Buerkle’s ‘Ypsator’ laminator has five openings for high-throughput

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Product Briefing Outline: Buerkle GmbH has introduced its
multi-opening module laminator that can process both crystalline and
thin-film photovoltaic cells. The ‘Ypsator’ system laminates up to 20
modules per cycle. On a surface area of 3.5m² per opening and five
openings, manufacturers can produce 10 photovoltaic modules per batch
at the same time. The total annual capacity is around 500,000 modules,
which corresponds to an annual power capacity of 40 megawatts.

Problem: The weakness of normal single-opening laminators is within process guiding and reproducibility, and they can be limited in their production capacity. A large assembly space would therefore be required as the lamination takes place on only one opening.

Solution: Due to its structure and the homogeneous temperature distribution that is reached by the heating of the platens via thermal oil, the process times are reduced considerably. The ‘Ypsolar’ technology sees the lamination process separated in order to make the processes more flexible and to increase productivity. Firstly, the modules are prelaminated, meaning that the moisture and the air pockets are removed from the sandwich in the vacuum and thus a vacuum-tight compound is created. The lamination is finished in a subsequent press. In a third step, the Ypsator cools down the solar module from 150°C to a temperature that can be comfortably touched by hand. Due to the structure of the three lamination steps, the glass modules can be laminated with less stress which produces less glass breakage.

Applications: Crystalline and thin-film module lamination for high-volume production.

Platform: Bürkle supplies the entire backend for the manufacture of thin-film modules.

Availability: November 2007 onwards.

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