Patents Assigned to Sunpower Corporation
  • Patent number: 10714647
    Abstract: A solar cell includes polysilicon P-type and N-type doped regions on a backside of a substrate, such as a silicon wafer. A trench structure separates the P-type doped region from the N-type doped region. Each of the P-type and N-type doped regions may be formed over a thin dielectric layer. The trench structure may include a textured surface for increased solar radiation collection. Among other advantages, the resulting structure increases efficiency by providing isolation between adjacent P-type and N-type doped regions, thereby preventing recombination in a space charge region where the doped regions would have touched.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2020
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventor: David D. Smith
  • Publication number: 20200212234
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a solar cell has base and emitter diffusion regions formed on the back side. The emitter diffusion region is configured to collect minority charge carriers in the solar cell, while the base diffusion region is configured to collect majority charge carriers. The emitter diffusion region may be a continuous region separating the base diffusion regions. Each of the base diffusion regions may have a reduced area to decrease minority charge carrier recombination losses without substantially increasing series resistance losses due to lateral flow of majority charge carriers. Each of the base diffusion regions may have a dot shape, for example.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 16, 2020
    Publication date: July 2, 2020
    Applicant: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Denis DE CEUSTER, Peter John COUSINS
  • Patent number: 10700222
    Abstract: Approaches for the metallization of solar cells and the resulting solar cells are described. In an example, a method of fabricating a solar cell involves forming a plurality of alternating N-type and P-type regions in or above a substrate. The method also involves forming a metal seed layer on the plurality of alternating N-type and P-type regions. The method also involves patterning at least a portion of the metal seed layer at regions in alignment with locations between the alternating N-type and P-type regions. The method also involves, subsequent to the patterning, etching to form trenches at the locations between the alternating N-type and P-type regions, isolating the alternating N-type and P-type regions from one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2020
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Gabriel Harley, Scott Harrington, David D. Smith
  • Publication number: 20200195193
    Abstract: A high efficiency configuration for a solar cell module comprises solar cells arranged in a shingled manner to form super cells, which may be arranged to efficiently use the area of the solar module, reduce series resistance, and increase module efficiency. Removing a defective solar cell from a super cell may be difficult, however. It may therefore be advantageous to bypass defective solar cells in a super cell rather than remove and replace them. A bypass conductor may be applied to the rear surface of the super cell to bypass one or more defective solar cells in a super cell or in a solar module comprising super cells.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 14, 2020
    Publication date: June 18, 2020
    Applicant: SunPower Corporation
    Inventor: Nathaniel Alexis CASWELL
  • Publication number: 20200189919
    Abstract: A method is provided for recycling sub-micron Si-particles from a Si wafer production process resulting from a diamond fixed abrasive process including slicing and cutting, the method including the steps of: providing a paste of sub-micron Si-particles resulting from the diamond fixed abrasive process; drying and shaping the paste of sub-micron Si-particles into a layer; and applying a zone melting step to the dried and shaped layer of Si-particles on a substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 25, 2018
    Publication date: June 18, 2020
    Applicants: TOTAL SOLAR INTERNATIONAL, SUNPOWER CORPORATION
    Inventor: Christoph SACHS
  • Publication number: 20200185546
    Abstract: Contact holes of solar cells are formed by laser ablation to accommodate various solar cell designs. Use of a laser to form the contact holes is facilitated by replacing films formed on the diffusion regions with a film that has substantially uniform thickness. Contact holes may be formed to deep diffusion regions to increase the laser ablation process margins. The laser configuration may be tailored to form contact holes through dielectric films of varying thicknesses.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 18, 2020
    Publication date: June 11, 2020
    Applicant: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Gabriel HARLEY, David D. SMITH, Tim DENNIS, Ann WALDHAUER, Taeseok KIM, Peter John COUSINS
  • Patent number: 10680548
    Abstract: A solar power system can include a rail and a solar module disposed on the rail. A clamp assembly can couple the solar module to the rail. The clamp assembly can have a clamped configuration in which the solar module is secured to the rail and an unclamped configuration. The clamp assembly can comprise an upper clamp member, a lower clamp member coupled to the rail, and a stabilization member mechanically engaging the upper clamp member and the lower clamp member. The stabilization member can prevent rotation of the lower clamp member relative to the rail when the clamp assembly is in the clamped and unclamped configurations. In the unclamped configuration, the stabilization member can be biased such that the upper clamp member is disposed at a sufficient clearance above the rail to permit the insertion of the solar module between the upper clamp member and the rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2020
    Assignee: SUNPOWER CORPORATION
    Inventors: Ryan Braunstein, Zachary Kinyon, Guillaume Carre, David Matrat
  • Patent number: 10681829
    Abstract: An electrical assembly may include an enclosure having a base portion to attach the enclosure to a panel and a heat dissipating portion opposite the base portion, a circuit board having a first thermal interface on a first side of the board, a second thermal interface on a second side of the board, and a thermally conductive portion to provide enhanced thermal conduction between the first thermal interface and the second thermal interface, a power electronic device having a thermal interface coupled to the first thermal interface of the circuit board, a heat spreader arranged to transfer heat to the heat dissipating portion of the enclosure, and a thermally conductive pad coupled between the second thermal interface of the circuit board and the heat spreader.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2020
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: James Dorenkamp, Henry F. Pruett, Ravindranath Naiknaware
  • Patent number: 10673379
    Abstract: A high efficiency configuration for a solar cell module comprises solar cells arranged in a shingled manner to form super cells, which may be arranged to efficiently use the area of the solar module, reduce series resistance, and increase module efficiency. Removing a defective solar cell from a super cell may be difficult, however. It may therefore be advantageous to bypass defective solar cells in a super cell rather than remove and replace them. A bypass conductor may be applied to the rear surface of the super cell to bypass one or more defective solar cells in a super cell or in a solar module comprising super cells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2020
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventor: Nathaniel Alexis Caswell
  • Patent number: 10672924
    Abstract: Laser foil trim approaches for foil-based metallization of solar cells, and the resulting solar cells, are described. For example, a method of fabricating a solar cell includes attaching a metal foil sheet to a surface of a wafer to provide a unified pairing of the metal foil sheet and the wafer, wherein the wafer has a perimeter and the metal foil sheet has a portion overhanging the perimeter. The method also includes laser scribing the metal foil sheet along the perimeter of the wafer using a laser beam that overlaps the metal foil sheet outside of the perimeter of the wafer and at the same time overlaps a portion of the unified pairing of the metal foil sheet and the wafer inside the perimeter of the wafer to remove the portion of the metal foil sheet overhanging the perimeter and to provide a metal foil piece coupled to the surface of the wafer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2020
    Assignees: SunPower Corporation, Total Marketing Services
    Inventors: Robert Woehl, Richard Hamilton Sewell, Mohamed A. Elbandrawy, Taeseok Kim, Thomas P. Pass, Benjamin Ian Hsia, David Fredric Joel Kavulak, Nils-Peter Harder
  • Publication number: 20200167706
    Abstract: Embodiments may include systems and methods to create and edit a representation of a worksite, to create various data objects, to classify such objects as various types of predefined “features” with attendant properties and layout constraints. As part of or in addition to classification, an embodiment may include systems and methods to create, associate, and edit intrinsic and extrinsic properties to these objects. A design engine may apply of design rules to the features described above to generate one or more solar collectors installation design alternatives, including generation of on-screen and/or paper representations of the physical layout or arrangement of the one or more design alternatives. Some embodiments may provide viewing, creating, and manipulating of multiple versions of a solar collector layout design for a particular installation worksite.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 29, 2020
    Publication date: May 28, 2020
    Applicant: SUNPOWER CORPORATION
    Inventors: Gary Wayne, Alexander Frumkin, Michael Zaydman, Scott Lehman, Jules Brenner
  • Patent number: 10665739
    Abstract: A solar cell can include a built-in bypass diode. In one embodiment, the solar cell can include an active region disposed in or above a first portion of a substrate and a bypass diode disposed in or above a second portion of the substrate. The first and second portions of the substrate can be physically separated with a groove. A metallization structure can couple the active region to the bypass diode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2020
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Seung Bum Rim, Gabriel Harley
  • Patent number: 10666057
    Abstract: A solar collection system may collect energy from the sun to generate electricity for distribution on an electrical grid. In addition to generating electricity, a solar collection system may include support devices such as motors, controllers, sensors, and other support devices to perform various tasks to allow the solar collection system to more effectively generate electricity. When the solar collection system is generating sufficient power, the support devices may be powered by the solar collection system. However, when the solar collection system is not generating sufficient power, the support devices may be powered by a backfeed power supply circuit coupled to the electrical grid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2020
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Zachary Steele Judkins, Jacob Marshall, Venkatesh Prasad Hanglur Narasimha
  • Publication number: 20200161490
    Abstract: A solar cell module includes serially connected solar cells. A solar cell includes a carrier that is attached to the backside of the solar cell. Solar cells are attached to a top cover, and vias are formed through the carriers of the solar cells. A solar cell is electrically connected to an adjacent solar cell in the solar cell module with metal connections in the vias.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 22, 2020
    Publication date: May 21, 2020
    Applicant: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Seung RIM, Sung Dug KIM
  • Patent number: 10658525
    Abstract: A method of fabricating a solar cell can include forming a dielectric region on a silicon substrate. The method can also include forming an emitter region over the dielectric region and forming a dopant region on a surface of the silicon substrate. In an embodiment, the method can include heating the silicon substrate at a temperature above 900 degrees Celsius to getter impurities to the emitter region and drive dopants from the dopant region to a portion of the silicon substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2020
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: David D. Smith, Tim Dennis, Russelle De Jesus Tabajonda
  • Publication number: 20200153357
    Abstract: A multi-inverter system with at least a string of inverters sharing a DC bus and outputting to a shared AC bus. Inverters are hot-swappable and configured to be turned on or off during powered cycles. Central control may comprise reducing power point tracking redundancies or promoting other operational changes at individual inverters of a group.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 21, 2019
    Publication date: May 14, 2020
    Applicant: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Patrick L. Chapman, Zachary S. Judkins, Jacob Marshall
  • Publication number: 20200144821
    Abstract: Systems and methods regarding distributed energy resource systems (DERs) are described. Configurations and employed methods may include sending a command to a DER system to place the DER system in one or more of a charge state, a discharge state, an idle state, or a reactive power state. These DER systems may include an energy storage circuit, a dc/ac converter configured to receive a DC voltage from the storage circuit and convert the received DC voltage for receipt by an external AC circuit, and one or more controllers configured to designate operation state of the storage circuit in at least a charge state, a discharge state, and an idle state.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 6, 2020
    Publication date: May 7, 2020
    Applicant: SunPower Corporation
    Inventor: Gregory Kern
  • Patent number: 10644170
    Abstract: Methods of fabricating a solar cell, and system for electrically coupling solar cells, are described. In an example, the methods for fabricating a solar cell can include placing conductive wires in a wire guide, where conductive wires are placed over a first semiconductor substrate having first doped regions and second doped regions. The method can include aligning the conductive wires over the first and second doped regions, where the wire guide aligns the conductive wires substantially parallel to the first and second doped regions. The method can include bonding the conductive wires to the first and second doped regions. The bonding can include applying a mechanical force to the semiconductor substrate via a roller or bonding head of the wire guide, where the wire guide inhibits lateral movement of the conductive wires during the bonding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2020
    Assignees: SunPower Corporation, Total Marketing Services and Total Energies Nouvelles Activites USA
    Inventors: Richard Hamilton Sewell, David Aaron Randolph Barkhouse, Nils-Peter Harder, Douglas Rose
  • Patent number: 10636924
    Abstract: A solar module can include a first and second solar cell having front sides which face the sun during normal operation and back sides opposite the front sides. In an embodiment, a first interconnect can be coupled to the back sides of both the first and second solar cell, where the first interconnect comprises an anodized region facing substantially the same direction as the front sides.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2020
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventor: Thomas Pass
  • Publication number: 20200127150
    Abstract: Solar cells are attached together to form a plating assembly. The plating assembly is attached to a belt, which transports the plating assembly through a plating chamber where metal is electroplated on the solar cells. The electroplated metal is patterned to form metal contact fingers. After the metal is electroplated, the plating assembly is singulated to separate the two solar cells.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 15, 2019
    Publication date: April 23, 2020
    Applicant: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Paul W. LOSCUTOFF, Hung-Ming WANG, Matthew J. DAWSON, Mark A. KLESHOCK