique because the climate chamber is equipped with an artificial sun, which allows us to also measure the effect of sunlight. In addition, the system allows us to measure the influence of temperatures ranging from −40°C to +90°C. Valuable information can be obtained from a simulated accelerated ageing process. For example, information about which materials are sensitive to particular influences, or which layers break and how. Such information makes it possible (often at a relatively low cost) to improve the performance of a solar panel.
Together with the international industrial enterprise VDL, Bosch Rexroth and Smit Thermal Solutions, we developed a pilot production line for organic or perovskite solar films. Production is based on roll-to-roll technology: the film is guided past large cylinders. We apply the active material in ultra-thin layers by finally applying the coating. The active material is then mixed with a solvent and deposited, after which the solvent evaporates, leaving behind the active layer. The production line is designed so that it is possible to apply two or more layers successively, which improves the energy yield of the solar film.
The eighty-meter pilot production line, which is set up in the Solliance building in Eindhoven, is unique in its kind:
- The line runs largely through a clean room, so that no pollution occurs and the energy yield of the solar films is maximised.
- The line is designed so that the highly sensitive active layers never come into contact with the machine itself. The film floats on the cylinders, as it were.
With this pilot production line, we want to demonstrate that it is possible to produce high energy yield solar film on a large scale, at little cost. It is now up to the market to develop custom production lines based on this technology.
VDL hold the licence to use the patented process. It is also possible to use the line for the production of other flexible electronics, such as OLEDs (light-emitting foils).