March 19, 2024

How Do Solar Stringer Machines Work: A Comprehensive Explanation of How It Operates

Solar energy is a type of renewable energy that is produced by solar PV modules. The demand for electric energy is ever-increasing, and solar power has literally become the solution to meet the energy requirement globally. For manufacturing of PV modules, a special machine known as a solar stringer machine is used. It has become one of the revolutionary machinery in the production of PV modules. A stringer machine simplifies the manufacturing processes, reduces labor costs, minimizes wastage, and increases the manufacturing capacity to handle the rapidly growing demand for panels globally. This machine fosters their importance in shaping the landscape of renewable energy.


In this article, we'll dive into the working and operations of solar stringer machines, uncovering the various parts of solar stringers which involved in the working of stringers. Apart from that, their significance in the production process of solar panels and their impact on renewable energy generation are also elaborated in detail. 

Solar Stringer Machines


The stringer machine is a crucial machine in the solar panel production because it combines multiple solar cells into a single PV panel. Often, the performance and reliability of the solar panel are gauged by the accuracy and efficiency of the solar manufacturing process along with using of efficient silicon material in manufacturing process.

The stringer machine screen allows manual adjustments to cell size, gap and welding output. The cells are carefully inserted into the cell slot, using gloves to avoid breakage. After adjusting and placing the cells, the vacuum arms align them on the belt.

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The Flux is a type of liquid which is used to bind ribbons to connect cells. However, problems may arise such as broken cells or band shifts. Before the stringers pass the next machine, careful inspection is performed. If no problems are found, they are picked up and transported to the small solar panel production line. 

Operation of Solar Stringer Machines


The stringer connects solar cells together to form a solar PV module. The working principle of a solar stringers involves several steps such as:

  • Cell Loading
  • Fluxing
  • String Formation
  • Soldering
  • Vision Inspection
  • String Laydown
  • Interconnection 

Cell Loading

The first stage of solar stringer machines is called “cell loading”. This process is essential because it has a direct impact on the efficiency and quality of the final product and lays the foundation for the entire production process.

The solar cells are placed on the assembly line to be assembled into solar panels. The selection of PV module cells involves a careful consideration of the perfect cell based on the particular specifications of the solar panel that is being manufactured.

After alignment, the solar cells are placed on the platform or conveyor belt either manually or using robotic devices. In very general terms, quality control procedures ensure approval for the assembly of only those cells that possess a specified quality.

Any problems are consistently monitored to ensure the timely detection of faults, thereby ensuring the smooth operation of the production of PV modules and consistent quality throughout the production process. 

Fluxing

Fluxing plays a critical role in the manufacturing process. Before soldering, flux is applied to the solar cell strings which is basically a chemical cleaning agent. It removes any oxides, impurities, or residues from the solar cells' surface and ensures adhesion and electrical conductivity throughout the soldering process.

Furthermore, fluxing contributes to the general dependability and efficiency of the solar panel by preventing the development of flaws like voids or weak solder junctions.  The area of solar modules must be fluxed to exclude contamination and achieve good solder-to-basis adhesion.

The barrier thus protects the metal surface from oxidation since there is no way that it's allowed to disrupt the stable connection with solder.

String Formation

The individual solar cells are connected with each other to form a string. The combination of strings is performed to manufacture a photovoltaic module. Several processes are involved in string formation including choosing and aligning solar cells, setting up and configuring solar cells, connecting them for the flow of electric current, and going through extensive quality control and testing processes as well.

Strings are connected in series and can be put in parallel or a combination of both orientations for optimal manufacturing of PV modules. To reduce electric losses and provide uniform current flow, the cells are linked electrically with each other. Strings are extensively tested after construction to evaluate structural integrity and electrical performance.


Soldering

Solar stringer machines involve soldering, a technique that provides the electrical connections between individual solar cells, which are then used to make the solar panel strings. The positive and negative terminals of each solar cell are bonded safely via very thin metal ribbons and these are basically made from copper or silver. Copper and silver are the best conductor and electrical current flows easily from these metals.

In the assembly of all PV modules, the soldering process has two steps. The primary step consists of assembling the photovoltaic cells in a series which is called stringing and the secondary step is PV module assembly, called bussing.

Following are the types of stringer machines based on the heating method.

1. Soldering Iron: The solder preform (paste or ribbon) that is heated by the soldering iron with a controlled tip temperature touches the cell contacts. The solder melts by the heat, which leads to a good electrical connection of cells.

2. Laser Soldering: A laser beam exactly tends to melt the preform on the cell contacts, leading to higher processing speeds and most likely less heat damage to the cells against soldering irons.

3. Infrared Soldering: The soldering by infrared method implies the temperature of both sides of cells to be heated evenly. A high-speed soldering controller runs the IR soldering station.

The soldering temperature is measured with an external high-temperature sensor. The solder cycle is guaranteed via the use of a preheated solder base. The service life of an infrared lamp is about 3000 hours. In normal use, it could last for 3-5 months.

String Laydown

In the process of building solar modules, a critical step known as "string laydown" involves precisely positioning and bonding individual strings of solar cells onto the substrate or back sheet. This procedure is essential since it establishes the strings' spatial layout, which has an immediate effect on the solar panel's overall performance and dependability.

To provide optimal string adhesion, careful consideration is paid to elements such as substrate surface cleanliness and size during string laydown. Solar stringer machines use sophisticated mechanisms to precisely place and align the strings in order to maximize surface usage and optimize electrical characteristics.

Furthermore, meticulous quality control procedures are applied at every phase of the string laydown procedure to guarantee the accuracy and dependability of the manufactured strings.


Interconnection

Solar panel assembly is one of the interconnection techniques of individual solar cell strings electrically in a photovoltaic module. The process is embedded to ease the flow of electricity from solar cells in making electrical power for use in different activities.

Strings of these cells are thereafter connected in series to increase voltage and laid over a section coated with solder on the panel to form a resultant long circuit. Bus bars are thereafter soldered or welded onto the terminals of these strings of cells; hence they are in direct connection with the resultant electrical current directing it towards the output terminals of the solar panel.

The interconnection process could either be in series or in parallel depending on the design of the panel. To minimize these losses of power and block the reverse flow of current, diodes are used in the strings.

Advantages of Solar Stringer Machines


The main advantages of the solar stringer machine are discussed below:

Precision 

The solar stringer machines are carried with a high level of precision to assemble a solar panel. It is implemented with elegant and advanced automation and control systems, which align and position the solar cells in an exact position before welding takes place. With a high level of precision, an efficient solar PV module is ensured.

Efficiency

By optimizing the assembly of solar panels with the help of solar stringer machines, the efficiency of production is ensured. When compared to manual methods, solar stringers greatly increase production speed and efficiency by automating the electrical connection of solar cells. Higher production volumes and lower labor costs result from this. The machinery allows the volume of production of the solar panel to grow at a lower cost and with the use of resources through increased efficiency.

Flexibility

Flexibility in the context of solar panel manufacturing refers to the capacity of the production process or equipment to adapt to varying requirements, changes in technology, or customization needs. The solar stringer machines are also flexible to couple with different fluxes or different welding processes and operations.

Consistent Quality

 Stringers use exact parameter control and quality control procedures to guarantee consistent and dependable electrical connections between cells. This lowers the possibility of faults and produces solar panels with predictable performance.

Increased Panel Reliability

The robust and dependable electrical connections made by stringers extend the solar panel's lifespan and overall dependability. Customers will benefit from a longer-lasting product as a result.

Lower Labor Costs

The high degree of automation in contemporary stringers eliminates the need for manual labor, which lowers the labor costs related to the assembly of solar panels. As a result, producers can maximize the efficiency of their production lines.

Faster Processing rates

When compared to conventional soldering irons, laser soldering technology—which is utilized in certain stringers—offers faster processing rates. This has the potential to greatly increase output.

Conclusion


The solar stringer machines, therefore, stand as an important part of the solar module industry, pioneered with precision, productivity, and assured quality required in the production of the high class performance required from the photovoltaic modules. Actually, with the real need for renewable energy sources expanding all over the world, the role that this piece of equipment ascribed to in the development of the solar industry cannot be overemphasized.

Solar power has further revolutionized the phase of solar string that offers precision, efficiency, flexibility, quality control, and affordability in producing solar panels. Such machines help in reducing labor cost and have high energy production by optimally optimizing the electrical properties of solar cells. Their quality control monitoring systems also include high-end quality devices that ensure consistency of quality and reliability in the produce. 


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