Cast film die maker Extrusion Dies Industries LLC (EDI) is working to help develop products that will enable solar-generated electricity to be cost-competitive with energy from fossil fuel-burning power plants. The company already is involved in projects for manufacture of rigid solar panels but now also has begun a program to assist designers and manufacturers in developing flexible, multilayer photovoltaic systems that can be produced as continuous webs in reel-to-reel processes, and can be shipped on reels for installation on rooftops by contractors.
In rigid solar panels, the energy of incoming photons is converted to electricity in cells containing two thin layers of crystalline silicon. But using slot die coating or possibly other web-converting processes, roll-to-roll production of flexible film solar products could be possible, replacing the rigid panel’s crystalline silicon with an amorphous silicon supplied in high-solids slurries. For slot die coating, EDI supplies a number of different systems.