Project Graphics and Build Updates 3/20/12
The picture to the left shows the evolving CIGSolar evaporation chamber. We have begun to install the vacuum load locks which are attached to each end, and provide the transition from atmosphere to the vacuum and heated coevaporation environment of the process main chamber.
As a stand alone system measuring just over ten feet long the CIGSolar evaporator chamber is designed to initially process nearly four million CIGS cells annually. The system can be paired with multiple other CIGSolar evaporators to meet the demands of even the largest commercial production environment.
Above: Assembling Vacuum Load Locks
Next, the systems that feed the solar cell substrates into the load locks will be attached. At that point all of the major chambers sections will be in place.
The pictures to the right and below show portions of the load locks as we attach and work to complete the assembly of the control systems necessary to operate all of the evaporation chamber components as a single integrated system.
We are also installing the various evaporation crucible port cover plates, shown below, to prepare the system for vacuum testing.
Above: Evaporation Crucible Port Cover Plates
To the left are graphite plates used to house the chamber heater assemblies. The serpentine areas are where certain heating elements will be sandwiched between the graphite plates.
Heat, and most importantly precisely controlled amounts of heat, are critical to the coevaporation process. Our design incorporates heating systems in multiple locations. Each of these are designed to meet the specific needs of the coevaporation process at every inch of the solar cells travel through the system.