At the International Photovoltaic Power Generation Conference and Exhibition (SNEC), set to take place from 20 to 22 May in Shanghai, China, DEK Solar will demonstrate several new metallization platform technologies, all designed to raise solar cell efficiency and line throughput.
In booth E3-320, DEK Solar's award-winning metallization platforms are at the heart of the exhibit. Each addressing unique customer requirements, the DEK Solar metallization systems leverage exceptional accuracy, low breakage rates and varying wafer per hour (wph) capability to accommodate the specific needs of solar cell manufacturing specialists.
DEK Solar's HouYi platform is a small footprint, 1350 wph metallization system that delivers the high reliability and future-proofing flexibility today's PV firms require. With robust machine control software and advanced sensor technology, HouYi optimises reliable metallization performance. A new squeegee mechanism supports both trailing and diamond blade designs, delivering proven print quality over many thousands of prints. In addition, an integrated air knife technology minimises platen area contamination and, therefore, helps reduce wafer breakage. All of these capabilities, in addition to simple scalability for future growth, make HouYi the ideal platform for all levels of commercial solar cell production.
With 4,000 wph capability, DEK Solar's high-volume Eclipse metallization platform unites extreme speed with exceptional accuracy and reliability. A highly-flexible and modular design is central to Eclipse's market value, as dynamic cell manufacturing operations can leverage the platform's modularity to easily scale production as demand dictates, accommodating anywhere from 1,200 to 4,000 wph. Print speeds of 600 mm per second combine with zero-edge-contact cell transfer to deliver high throughput with minimal breakage.
Rounding out the platform display is DEK Solar's Apollo metallization system which, at SNEC, will incorporate brand new Solar Sentinel technology. The award-winning Apollo platform boasts +/- 10 µm accuracy at 2 Cpk and a low breakage rate of less than 0.15%. Combining this technology with DEK Solar's new Solar Sentinel makes the Apollo platform even more productive. Solar Sentinel is a novel inspection technology that verifies material coverage for 45 µm lines, detects cell edge chips and senses complete wafer breaks. A "go/no go" feature accepts or rejects the print and wafer integrity all in real time so as to ensure maximum throughput with minimal yield loss.
"High accuracy, scalable platform technology with rich features to enhance cell production and in-field performance efficiency are critical for cost-competitive solar cell manufacturing," comments DEK Solar Director, Brian Lau. "However, PV cell manufacturing advances do not rest solely on the shoulders of platform capability. DEK Solar's next-generation screen and stencil developments are also facilitating some of the world's highest efficiency cells – all driven by a team of metallization process experts."
On the heels of its contributions to a record-breaking 21.2% PERC cell efficiency project with the Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH), DEK Solar will share the enabling dual print process screens and VectorGuard (VG) Fine Line Stencils™ with SNEC show delegates. DEK Solar VG Fine Line Stencils deliver excellent printed line height uniformity and high aspect ratios for consistent and flat lines of less than 40 µm line widths. When used in the dual print process, the busbars are first printed with a fine mesh screen and the conductor fingers are then printed with a VG Fine Line Stencil. This not only reduces silver paste consumption, but also helps increase cell efficiency, as evidenced by this latest world record work with ISFH.
DEK Solar VG Fine Line Stencils are built on the award-winning VectorGuard stencil technology, which utilizes a single frame design with interchangeable foils for ultimate flexibility. Reduced storage requirements with foil-only storage, environmental friendliness facilitated by the elimination of frame disposal or refurbishment and better print performance are all inherent benefits of the VectorGuard system. With VG Fine Line Stencils for solar printing, a unique tensioning mechanism improves print behaviour and limits the widening of the outer fingers to ensure print uniformity and exceptionally thin lines. Demonstrations of VectorGuard technology will take place at the DEK Solar exhibit throughout the event.
"This is a very exciting time for DEK Solar," says Lau in summary. "We have continued to innovate and invest even through a challenging market environment, and we invite SNEC attendees to witness the results of these efforts that will enable even more cost-effective and efficiency-enhancing solar cell manufacturing."
For more information or to schedule an appointment at SNEC, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About DEK Solar
DEK Solar is a global provider of next-generation technologies and process support to solar cell manufacturers with solutions that include modular metallization platforms, precision screens and materials applications used in backside field coating, current-collector pattern and termination deposition for photovoltaic substrate production. For more information, visit DEK Solar at www.dek.com.
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