A joint collaboration by Schmid Group and Maschinenfabrik Lauffer has led to the launch of a new fast cycle-time two-level stacking laminator. The new module laminator employs membrane-free technology patented by Schmid, while drawing on the knowledge and experience in press and lamination technology by Lauffer. The latest laminator, designed for a 60MW system, has been delivered to an Italian client. The next large-scale project is a four-level laminator designed for a 120MW module line, which will be installed next fall at another customers manufacturing facility in Canada.
Lengthy process cycle-times have often been seen as a longstanding issue for module lamination steps, while optimizing the process for consistently high-high yields to minimize defects that ultimately can impact the lifetime of the module in the field.
The multi-level design of these new laminators allows temperature to be steadily introduced to glass-glass and glass-film solar modules from both sides with a +/- 1°C temperature homogeneity never before achieved by similar systems. This significantly shortens the process times in comparison to standard membrane laminators; as a result, process times of less than seven and a half minutes have become the new standard in glass-film module production with immediate effect. The new lamination process also opens up further potential for the significant reduction of process times using suitable, innovative film types. Lauffer is the exclusive supplier of the custom-designed laminator systems. Membrane-less lamination of modules allows savings in operating and maintenance costs of several thousand euros a year. It also saves the time-consuming process of changing the membrane, which in turn significantly increases the uptime of the system.
Module lamination of glass-glass and glass-film.
The new laminator adds to Schmid’s module assembly equipment offerings and turnkey range of complete semi and fully automated lines. The first system available is a two-level laminator using membrane-free technology patented by Schmid.
July 2011 onwards.