Non-Contact Temperature and Emissivity Sensor for Lower-Cost CIGS Photovoltaics Manufacturing
Small Business Information
Itn Energy Systems, Inc.
8130 Shaffer Parkway, Littleton, CO, 80127
Abstract70144 Despite the many advantages of generating power from the sun, photovoltaics (PV) account only a fraction of one percent of worldwide energy generation due to inherent cost disadvantages relative to traditional fossil fuel energy sources. Currently available large-area industrial PV modules are based on older cystalline technology that is relatively costly, difficult to produce in large quantities, and sensitive to handling. Thin-film photovoltaics based on copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) offers the promise of being both energy efficient and economical if high-yield manufacturing techniques could be fully developed and optimized. This project will develop a robust, economical, non-contact temperature and emissivity measurement system for use on moving substrates during CIGS manufacture. The sensor will be suitable for real-time process control and consequent yield improvement. During Phase I, the temperature and emissivity sensor will be installed in a CIGS deposition system. Analysis will be improved so that results are independent of CIGS and precursor properties. The accuracy and durability of the sensor will be quantified and improved. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The new sensor should contribute to the cost reduction of manufactured thin-film CIGS modules through improved yields. Lower cost, thin-film PV would lead to widespread market acceptance as well as a cleaner environment, increased national energy independence, and cheaper grid power. The deposition sensor could also be used to improve manufacturing yields of other semiconductor technologies (such as CdTe and GaAs).
* information listed above is at the time of submission.