Low-Cost Solar Array Project Progress and Plans
The Low-Cost Solar Array (LSA) Project is sponsored by the U. S. Department of Energy and is managed by the California Institute of Technology Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Project’s goals are to develop, by 1986, the national capability in the United States of manufacturing low-cost, long-life photovoltaic arrays at production rates that will realize economies of scale and at a module price less than $0.70/Wp (1980 U.S. dollars). Performance objectives include an array efficiency greater than 10% and an operating lifetime longer than 20 years. Significant progress has been made in technology development in silicon materials purification, in large-area silicon sheet formation and in developing automated process sequences and equipment. A silicon-material experimental process systems development unit capable of producing 100 metric tons (MT) of silicon per year is being built to demonstrate production rates, quality of material and price of a low-cost silicon process. Achievements in ingot and non-ingot silicon sheet formation technology have been made, with advancements in growth rates, yield, efficiency, size and quality. Promising encapsulation schemes and candidate manufacturing process sequences have been devised and equipment is being designed for automated production of photovoltaic modules.
KeywordsCarbide Silane Encapsulation Lamination Chlorosilane
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