Welcome to Alpine Project

ALPINE - Advanced Lasers for Photovoltaic INdustrial processing Enhancement



ALPINE aims to push forward the European research and development of fiber laser systems for the scribing of photovoltaic modules, joining together two exciting challenges: the fiber laser development for advanced industrial processing and the solar energy exploitation.

The project consortium will focus on a new high brilliance and high beam quality laser based on photonic crystal fibers. The novel laser system will be designed to fit the requirements for scribing innovative and flexible thin-film solar cells based on CdTe and CIS or CIGS technologies


Media news. Developing high-efficiency lasers to manufacture solar panels


ALPINE achievements


Preparation of PV modules with laser processing


ALPINE partners have been working on CdTe and CIGS samples processed using the fiber lasers to test efficiency end reliability of the manufactured 10x10 cm2 and 30x30 cm2 modules.


Fiber laser processing of 10x10 cm2 mini-modules at SSE and University of Parma and example of fabricated module.





Scribing tests with fiber laser


LPKF, Multitel, SSE and University of Parma have been performing wide scribing tests on CdTe and CIGS samples and modules using the developed fiber lasers. Best scribing parameter have been investigated obtaining very promising results.





From left to right, examples of P2 and P3 steps for CdTe sample preparation and example of the groove after P3 processing. The groove  is very clean and the film below does not seem damaged. The edges of the groove are very clean and sharp. The HAZ has a negligible effect and in some parts is almost totally absent.



New developements in CdTe and CIGS photovoltaic module technology

Würth Solar GmbH & Co., ZSW, Nexcis, Solar System and Equipment and University of Verona obtained remarkable results in the development and production of CdTe and CIGS modules.
Nexcis production line of 30x60 cm modules is running at full speed. A highly-reproducible baseline with 10% module PV efficiency has been demonstrated, as well as glass/metal portability.


Towards high-efficient flexible PV cells for building integration

University of Verona has developed a low-temperature fabrication process for manufacturing of CdTe/CdS flexible cells, where active region is deposited on polymer substrate, with efficiency up to 8%.
Solar System and Equipment is studying a process for producing flexible CdTe based solar cells on flexible stainless steel substrate. Flexible metallic substrates are considered a cheap and efficient solution for photovoltaic building integration. Preliminary tests on half-micron thick stainless steel based cells have led to efficiencies comparable to those obtained on rigid substrates.



30 µm-core flexible PM single-mode photonic crystal fiber


A 30 µm-core single-mode active polarization maintaining fiber, which can be bent down to 20 cm and provides <1.5 dB splice loss to conventional fibers has been fabricated by NKT Photonics A/S.

The fiber competes directly with conventional multimode fiber, but has better beam quality, irrespective of how it is coiled. NKT Photonics A/S has delivered prototypes of the fiber to Eolite, Multitel and University of Parma for testing in high-power laser system.



First laser prototypes delivered

Multitel, Quanta and University of Parma have delivered prototypes of the first fiber lasers. These laser will provide narrow-linewidth, sub-nanosecond pulsed output, which will be eventually amplified with a 50 µm-core rod-fiber based system developed at Eolite. LPKF have integrated the lasers in their scribing machine and have begun to run scribing tests.

JRC has defined the protocol on the means of verification of the scribing process quality.




The QR Code of the ALPINE web site