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Printed Electronics World
Posted on November 27, 2009 by  & 
External Company Press Release

Pressurex® sensor film and solar module manufacturing

Pressure indicating sensor film provides a unique, simple and cost-effective method for process control and monitoring of solar module production equipment

Sensor Products Inc. introduces Pressurex®, a pressure indicating film that reveals pressure magnitude and distribution between any contacting or mating surfaces.
 
In the Photovoltaics Industry, the need to reduce peripheral cracks on solar cells has received much attention. Thin film modules of CDTE or CIGS on glass or flexible substrates are particularly susceptible to moisture ingress and require stringent quality control checks. Pressurex® provides a low cost solution for quality control checks during equipment setup, calibration, as well as re-qualification of a solar module production line. Negative occurrences such as cracked substrates, squeeze out of materials from the module, and unwanted encapsulant thickness can be reduced, if not eliminated, by measuring and optimizing the quantity of applied pressure.
 
Pressurex® uniquely provides a quick and low-cost solution for measuring applied pressure magnitude and distribution. When placed at the interface of two contacting surfaces that are compressed together (as in a lamination or heat press for example), Pressurex® measures pressure from 2 - 43,000 PSI (0.14 - 3,000 kg/cm²).
 
 
Pressurex® assures proper pressure magnitude to cause polymerization and securely bond multiple layers together during EVA and PVB lamination. To ensure pressure is evenly distributed over the entire module during the press cycle, Pressurex® is placed into the assembled module layup stack and the force from the press is applied. The film captures this applied force permanently and irreversibly by virtue of its changing color. The intensity of the color change is proportional to the amount of pressure applied. Precise determination of pressure magnitude and distribution can be obtained by comparing the resultant sensor film's color to a color calibration reference chart. A "pressure map" control sample can then be created and used for process control.
 
During the frame press stage, Pressurex® helps verify adequate frame-to-module placement and edge sealing. During the solar cell metallization stage, Pressurex® is used to check uniformity of applied pressure of the heat press that applies wire grid and bus bar components to the top conductive layer of the solar cell. Pressurex® provides a quick quantitative indication of pressure uniformity. In the above press operations, there is no other way to measure actual results as cylinder pressure gauges are not indicative of applied pressure distribution. Due to the relatively high temperature of the heat-press in the metallization process (>200°C), Pressurex® is covered by a layer of TemprX® film to shield it from the heat. The film stack is placed on top of solar cell and when the press is engaged it forms a pressure imprint. Alternatively, the pressure imprint can be taken with the heat turned off and without TemprX®.
 
 
To request a sample of pressure-indicating film in a range appropriate for your application and equipment, contact Sensor Products Inc. at 973.884.1755 (USA), email info@sensorprod.com or visit www.sensorprod.com/sample.

Printed Electronics USA 09

Sensor Products Inc. will be at Booth 6 of the Printed Electronics USA 09 showcasing its tactile pressure indicating sensor solutions. Pressurex® sensor films and related optical imaging systems will be discussed as well as the Tactilus® electronic pressure measurement system.
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