PV Factory Tutorials

UNSW developed the Virtual Production Line as part of its undergraduate photovoltaics program in the early 2000s as detailed in this publication by Stuart Wenham and Anna Bruce. The virtual production line is based on the modelling of the performance of millions of screen printed solar cells and detailed the full manufacturing process of a screen printed aluminium back surface field solar cell. In 2014, Alison Lennon in collaboration with PV Lighthouse transferred the Virtual Production Line to the Cloud and it was rebranded as the PV Factory. PV Factory was used by various universities in the word to teach students how to make and analyse solar cells. Unfortunately, due to the high running costs, the PV Factory had to be taken down. Fortunately, we decided to publish the source code of the Virtual Production Line on Github so that this excellent work is still available to be used.

It can be found here UNSW-SPREE/vpl: Simulated production line for screen printed solar cells (github.com)

This section provided the tutorials for PV Factory which were developed at UNSW as part of the Photovoltaic Technology and Manufacturing course and can still be used in the VPL software. Lecturers are free to use these resources for their courses can contact Prof Bram Hoex and PV Lighthouse in case they need more information. 

  1. Introduction to PV Factory & basic statistics
  2. Saw damage removal
  3. Alkaline texturing
  4. Acidic texturing
  5. Phosphorus diffusion
  6. Edge junction isolation by plasma etching
  7. Silicon nitride antireflection coating
  8. Silver screen printing
  9. Co-firing