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Preparing for the industry upturn: striking a balance in high-performance PV ribbon

Industry evidence shows that the PV industry has been suffering from an imbalance between supply and demand for over a year now. There are many factors that come into play with this situation – some we can control, and some we can’t…

Luvata, a PV connector-ribbon manufacturer, is working hard on what it CAN control – concentrating on high performance and making the straightest, softest and thinnest PV solar ribbon in preparation for the industry’s inevitable return.

There are significant differences in the manufacture of PV connector ribbon that can have a direct impact on the efficiency and life cycle performance of a PV module. The industry trend towards thinner cells is being driven by material cost savings, but these thinner cells demand a softer and more ductile ribbon than was necessary in the past.

The heating and cooling phases of the soldering process may cause damage to the cell due to the difference in thermal expansion characteristics between copper and silicon. The copper ribbon will expand and contract nearly 5 times more than the silicon cell, resulting in tension on both sides of the cell after soldering. This tension can break the cell immediately or cause undetectable faults, which will break it later.

So, because thinner cells are less forgiving, they increase the need for consistent quality and predictable performance of the PV ribbon.

However, to better accommodate thinner cells, the corresponding ribbon has become narrower and thicker to improve the useable surface of the cell. Increasing the thickness of the ribbon has a significant impact on the amount of stress that will be placed on the cell. All of these things must be done however, while maintaining or improving the efficiency or longevity of the PV module.


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