Project Graphics and Build Updates 1/17/12
The assembly being fabricated to the left will be the material, or solar cell, in-feed system. An identical version will be placed on both ends of the process chamber to manage the in-feed and out-feed of solar cells.
The milled areas are where the automated material handling components will fit to complete the system. We plan to beginbench testing the automation systems next week for planned installation near the end of the month.
Above: Chamber Vacuum Load Locks
As the solar cell substrates move into the system from the in-feed assembly pictured above, they move into the vacuum load lock system pictured to the right.
The CIGS system will have one load lock placed at each end to control and protect the CIGS processing environment in our main evaporation chamber. The vacuum doors and automation are currently being fabricated, scheduled for testing, and our plan is to add these last components in the next several weeks.
To the left is a view of the main evaporation chamber top plate assembly. This week the many couplings that will be used to provide vacuum safe interconnection for gauges, drive motors, gas, and vacuum lines will be final welded tothese and many other system ports located at virtually every side of the system.
Above: Main CIGS Chamber & End Plate Assemblies
One of the superior design aspects to our CIGSolar™ system is the open architecture of the evaporation system. This allows us to reduce complexity and cost, and improve access when servicing the system which also helps to reduce labor time and costs. A feature sought after by manufacturers.
The open architecture is also a key element that provides an ability to adjust system geometry incrementally improve the processing environment. As we continually work to improve conversion efficiencies, and system yields, this adaptability was a fundamental aspect to our design so that we could introduce changes with minimal cost or modification.