Control Logix Rack

 

Areas of Expertise

Our engineers and programmers specialize in advanced PLC applications, particularly in the areas of high-speed or complex control.

The majority of our designs are based around the Allen Bradley or Siemens family of products, but we also work with Mitsubishi, Modicon, Toshiba, ABB and others.

CIGS Solar Cells

CuInGaSe2 (CIGS) polycrystalline thin film photo-voltaic cells are a realistic option for reaching the goal of low-cost, high efficiency power conversion from renewable energy sources.

Compared to silicon solar cells which use a wafer of silicon (Si), CIGS thin films are just microns thick and can be manufactured on flexible lightweight material.

The benefit to using a CIGS process is that it has the potential to dramatically reduce the cost of manufacturing.

CIGS has demonstrated one of the highest laboratory efficiencies of 19.5% for all photovoltaic thin-film processes.

Learn more about CIGS technology

 

Controls for the
fabrication of thin-film
solar panels

CTI Embraces Green Solar Technology

CIGS Control PanelControl Technology is working with Ascent Solar to produce solar cell power on thin flexible plastic. The process being used is called CIGS (copper-indium-gallium-diselenide) thin-film technology. CTI designed the control system for the first CIGS production line in 2006. The process was proven and CTI is now doing the CIGS controls for Ascent Solar’s 125,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in Thornton, Colorado.

CTI’s PLC based system controls the deposition of copper, indium, gallium and diselenide onto a high-temperature plastic substrate. The insulating features of the plastics make it possible to connect individual cells into modules during the process. These advances in CIGS processing significantly reduce the weight, cost, and complexity of photovoltaic products.

The process is very demanding but with the control schemes developed by Control Technology, it has been quite successful. The CIGS process needs to operate under very tight parameters. Extensive data logging is required to monitor the process. Data is utilized to insure product quality and provide a basis for product improvement. Project challenges included coordinating different communication protocols among various devices. Since they didn’t all speak the same language, CTI’s control system became the protocol translator. The system required the use of components that spoke over DeviceNet, Modbus, Ethernet, and RS485.

CIGS Cross Section

Our approach on designing a modular and expandable control system has proven to be beneficial when new concepts were tried or processes changed. We were able to make quick modifications to the system and keep down time to a minimum.

Control Technology’s CIGS control system also interfaces to a roll coater machine manufactured by Hirano Tecseed Co. Ltd. out of Japan. Our international experience has helped in being able to work with Hirano. There have been on site plant visits in Osaka, Japan to coordinate design efforts with their engineering staff. The end result was a fully integrated solution that tied together Ascent Solar’s technology and Hirano’s equipment with CTI’s controls.