Manz advanced cSi production solutions achieve average 20.6% conversion efficiency with a lower total cost of ownership

04/28/2015 11:26:00 CEST

  • Manz provides advanced equipment and processing technology to convert standard cell production lines into PERC production lines
  • PERC production solutions are available for mass production of high efficiency solar cells and leading solar cell manufacturers are adopting them
  • Manz is established as leading technology partner of solar industry; recent order intake of Manz PERC production solution exceeded Euro 6 million

With crystalline solar-cell (cSi) the most matured and widely used solar PV cell, which enjoys 90% market share in the industry, Manz AG, the world’s famous high-tech equipment manufacturer, is offering industry-leading cSi production solutions with high production efficiency rate of PERC solar cells at up to 20.6% on average to help satisfy growing market demands. Two of Manz’s cSi manufacturing solutions, VCS 1200 vertical vacuum coating system for front and rear side passivation of a solar cell and LAS 2400 laser ablation technology, will be showcased at the SNEC PV Power Expo 2015, one of the most influential photovoltaic (PV) solar industry exhibitions in China. Manz’s booth is at Hall E3, #535, Shanghai New International Expo Centre. The show is from April 28 to 30.

Manz offers customers all the necessary equipment and processing technology to convert standard cell production lines into profitable manufacturing lines for high efficiency PERC cells at lower production costs. Manz’s new-generation production technology deploys its VCS 1200 vertical vacuum coating system to deposit dielectric passivation layers on the rear-side of cells, together with its LAS 2400 laser ablation technology. In this way, manufacturers can achieve large scale production of highly efficient cSi solar cells at low total cost of ownership. Furthermore, manufacturers can enjoy a smaller footprint that result from fully automated and maintenance-friendly tools. Both VCS 1200 and LAS 2400 can be applied to mono- and multi-crystalline solar cells.

Manz’s VCS 1200 system enables next generation cell concepts with increased efficiencies and high productivity. It uses a unique technology for vertical processing, with a throughput of 1,200 wafers per hour. The vertical set-up and the new carrier system are capable of avoiding both shadowing and particle induced pin-holes. In a nutshell, the coating process leaves no pin marks or flakes on the wafers – a problem in many competitors' systems. In addition, thanks to its powerful plasma source, Manz’s high performance PECVD process technology achieves optimum reproducibility and has the industry’s highest degree of cell efficiency and uniformity. Furthermore, a quick-change cleaning concept minimizes downtime because it enables cell manufacturers to clean the process chamber and carriers outside the machine.

With regard to laser technology, Manz is a leading supplier of laser processing systems which combines its in-house expertise as a solution provider of laser process, optics, vision and automation. One of the most representative laser processing equipment is the LAS 2400 laser ablation system, which is proven in mass-production by leading solar cell manufacturers for high efficiency PERC cells. The LAS 2400 system owns a unique flat top spot design with variable spot sizes, ranging from 30 to 80 µm and shapes much less sensitive to working plane position compared to the Gaussian beam profile which provides a uniform ablation and highly stable process window. Its modular, small footprint design is suited for upgrading existing production lines and can provide a gross throughput of 2,400 wafers per hour. In addition, the flexible scanner based concept allows individual ablation patterns. Together with the VCS 1200 system, the LAS 2400 system provides a simple, precise and high throughput solution for local contact opening of rear side passivation layers. Being a one-stop process, laser ablation offers the lowest cost of ownership for this step in cell production and offers safe wafer handling with the industry’s lowest breakage rates. Manz’s in-house know-how and expertise continue to contribute to technology update on PERC PECVD and laser ablation.

With its industry leading automation systems, Manz contributes significantly to increase throughput and yield of a production line. On a worldwide scale, the optimized release 2.1 of the renowned Manz SpeedPicker is the fastest single end machine with 100% inspection during loading and unloading with a throughput of 3,400 cells per hour and an additional reserve for future throughput increase. With its small footprint, it is ideal for upgrading existing production lines with limited space. By adopting the alignment by vision systems, the risk of breakage in subsequent production steps caused by stress on wafers when aligning mechanically is reduced dramatically. The key technologies of Manz new SpeedPicker, including position verification and alignment of wafer, can recognize edges and corner breakouts which help to sort out pre-damaged wafers.

As a technology complement, Manz also provides an industry-leading wet-chemical tool, the IPSG CEI 4800, for removing the highly doped layer from the rear and the edges of a wafer, thereby producing chemical edge isolation (CEI). In addition, the IPSG CEI 4800 also removes the remaining phosphor silicate glass (PSG) layer, which is created during the earlier diffusion process, on the front side of the wafer. The IPSG CEI 4800 provides minimum breakage rate, thanks to the application of soft sponge rollers concept with minimized mechanical stress on substrates.

“After years of development, Manz has emerged as the technology partner of the international solar industry,” said Dieter Manz, CEO of Manz AG. “Manz’s recent PERC production solution order intake has exceeded Euro 6 million. The solar industry’s leading companies, such as JA Solar, Topcell, NSP and Sunrise (SAS Yilan), have adopted our PERC production solution to increase their productivity and the quality of their output. In China, Manz has achieved very high market recognition by globally leading cell manufacturers. Being the only equipment supplier with in-depth technology know-how in processes, laser and passivation, as well as reliable automation systems, we are contributing and supporting manufacturers’ expansion plans by supplying technically leading mass production tools for high efficiency PERC production.”

In the PV industry, Manz focuses on processes and solutions for manufacturing crystalline silicon solar cells and thin-film solar modules. In the cSi sector, Manz provides processes and equipment for metallization, laser processing, wet chemistry, and vacuum coating as well as automation solutions and test and inspection expertise.

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