Solar manufacturing refers to the production and assembly of materials across the solar value chain. It involves manufacturing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and their many subcomponents like wafers, cells, glass, back sheets, and frames.
Solar panels are made by assembling several solar cells, which are instrumental in the solar power generation system. The critical steps in the solar manufacturing process are highlighted in the section below:
MANUFACTURING THE PV WAFERS
- STEP 1 – Gathering the raw material – The process of solar manufacturing starts with assembling quality materials to construct PV cells.PV cells are made from silicon, the second most abundant element on Earth’s crust. Silicon is available as silicon dioxide and is refined from natural materials such as quartzite gravel, crushed quartz, or even natural beach sand.
- STEP 2- Purifying the silicon – The rocks are melted in carbon arc furnaces using extremely high temperatures. It is done to separate the silicon from the silicon dioxide. The silicon is cooled and sent through a heated zone multiple times to obtain pure silicon.
- STEP 3 – Making silicon ingots – The pure silicon rocks are then transferred to a quartz cylindrical furnace to make ingots, weighing at least 250 pounds each.
- STEP 4 – Making silicon wafers – The silicon ingots are then trimmed to workable lengths of two feet. Their tops and tails are cut and racked together. These ingots are sliced into paper-thin cells called wafers, which are the basis for solar panels. The final step of constructing PV cells under the solar manufacturing process is polishing to remove any imperfections.
COMPILING THE SOLAR PANELS
- STEP 1 – Polarizing the wafers – Compiling solar panels commences the next round of process in solar manufacturing.The pure silicon wafers are given a texture etch by creating irregular pyramid patterns on the wafer’s surface. It enables it to absorb more light. Some wafers are then diffused into a phosphorus gas at a high temperature. The molecular reaction causes them to have a negative electrical orientation. Polarization is completed to have electrical processes similar to a battery.
- STEP 2 – Anti Reflective Coating – The treated wafers are then coated with silicon nitride, titanium dioxide, or silicon oxide, giving them a recognizable violet tint. The hue helps prevent further reflection within the energy-dense blue end of the light spectrum.
- STEP 3 – Printing – The wafers are further prepared to harness energy from the sun. For this, a mesh of metal strips, typically made from tin-coated copper, is placed across the surface of the wafers. These are then arranged in thin, frail fingers and crisscrossed with larger bus bars. This process creates solar cells.
- STEP 4 – Encapsulating the Cells – Solar panels are frequently found in 48, 60, or 72-cell arrangements. The number of cells will impact the amount of energy the panel will produce. Each cell is connected to the next through metal contacts. These contacts ensure that electricity can travel freely across the panel and to the output at the junction box.
The market standard for solar panels are:
· 48-cell panels – ideal for small residential roofs.
· 60-cell panels – the standard size.
· 72-cell panels – suitable for large-scale installations.
The desired cell arrangements are placed on a polymer-based back sheet to prevent water, dust, or other volatile material intrusions. The cells are glued to the EVA or ethyl vinyl acetate to adhere them to the protective glass or plastic cover. The wiring for the panel is placed within an aluminium frame. Now the solar panel is formed.
5. STEP 5 – Testing the panel – The last but most important step in solar manufacturing is a quality check. The solar panel is sent for quality control to ensure that each cell performs well. Standard Test Conditions (STC) are used as a frame for reference. The consistent criteria should produce nearly identical results in terms of efficiency, voltage, current, impedance, impact, and temperature intolerance. Solar panels are constructed to work under severe weather conditions and must be built to withstand them. Upon passing quality control, they are cleaned, packaged, and ready for shipment.
In summary, solar manufacturing involves meticulous planning from start to end. The solar manufacturing industry continues to grow, along with its demand in the industry.
Nimbus Solar Solutions: A Renowned Name in Renewable Energy
We, Nimbus Solar, were established with a visionary approach to extend our offerings to solar systems for residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural purposes. We supply a wide range of solar products that use the industry’s best components.
Equipped with the latest and most sophisticated solar products, we are backed by modern technical know-how and a team of experienced and dedicated Engineers and Technicians. They survey, design, supply, install and commission the entire system at the customer’s site based on their diversified solar needs.
With branch offices in West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan, we provide highly efficient and customized products and expert technical services for installation and maintenance.
For more information, visit: https://nimbussolar.in/