Bürkle has developed a new three-step single-opening laminator focusing on a number of key process parameters to reduce costs and increase productivity. The e.a.sy-Lam SL machine is claimed to reduce unit costs per solar module by up to 25%.
Uptime and overall reliability in the lamination process has been a critical factor in high-volume applications. Overall cost reduction requirements are pushing for higher throughput. The need to address both aspects is now a priority for a competitive, high quality finished product. Increasing operating temperature reliably could reduce process times.
The e.a.sy-Lam SL laminator has been designed to reliably enable the temperature for laminating glass-foil modules to be increased to improve the cross-linking speed. Depending on the foil type, an increase of the operating temperature by 10ºC to for example 160 degrees can double the cross-linking speed. Combined with a higher pressure and a reduction of the evacuating time, it is possible to reduce the process time to a claimed 3 ½ minutes. The use of one three-step e.a.s.y-Lam SL system could replace up to four single-opening laminators, according to the company.
Laminating glass-foil modules.
The laminator ensures the same overall temperature is achieved of the thermal oil so that the module quality is not affected by local temperature deviations in the heating platen by being separated. Conventional heating elements are integrated into the heating platen so that a failure can damage the modules in the affected area. It is anticipated that most existing systems can be upgraded to the new SL technology at extra cost.
September 2011 onwards.