The Triple Test

Posted on 10/20/2017 at 12:00 by Seth Hansen

The Triple Test Title Graphic

At PowerFilm, we take great pride in our products, and quality is of the utmost importance.

To ensure quality at a reasonable price, periodic tests are performed throughout the manufacturing process.

Today we focus on the testing procedure of the material built into a foldable product, but this testing process is similar for all products.

Throughout the process, material quality is monitored by measuring the thickness, resistivity, and optical transmission of each of the thin film layers of the solar cell.

Once cell fabrication is complete, a roll of material is tested on a custom-built piece of equipment called a roll-to-roll auto-tester.

For this test, a roll of the finished material is loaded on the machine, and each module in the roll is placed consecutively under a light source at 100% and 25% sun while measurements are performed. This creates a roll performance map of the material.

Watch this video to see the machine and test process in action: 



(President: Dan Stieler, PhD)


Upon completion of the auto-testing, the roll is then designated to be used for a specific product.  Then the material has the buss bar, and laminate is applied to it and is converted from a roll of material into individual panels.

After the material is panelized, it is tested again using another auto-tester. This second auto-tester is designed to pick panelized modules from a stack, test individual modules, and sort them based on performance.

Watch this video to see the machine and test process in action:


​​(President: Dan Stieler, PhD)


Next, the individual modules are built into the final form factor, and one last electrical test is done to confirm the final assembly is functioning properly before shipping to customers.

All the test stations at PowerFilm are built around a proprietary LED light source that is spectrally matched to outdoor light in the range of wavelengths of light that amorphous silicon responds to. This is done using nine different LED colors and adjusting their individual intensities until the overall light spectrum is well-matched to outdoor light.

In addition to the light spectrum matching, the testers are also built to provide a very uniform light intensity at the test surface, as expected in ideal outdoor conditions.   

Watch this video to see the machine and test process in action:


(President: Dan Stieler, PhD)


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Categories: Solar Education