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Encapsulation of Photovoltaic Cells

United States Patent Application

View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
National Renewable Energy Laboratory - Visit the NREL Technology Transfer Website
This invention relates to a photovoltaic cell module and a process of applying a silicone based hot melt encapsulant material (102a, 104a) onto photovoltaic cells (103a) to form a photovoltaic cell module. There is provided a photovoltaic array with more efficient manufacturing and better utilization of the solar spectrum by using silicone hot melt sheets (102a, 104a) to give a silicone encapsulant photovoltaic device with the process ease of an organic encapsulant but the optical and chemical advantages of a silicone encapsulant. There is further provided a method for fabricating photovoltaic cells with increased throughput and optical efficiency when compared to prior art encapsulation methods. The preferred silicone material is provided in flexible sheet with hot melt properties and low surface tack.
Drake, Robert Andrew (Penarth, GB), Habimana, Jean da la Croix (Morlanwelz, BE), Shephard, Nick Evan (Midland, MI), Mohamed, Mustafa (Midland, MI), Ketola, Barry Mark (Freeland, MI), Tonge, James Steven (Sanford, MI), Jenkins, Stephen (Bay City, MI), Altum, Stephen (Midland, MI)
12/ 092,150
November 3, 2006
[0002] This invention was made with Government support under NREL Subcontract No. ZAX-5-33628-02, Prime Contract No: DE-AC36-98GO10337 awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.