Abstract

We have developed a process diagnostics system for photovoltaic energy modules based on standard methods and practices already developed for LSI and MEMS technologies. This paper provides a description of methods used to ensure the conformation of solar cell modules to the rigors of high-quality manufacturing necessary for reliable photovoltaic energy production when exposed to long-term environmental use. We have verified the possibility of inspecting each solar cell and the module assembly in detail for several photovoltaic technologies, specifically monocrystalline Si, polycrystalline Si, and CuInxGa1-xSe2 An objective set of criteria for the quality of each module can be provided by this method for use in module selection by consumers. Moreover, the quality of conformance and reliability data can be used as feedback to the manufacturer to minimize the number of defects created during manufacturing process and ameliorate their effects.

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