Manufacturing Photovoltaic Devices at the Global Solar Factory

Project: Habitat for Humanity, Episode 5, Part 3



Deane Evans (from the Partnership to Advance Technology in Homes) and Ren Anderson (from the National Renewable Energy Lab) talk with Bob about special photovoltaic shingles, which convert solar energy into electricity. Bob and Ren begin applying the shingles to the shed roof, before Bob heads to Global Solar in Tucson, AZ to learn more about how photo voltaic film is manufactured.
Part 1: Installing Dimensional Asphalt Shingles
Part 2: Photovoltaic Roofing Shingles Installed
Part 3: Manufacturing Photovoltaic Devices at the Global Solar Factory
Bob visits the Global Solar factory in Tucson, AZ to see how the company manufactures its unique solar-electric (photovoltaic) devices. Neil Holstad, president of Global Solar, leads a tour of the plant. The factory itself includes many environmentally friendly features, including abundant day lighting, recycled brick fascia, graywater recycling, concrete containing fly ash, rammed-earth garden walls, and energy-efficient windows.

Bob follows Neil inside the ultra-clean plant, where the unique flexible photovoltaic devices are made. The flexible material allows the devices to be used in many applications. Robert Wendt, Director of Technical Operations, shows Bob the materials used to make the solar cells and one of the manufacturing machines that produces them.
Bob Vila introduces the latest in sustainable materials and efficient building techniques on a Habitat for Humanity build. This project documents a five-day process that transformed an empty lot into a snug, comfortable, and sustainable home in Yonkers, NY.

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