Inspection Technology Opens Up Potentials for Efficiency Increases and Cost Reductions in the Solar Cell Production

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Today’s major challenges in photovoltaic production are the optimization of solar cell efficiencies and the reduction of manufacturing costs.

ISRA VISION provides a complete range of state-of-the-art high-precision inspection systems that enable PV manufacturers to master these challenges. Within the scope of solar module manufacturing, the wafer segment accounts for about 60 percent of the total costs incurred. Thus PV manufacturers depend on substantially error-free production quality to secure competitiveness in the market place.

The biggest challenge in PV production is the detection of defects hidden within the bulk of the wafer. These so-called micro cracks and inclusions of contaminations can occur in every production step and increase breakage rates dramatically. Shipment of wafers, handling during processing and processing itself can trigger cracks or micro cracks in wafers and cells. The inspection solutions offered by GP Solar a company of ISRA VISION detect these defects in as-cut wafers, rear side prints as well as in finished solar cells and reduce production downtime and eliminate breakage sources. Most of the damaged material can be sorted out by means of optical systems. Micro cracks within finished solar cells, however, cannot be detected with standard systems.

For this application the system SOLARSCAN-MICRO-D provides a solution. It is a non-contact inline on-the-fly inspection system for the detection of micro cracks in processed solar cells. Its innovative technology works reliably independent from grain boundaries, variations of electronic material properties. As a result it delivers exact information on the position, shape and size of the cracks. This makes the MICRO-D the perfect add-on for existing optical classification tools in the solar cell production. Furthermore it extends the range of highly beneficial applications as it can also handle the incoming control for module manufacturers. In addition, a stand-alone system for grading cells by quality is already available with the TEST-UNIT tool.

Micro crack detection systems lead to substantial cost savings in wafer and cell production and ensure highest product quality. The innovative inspection technologies of ISRA provide an affordable way to exploit all efficiency-raising potentials in the PV production. For the manufacturers this opens up new dimensions for lowest cost of ownership and highest yields.

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