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Industry Applications -- Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing

Temperature Profiling in Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing
Thermal Profiling in Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing

Customized temperature profiling solutions designed for specific use in key thermal processes are now being used in the solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing industry. They provide control and optimization of various steps in PV cell manufacturing processes, such as anti-reflective and diffusion/thin film coating, contact firing and lamination to safely and effectively maximize product quality.

For nearly thirty years, Datapaq® has been setting the industry standard for ease-of-use and reliability in temperature profiling, assuring the most consistent analysis to guarantee profit and quality. To discuss your application needs, please contact your local Datapaq sales office.

Vacuum coating processes for C-Si and Thin Film

Anti Reflection Coating
The Datapaq SolarPaq® temperature profiling system for anti-reflection coating can pass through the entire process profiling temperatures of the cell surface, thus providing data on what is happening at all points inside the process. This system has been specifically designed to withstand the harsh thermal and electrical environments within the plasma chamber. It saves time and money setting up or adjusting the process.

Thin Film Deposition
Monitoring this deposition process is key to optimizing it. Due to the nature of the processing equipment, this process was until now, very difficult and costly to measure. The Datapaq SolarPaq CiGs system has been designed specifically to monitor the temperature of the glass substrate as it passes through the vacuum coating process. The profiling system passes through the multi-chamber process measuring the temperature profile from up to 4 positions on the glass; even with the plasma activated. This feature combined with the unique reflective plate thermal barrier enables the system to be used without disrupting normal production flow.

Contact Drying Process

A photovoltaic manufacturing line may contain upto three ovens that are used for drying the contact paste. Ensuring that all of these maintain maximum throughput and efficiency requires regular checking of the temperature profile. Incorrect drying will directly reduce process yield and the conversion efficiency of the final product. The Datapaq SolarPaq temperature profiling system for contact drying can travel through these very height restricted ovens monitoring cell temperatures at up to 4 points.

Contact Firing Process

Obtaining optimum performance from a silicon photovoltaic cell depends critically on the contact firing process. Incorrect time/temperature profiles will affect contact resistance, as well as fill factor and hence, directly reduce production yields. Datapaq SolarPaq temperature profiling system for contact firing monitors the process without disrupting normal production. The logger travels through the furnace, obtaining cell temperature profiles from up to six points on the top and bottom sides of a test cell.

Lamination Process

The temperature profile that the module is subjected to during the lamination process is critical to the correct curing of the ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and as such, has a direct affect on module lifetime. Datapaq SolarPaq temperature profiling system for lamination enables the process to be monitored without disrupting normal production. The logger and its associated thermocouples are placed into the laminator, along with the sheet to be monitored. The system passes through the laminator and on exiting, the temperature profile information can be downloaded and analyzed.

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