“Solar businesses stand to greatly benefit” as the new Inflation Reduction Act promises to create major new opportunities for solar panel manufacturers.

We are already seeing this happen.

The New York Times highlights a recent announcement by First Solar, which is investing up to $1.2 billion to build a fourth factory in the US and expanding its three existing factories. This is “to help meet growing demand for the company’s panels, which use a thin film rather than the crystalline silicon used in most panels.”

In addition to the manufacturing benefits, First Solar states its efforts, which are supported in part by the new law, will aid the country’s “transition to a decarbonized future and enable the fight against climate change.”

Expanding domestic manufacturing of solar panels is a central goal of the new law. It authorizes an additional $100 billion towards existing loan programs, with a focus on production, and adds another $250 billion in new loan guarantees and tax credits. This covers solar panel manufacturing, electric vehicle products and other renewable energy products.

Looking to grow your solar panel manufacturing output? Bring down costs? k-Space offers custom solar metrology solutions for solar panel inspection. And we have the proven capability to measure various parameters on frame components, bare glass, coated glass, and fully assembled panels, as well as edge profile inspection.

Here are some of the custom capabilities we offer solar panel manufacturers: 

  • Detect oil contamination and other cosmetic defects using line scan cameras with UV and white light sources.
  • Detect chips, cracks, contaminants, and panel dimensions using line scan cameras with white light illumination.
  • Examine edge contour, defects, and dimensions through edge profile inspection using laser-based optical triangulation measurement.

Our PV metrology solutions for measuring edge sealant, edge profile, panel thickness, and panel warp were featured in a laser-based PV metrology poster presented at the 2018 NREL PV Reliability Workshop. 

The money for new solar panel manufacturing efforts will be disbursed by the Energy Department.

Thin Film and Industrial Metrology Systems

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