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Explosive growth in photovoltaic markets has fueled new creative approaches that promise to cut costs and improve reliability of system components. However, market demands require rapid development of these new and innovative technologies in order to compete with more established products and capture market share. Oftentimes diagnostics that assist in R&D do not exist or have not been applied due to the innovative nature of the proposed products. Some diagnostics such as IR imaging, electroluminescence, light IV, dark IV, x-rays, and ultrasound have been employed in the past and continue to serve in development of new products, however, innovative products with new materials, unique geometries, and previously unused manufacturing processes require additional or improved test capabilities. This fast-track product development cycle requires diagnostic capabilities to provide the information that confirms the integrity of manufacturing techniques and provides the feedback that can spawn confidence in process control, reliability and performance. This paper explores the use of digital radiography and computed tomography (CT) with other diagnostics to support photovoltaic R&D and manufacturing applications.
Date of Conference: 7-12 June 2009