United Solar Ovonic

Troy, MI, United States

United Solar Ovonic

Troy, MI, United States

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A bus grid structure is affixed to a photovoltaic device utilizing a double-sided adhesive tape in which one of the adhesive layers is electrically conductive and the other is electrically resistive. The tape is affixed to a photovoltaic device via the electrically resistive adhesive. Grid wires are applied to a top electrode of the photovoltaic device, and portions of those grid wires are adhered to the electrically conductive adhesive. A bus bar is also adhered to the electrically conductive adhesive so as to contact the portions of the grid wire. The assembly is laminated so as to bond the grid wires to the photovoltaic device and to the bus bar. Further disclosed are devices fabricated according to this method as well as electrically conductive double adhesive tapes utilized in the process.


Patent
United Solar Ovonic | Date: 2010-10-27

A continuous roll-to-roll apparatus for providing a patterned deposit of a material onto a moving substrate web includes a payout station for feeding out a substrate web, a take-up station for taking up the substrate web, and a web transport system for advancing the web through the apparatus from the payout station to the take-up station. The apparatus includes at least one deposition station disposed between the payout station and the take-up station, and the deposition station is operative to deposit a material onto the web as it moves therethrough. The apparatus includes a masking system associated with a deposition station. The masking system is operative to dispose a deposition mask in registry with a portion of the length of the moving web. The deposition mask is comprised of a plurality of filaments which are aligned with the longitudinal axis of the web. The filaments are spaced from one another in a direction transverse to the longitudinal axis, and the masking system is further operative to move the filaments along the longitudinal axis, and the filaments function to selectively mask longitudinal portions of the moving web so as to prevent the deposition of material thereupon. Also disclosed are methods for utilizing the system.


Patent
United Solar Ovonic | Date: 2010-05-14

A system and method for measuring the velocity of gas flow between multiple plasma deposition chambers is provided. A passage atmospherically linking two plasma processing chambers conducts a gas flow therebetween due to differential pressures within the respective chambers. The gas flow velocity is measured by a linear or non-linear ultrasonic energy acoustic path between two transducers located exteriorly to the chambers using the difference in transit time in a forward and reverse direction due to the velocity of gas in the passage. The pressure of process gas in one or more chambers is adjustable based on the measured velocity of gas flow in the passage.


Patent
United Solar Ovonic | Date: 2010-03-10

A tandem photovoltaic device includes at least two photovoltaic cells stacked in an optical and electrical series relationship. At least one of the tandem cells includes a dual function semiconductor layer fabricated from a dual function semiconductor material. This dual function layer is an electronically active constituent of the cell. The dual function layer also is optically active and creates a reflective condition which redirects a portion of the light which has passed through the cell back through the cells active layers to photo generate additional photocurrent. Use of the dual function material eliminates the need for incorporating separate semiconductor and reflective layers in a photovoltaic device. Further disclosed are exemplary formulations of some dual function materials.


Patent
United Solar Ovonic | Date: 2011-09-01

Processes of identifying small pressure irregularities in a system used for continuous plasma deposition are provided. Sensitive light scattering is used to detect the presence of nucleated particles in a detection area that is outside the plasma region of high electric field whereby the presence of the particles indicates a pressure abnormality in the plasma deposition chamber. The pressure of the plasma deposition chamber is then adjusted to reduce or eliminate the presence of particles within the detection area and to optimize deposition of material on a substrate.


Patent
United Solar Ovonic | Date: 2011-07-13

A process for detecting and terminating a fault in a photovoltaic device is provided that operates in the millisecond or faster timescale. A process includes measuring a current or voltage in each of a plurality of strings relative to a common rail. When the voltage or current from a string is outside a predetermined threshold, a flag is generated indicating the presence of a fault in the string. A control unit will detect the flag and disconnect the faulty string from the system through a switch. The use of continuously rolling averages of baseline currents and voltages as well as a series of measurements averaged to measure the difference of current or voltage at each step provides a process and a fault detection system that does not suffer from false fault detections thereby providing a reliable and efficient system for detecting and terminating faults in photovoltaic devices.


A reverse interferometric method for the determination of the thickness of a layer of material employs a multi-wavelength light source which generates a light beam which comprises a time-variant series of different monochromatic wavelengths. The beam is reflected from the body of material being measured and is detected by a broad spectrum wavelength detector which produces a signal comprising a series of data points indicating the reflectivity of the sample as a function of the time-variant series of monochromatic wavelengths. A signal processor processes these data points to fit them to a model waveform, and the frequency of the model waveform is used to calculate the thickness of the body of material. Further disclosed are apparatus for carrying out the method and use of the method in a continuous process for the fabrication of thin film materials.


A high quality, highly adherent layer of a metal and oxygen material such as a transparent electrically conductive oxide material is electro deposited onto a substrate in a solution deposition process. The substrate is activated prior to the electro deposition of the metal and oxygen material thereonto by contacting it with a multidentate activating agent which promotes the adhesion of the metal and oxygen material to the substrate. Use of the activation agent eliminates the need to pre-deposit a seed layer of the metal and oxygen material onto the substrate by a vacuum deposition process. Process parameters are controlled so as to result in the deposition of a high quality layer of material which is suitable for use in a back reflector structure of a high efficiency photovoltaic device In particular instances the activation method may be implemented in a continuous, roll-to-roll process. Further disclosed are semiconductor devices and components of semiconductor devices made by the present process, as well as apparatus for carrying out the process.


Patent
United Solar Ovonic | Date: 2012-06-29

A photovoltaic device and processes of manufacture are provided that employ particularly configured, textured back reflector structures that maintain a smooth, non-textured surface at the interface between the lowermost doped layer of semiconductor material and the intrinsic, light absorbing layer of nanocrystalline semiconductor material. The back reflector structure provides exhibit both superior short circuit current and a superior fill factor to a photovoltaic device such as those using nanocrystalline semiconductor materials.


Patent
United Solar Ovonic | Date: 2012-07-19

A pinch valve assembly includes a valve body having a slot which is configured to allow a web of substrate material to pass therethrough. The valve body has a sealing surface which includes a first curved portion with a first radius of curvature. A dynamic seal element is configured to engage the valve body and includes a second curved portion having a second radius of curvature which is larger than the first radius of curvature. An actuator is operable to selectively bias the dynamic seal element into and out of engagement with the valve body so that when it is biased into engagement with the valve body the web of substrate material is engaged between the sealing surfaces of the dynamic seal element and the valve body. Also disclosed are deposition systems which include these pinch valves.

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