NREL installs iTi Solar inkjet, spray deposition tools for advanced solar cell research

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has installed iTi Solar inkjet and spray workstations in the lab’s advanced atmospheric processing platform (APP), which is located in the Process Development and Integration Laboratory at the National Center for Photovoltaics in Colorado. NREL will use the iTi Solar workstations to develop low-cost nonvacuum processing methods and materials for use in advanced solar PV manufacturing.

An alternative to traditional vacuum-based sputtering, coating, and etching techniques, iTi Solar’s materials deposition systems enable digital deposition of a wide range of fluids, through the use of inkjet printhead and sprayer methods. These additive, noncontact deposition technologies, which can be applied to a wide variety of surfaces and substrates, offer manufacturing cost efficiencies for silicon-based, thin-film, and next-generation solar cells.

The national lab’s APP is a sophisticated, multifunctional process line with integrated vacuum processing, materials analysis, and inkjet and spray stations housed within atmospherically controlled chambers. Its purpose is to facilitate NREL research into the materials and processes required to reduce the manufacturing costs of solar-cell technology.

“Inkjet printing is an attractive, viable alternative to many existing deposition approaches and has the potential to produce high-quality solar cells at reduced cost,” said NREL scientist Maikel van Hest. “After a global competition, we selected iTi Solar’s inkjet and sprayer systems.”

Ross Mills, chairman/founder/CTO of parent company iTi Corp. said that he believes “inkjet technologies combined with flexible, thin-film substrates hold the greatest promise for significantly reducing solar cell manufacturing costs and accelerating the use of solar energy. Substantial inkjet knowledge and expertise is crucial to successfully incorporate inkjet processes into production lines.

“With extensive experience and patented inkjet technologies, iTi is leveraging its proven leadership in mastering the intricacies of inkjet to deliver reliable, cost-effective manufacturing solutions to the solar industry.”

19 August 2021
The utility-scale PV market is poised for exponential growth and yet the industry still has many fundamental opportunities to improve on standards and best practice. Tracker shade loss has been one of those topics that deserve more attention, but has been typically handled by derate factors rather than trying to accurately forecast the loss over the life of the system. Join Nextracker’s subject matter experts, Aron Dobos and Neelesh Umachandran, and Rounak Kharait, director of solar energy assessments at DNV, for a webinar about why shade modeling matters and recommendations on what the solar industry should do about it.
25 August 2021
Energy Next is a new industry exhibition focusing on the latest renewable energy and energy efficiency technology, which will be held for the first time in 2021 in Sydney, Australia alongside the Clean Energy Council’s Australian Clean Energy Summit, the peak gathering of leaders driving Australia's energy transformation. Organised by the same people behind Australia’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, Energy Next will give visitors two days of access to key suppliers in the industry, free-to-attend professional development and industry workshops, and networking opportunities to better understand clean energy issues and solutions and learn about the latest developments in this transformational, dynamic sector.
25 August 2021
The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste takes place in Fortaleza, Brazil. It addresses leading local and international experts on solar power and renewable energy in the region. The Summit’s mission is to provide in-depth education, enable high-quality networking opportunities, expand the use of PV technologies at regional and national level and strengthen the local PV industry. The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste is organized by Intersolar South America - Latin America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry: Solar Promotion International GmbH, Pforzheim, Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI) and Aranda Eventos & Congressos Ltda, São Paulo as co-organizer.
25 August 2021
Join us to hear directly from the CTOs and heads-of-research from the top-20 cell/wafer producers to the PV industry today. The event will focus on predicting the key metrics underpinning the next big shift to n-type with answers to the key questions: When will the transition to n-type happen? Which companies will be first to 10 GW capacity and production? Who will be the key equipment suppliers for the new production lines? Which n-type process flow/architecture will emerge as the front-runner? What will polysilicon purity and wafer thickness levels look like for optimized n-type manufacturing? What will the upstream poly/wafer supply-chain look like in 5 years from now?
26 August 2021
In this webinar, JA Solar will present its product portfolio based on the latest technologies to improve your PV projects, ensuring maximum reliability and performance. During the webinar we will receive insight from JA Solar about its solar technology roadmap and how the manufacturer is providing customers with innovative solutions to suit their needs, while we will also analyse how to determine the best product solution for each solar project.
6 September 2021
The 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition will be held online from 6 - 10 September 2021, allowing PV experts from all around the globe to participate with just one click! The EU PVSEC is the world's leading forum for PV Research and Development and the biggest Conference on PV Solar Energy worldwide. That is why PV experts from all around the globe are keen on gathering together each year to be part of this specialist’s event, to present and discuss the latest developments in Photovoltaics, to network and to conduct business.

Read Next

August 2, 2021
ReneSola Power has formed a partnership with UK-based Emeren to co-develop ground-mounted solar projects in Italy.
August 2, 2021
Legislation that would increase and extend the US’ residential solar investment tax credit has secured the backing of a host of solar companies and non-profits.
August 2, 2021
Spanish oil and gas major Repsol has increased its renewable energy target from 5.2GW to 6GW and its Low Carbon generation objective from 7.5GW to 8.3 GW by 2025 after posting strong financial results for Q2 which saw the company largely return to pre-pandemic levels
August 2, 2021
First Solar has lowered its earnings and module shipment guidance for 2021 as the company continues to anticipate elevated shipping costs for the remainder of the year.
August 2, 2021
The amount of solar installed in the US in 2020 was 4000% higher than was installed in 2010, with 8,894MW of utility-scale solar projects being added, as corporate demand becomes almost on par with utilities
PV Tech Premium
August 2, 2021
In today’s installment of PV Tech’s ‘European solar under the spotlight’ feature, we assess the potential and key drivers behind Europe’s leading markets in Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
BRISTOL, UK