What Are Laminators And Bussing Machines Used For In Solar Manufacturing?
As the demand for solar modules and panels grows, so too does the need for efficient and effective manufacturing methods.
In our series on solar machines, we look at the different types of machines used to produce solar modules. In part two, we looked at stringers and layups. In this article, we look specifically at a solar laminator and bussing machine. What are these used for in solar machines? Keep reading to find out.
What Is Solar Module?
A solar module is an assembly of photovoltaic cells connected together. Photovoltaic cells are typically small, thin, and easy to assemble, making them ideal for a variety of applications, from powering small circuits to entire buildings.
But how are solar cells connected together in a solar module? This is where bussing solar machines come in.
What Does A Bussing Machine Do?
A bussing machine is used to connect the cells of the module, creating a continuous electric current by connecting the positive and negative terminals of each cell.
The bussing machine is equipped with a series of rollers that hold the module in place, while a series of sensors detect the position of the cells and the distance between them. The rollers then move the module into position and a series of welding arms weld the cells together, creating a connection between the positive and negative terminals.
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This panel production process is automated which makes it easier to assemble large numbers of modules in a short amount of time.
Manual solar panel bussing
What Is A Laminator?
Laminators are used across a variety of industries, including solar panel production. This machine is used to sandwich the photovoltaic cells between two layers of glass, which protects them from the elements while allowing light to pass through.
The laminator is designed to evenly apply pressure and heat to the materials while they are sandwiched together, creating a strong bond that securely holds the cell in place. The pressure and heat can be adjusted depending on the materials used, ensuring the lamination process is done correctly.
After the cell is sandwiched between the two glass layers, the laminator then applies a thin layer of EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) over the entire piece. This EVA layer helps to provide insulation against water and UV rays.
Lamination helps to protect the cells in the module from moisture and other elements. This is essential for ensuring that the PV module is able to perform reliably and efficiently over its lifetime.
The Process Of Laminating Solar Modules
The lamination process for solar panels involves bonding together the different layers of solar cells and other components to form a single, unified module. This process is typically done in three steps:
- Pre-treatment: The materials to be laminated are first pre-treated in order to ensure that the adhesive will be able to bond them together effectively.
- Laminating: The materials are then placed onto the laminator, which applies pressure and heat in order to activate the adhesive and create a strong bond between the layers.
- Finishing: The laminated module is then finished with a protective coating, such as a UV-resistant coating, in order to help protect it from environmental damage.
Laminator in action
Types Of Laminators
There are a variety of laminators that can be used in solar panel manufacturing factory, and they each come with certain advantages and disadvantages.
Hot laminators use high temperatures to activate the adhesive, creating a strong bond between the layers. Hot laminators are typically used for laminating thicker materials such as solar cells.
Cold laminators use lower temperatures to activate the adhesive, creating a slightly weaker bond. Cold laminators are typically used for laminating thinner materials, such as cloth or paper.
Pressure Sensitive Laminators
Pressure-sensitive laminators use pressure instead of heat to activate the adhesive. This type of laminator is often used for laminating delicate materials, such as thin films.
Common Problems In The Lamination Of Solar Modules
Despite the importance of lamination, there are a number of common problems that can arise during the process. These include:
- Delamination: Delamination is the separation of the layers of a laminated module. This can occur due to improper lamination techniques or the use of low-quality laminates.
- Warping: Warping is the distortion of the module due to uneven pressure or temperature during the lamination process.
- Bubbling: Bubbling is the formation of air pockets between the layers of a laminated module. This can occur due to improper lamination techniques or the use of low-quality laminates.
Typically, these are symptoms of a faulty solar machines and do not occur that frequently. We hope you found this guide on laminators and bussing machines informative. Make sure to check out the other articles in the series where we look at each of the machines used to produce a solar module.