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International Heat Transfer Conference 13

ISSN: 2377-424X (online)
ISSN: 2377-4371 (flashdrive)

PREDICTION OF EVOLUTION OF TEMPERATURE UNIFORMTITY ACROSS SUBSTRATES DURING THE DEPOSITION PROCESS FOR MANUFACTURING LARGE AREA CdTe PHOTOVOLTAIC PANELS

DOI: 10.1615/IHTC13.p13.90
13 pages

C. P. Malhotra
International Centre for Science and High Technology, Trieste, Italy; University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA; and Tata Research Development & Design Centre, Pune, India

R. L. Mahajan
University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA

W. S. Sampath
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA

K. L. Barth
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA

R. A. Enzenroth
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA

Abstract

The deposition process for manufacturing large area thin-film CdTe photovoltaic panels requires stringent control on thickness variation of deposited films across the glass substrates. The evaporation-condensation processes, being thermally activated, thus require tight control of the temperature uniformity across the substrates as they traverse multiple deposition stations. Currently, there are no models available which relate the design and operational parameters of the processing stations to the temperature distribution within the substrate. This work aims at developing such a model with the aim of providing a means of actively designing the stations for maximizing temperature uniformity within the substrates. The model consists of coupled 3-D transient radiation-conduction models for individual stations developed in the finite-element software ABAQUS. Initially, steady state design of individual stations was carried out to determine the source heating and shielding requirements. Then, soft PID loops were designed in MATLAB to effect control of source temperatures as multiple substrates index through them. These loops and an indexing algorithm were implemented in the ABAQUS user subroutines and the movement of substrates was simulated in the models till each station reached a pseudo-steady state. The evolution of temperature uniformity within the traversing substrate indicates that large temperature non-uniformities can exist, especially in initial stations which can have an adverse effect on the stability of the solar panels produced.

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Measurement of fluid temperature with an arrangement of three thermocouples