One year of the PILATUS project has passed and we have reached a milestone in the work package for the module pilot line. After twelve months of intensive construction work, in October 2023 the commissioning of the first SHJ-tunnel-IBC module pilot line with entirely new designed equipment for IBC-SWCT technology as well as a new layup assembly and automated soldering unit took place. The ramp-up phase will be conducted using IBC cells from Neuch`s cell development department in half M-6 later to be shifted on half-M10.
The first produced modules with 120 half cells in a conventional butterfly layout will be severely tested in the indoor and outdoor facilities of the project partners. Within the 2nd project year the conversion to half-M10 format will take place with new module designs for residential and BIPV installations. Beside the work on the module pilot line, the development of a tailored bill of material for IBC is progressing. Amongst others, newly developed encapsulant layers are in the testing and improvement cycle. After the optimisation phase these materials will be implemented into the pilot production and undergo further long term reliability testing to prepare for product pre-certification.