Masters Thesis

Design and Implementation of an Autonomous Solar Cell Manufacturing System

Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) have gained in popularity due to their possibility of one day replacing, the more common, silicon-based cells. Overall, dye-sensitized solar cells are cheaper to produce and can even achieve higher levels of efficiency than that of their predecessor. Although research into this specific form of renewable energy is relatively new, there are various ways to make DSSCs. One common type of cell, that is primarily found in research labs, is the glass-based DSSC. Currently the manufacturing of this type of cell is done almost exclusively by hand. in this work, a prototype of an autonomous DSSC manufacturing system is presented. with the utilization of a robotic arm, a motor driven conveyor belt, automated chemical dispensers, and an improvised hot plate, almost all human interaction with the manufacturing process is removed. Alongside these automated features lies an IoT network that is utilized to display sensor readings onto a webpage. Due to the modularity of this network, multiple sensors could be utilized for monitoring purposes although no controlling aspect is put in place at the moment. the cells that have been created by the system are compared to a handmade cell to ensure that the quality of the DSSC that is produced is up to par with what is typically used.

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