The development of the so-called TPedge process, used in the production of modules with a thermoplastic (TP) sealing at the edge of the glass, features a major innovation leap in the entire module production.
Thanks to the completely new production technology and a simplified module structure, wafer-based solar modules can now be produced at nearly half of the usual module-manufacturing costs. The solar cells are conventionally linked together and then fixed between two glass panes. Due to the draught and stress-free, flexible bonding of the solar cells in glass composites, the new production method is best suited for the even thinner solar cells. The films and the corresponding lamination can therefore be completely eliminated.
The edge sealing of the TPedge module is done by the application of a thermoplastic material (TPS®) at 130 °C so an additional aluminium frame is not necessary. The finished module is completely resistant to environmental influences such as rain, snow or wind loads, and extremely resistant to UV radiation. As the structure is simplified, the modules can be recycled much more easily at the end of their product life than the conventionally produced modules: in order that the materials can be disposed of separately the films are easily separated again.
Innovative manufacturing principle that comes from I.G. technology The TPedge module production ranges can be designed with various expansion stages. In the serial production line, it is possible to manufacture a module in under a minute – compared to the usual standard procedure of 16 minutes. The new production principle is aligned to the seal technology used in the insulating glass production technology. In the development and construction of machinery and equipment of this type, Bystronic glass group has at their disposal more than 40 years experience with more than 20 million insulating glass units having been produced on their machines. In 2008, the group then carried over edge sealing with TPS® for the first time into solar technology – the machine technology used for the production of thin film solar modules.