CdTe thin-film modules: basic developments, optimizing performance and considerations in design

Published: May 1, 2011

By Frank Becker, Ddepartment Head of the Metallization Group, Calyxo GmbH; Hubert -Joachim Frenck, Head of Production, Calyxo GmbH

A growing number of thin-film photovoltaic module producers are either trying to keep up with the current cost leader or aiming to differentiate on product design. Calyxo is dedicated to both keeping the pace in the US$0.50/Wp race and introducing new product generations, therefore delivering more value to the customer. We have tried to improve the methodology and approaches for knowledge building in the individual process steps, by learning the relevant interactions between them, as well as ramping volume and lowering manufacturing cost in the first production line. Developing and building the deposition equipment suited to the high process temperatures of approximately 1000°C at atmospheric pressure took some time, but the technology itself now enables Calyxo to benefit from significant cost savings both on capital investment and operational cost – compared to some well-known vacuum deposition methods. Besides the continuous decrease in manufacturing costs, even early on in building the manufacturing capacity, the ability to design the product itself according to the needs of the customers proved itself to be a decisive factor in ensuring competitiveness. This paper aims to give an insight into some of the basic design features of a new product generation and how the so-called new CX3 product will generate more watts by improved performance: delivering better customer value by decreased voltage to save on BOS costs and ensuring further increased field durability through an optimized package design.

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