In Reply to: R&D Magazine Vacuum Column posted by Phil Danielson on 02/14/01 at 3:32 PM:
I am interested in laminating an array of solar electric (Photo Voltaic) cells, where I need to evacuate any air between the front glass (LEXAN) and a plastic sheet that will encapsulate these cells within a 'PV' module (assembly).
The completed module(s) will have an approximate dimension of 24" x 24". A possibility exists that a larger dimension module might be constructed: 24" x 48".
Here's the reason for all of this:
Light from the sun through the glass and elevates temperatures within the assembly. The cooling action after the sun goes down causes condensation within the assembly.
The cells in the assembly need to be encapsulated (between UV resistant materials) & the air evacuated from this 'envelope' to prevent the condensation from causing reaching & deteriorating the solar cell materials &/or electrical junctions.
I do not know a whole lot about vacuum, and would like to know the best approach to tackle this situation, e.g. how to construct a fixture to achieve the evacuation/lamination process & locating a source for a very inexpensive hobby-type vacuum device, as this is a very small production requirement.
PS, what publication does your column appear in (where is it available from)?