Glass needs for a growing photovoltaics industry

Glass needs for a growing photovoltaics industry 1 Introduction/background</h5> For any solar technology to succeed, it must scale up in a manner that is the least expensive without compromising quality. Not only must the solar-cell manufacturers scale up their own manufacturing processes, they must also ensure that their suppliers will be able to meet their demand. The 2005–2008 shortage of silicon needed to manufacture crystalline silicon solar cells is an excellent example of the problems that can occur when a supplier lags behind the development of an industry [1,2] . Although this was a temporary issue it raised the prices for these technologies, and provided a window of opportunity for thin-film applications to capture a bigger market share.</P>Most photovoltaic modules use glass. Crystalline-silicon technologies use glass cover plates to provide structural strength to the module and to encapsulate the cells. Thin-film solar technologies also often use glass as the substrate (or superstrate) on which the device is built [3] . In fact, for the majority of solar modules in production, glass is the single largest component by mass and in double glass thin-film PV, and it comprises 97% of the module׳s weight. Glass offers strength, rigidity, environmental stability, and high transmission, all inexpensively.</P>The modern flat-glass Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells Elsevier

Glass needs for a growing photovoltaics industry

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