Advantages amidst tough competition can be achieved by improved technologies, increased productivity and outstanding product advantages. The glass-glass modules, which at present are still standing in shadow in terms of produced quantities compared to their alternative, a “glass-foil module”, are perfectly in line with this. One reason is the higher production costs, against which Bürkle has now taken up the fight on the machine side by means of the e.a.sy-Lam VFF.
The Single-Opening Lamination Line e.a.sy-Lam VFF is designed for a wide range of products, combined with high throughput and great flexibility. Both glass-glass and glass-foil modules can be laminated. Glass-glass modules offer excellent opportunities for added value as well as significant development prospects, and wide usage options due to their great range of variants. They are superior to modules with backsheets due to their structure, in particular with respect to stable value.
The Bürkle Lamination Line e.a.sy-Lam VFF processes various encapsulation foils and glass thicknesses. It can also laminate glasses with a thickness of only 1 mm. The lamination process is combined and is made in two stages: first, in a vacuum lamination step using a membrane (pre-lamination, evacuation and sealing of a module) and subsequently in a heated flat press for final lamination. These two lamination steps, which are consecutively arranged, are followed by a (optional) cooling step.
Unique selling points of this Bürkle technology are the homogenous cross-linking in the end product, minimised material stress and radically reduced possible warping of the modules. An additional advantage is that no overpressing or pinching occurs of the module edges. That way, the solar modules show an absolutely uniform module thickness with only minimal tolerances. This quality advantage contributes to an increased life time of the modules.
Due to division of the lamination process in two steps, the cycle time is reduced, the production capacity – on only small footprint – is maximised, and it is possible to work with different process temperatures. Cycle times of less than 12 minutes with glass thicknesses of 2 x 3.2 mm are achieved. As all processes take place automatically, no manual handling is necessary. This is a clearly visible difference to the autoclave process, moreover, heating and cooling down of the machine necessary there have been eliminated since the e.a.sy-Lam VFF works with constant heating platen temperatures.
The two-step lamination process is followed by a cooling phase, during which the finished solar module is relieved from tension under pressure between two cooling platens and evenly cooled down. At present, the Lamination Line e.a.sy-Lam VFF is available in two versions with different capacities. While the e.a.sy-Lam VFF 2135 has an useful area of 2.100 x 3.500 mm, the e.a.sy-Lam VFF 2141 has an useful working surface of 2.100 x 4.100 mm. Glass-glass modules with the standard formats of approx. 1.000 x 1.700 mm and approx. 1.000 x 2.000 mm as well as special module formats up to the maximum available useful surface of the laminator can be laminated.
The split lamination process for the production of glass-glass modules is already used worldwide with Bürkle’s Multi-Opening Lamination Line Ypsator® at over 35 lines and has proved itself to be very successful. The gained experience is now completely implemented in the lamination step for production of glass-glass modules with crystalline silicone cells. Process support at the customer’s sites as well as 24-hour service support complete the machine concept. Bürkle is pleased to invite interested customers to carry out tests in its Innovation Center in Freudenstadt.