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DEK to present breakthrough frontside conductor improvements at EU PVSEC

Jul 16, 2009

DEK Solar will use this year’s EU PVSEC exhibition to reveal how standard print processes can be developed to yield dramatic efficiency gains. Being held over September 21st – 25th in Hamburg, Germany, the show will see DEK Senior Process Development Specialist Tom Falcon present a new paper on aspect ratio improvements for printed frontside conductors on silicon solar cells.

The new paper is part of DEK’s ongoing development program into how to achieve grid parity by advancing cell efficiency and reducing cost for mainstream commercial production. Complementing emerging techniques such as print-on-print, DEK’s Alternative Energy Team has invested heavily in developing a way to generate optimal commercial efficiency on a single printer to drive down cost-per-watt. The paper presented by Falcon at the show will highlight DEK’s progress in creating a new solution to generate enhanced grid patterns minus the cost and complexity traditionally associated with this area of photovoltaic development.

Currently, conventional conductor patterns often cause shadowing in mainstream cell designs – typically blocking light from reaching 7% to 9% of the wafer. Clearly an important area for investigation as manufacturers strive for efficiency gains, there are already many areas of research related to frontside conductor optimization. However, of the solutions that have emerged to date, none are suitable for the high volume, mass produced silicon cell market due to cost and complexity challenges. Since the industry favored deposition process for frontside metallization is screen printing, DEK’s analysis has identified how to achieve significant and measurable improvements in the aspect ratio of printed silver conductors, while also maintaining the ease and relatively low cost of processing associated with the current mainstream screen printing process.

The DEK Solar paper due to be presented at EU PVSEC will outline how the mass imaging specialist has used optimized screen specifications and print parameters for mainstream screens and print processes as a benchmark to analyze the principle restrictions to a better performance. The paper will also detail how the Alternative Energies Team used the results of this analysis along with an investigation into emerging screen technologies to design, develop and test a new screen/stencil hybrid technology. The new technology targets improved cell efficiency for lower cost production and Falcon will use the show to unveil how successful the company has been in this endeavor.

Tom Falcon is a renowned alternative energies expert at DEK Solar, currently working on the process development of frontside conductor printing of silicon solar cells. Having worked at DEK for nine years, he was previously a driving force in the company’s Semiconductor Packaging Group which, thanks to numerous synergies, provides the foundation for DEK’s established presence in the solar marketplace. He explains: “This is an extremely exciting development for the whole industry and I’m looking forward to presenting what looks set to be an extremely important paper at the show!”

About DEK Solar

DEK 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 back side field coating, current-collector pattern and termination deposition for photovoltaic substrate production. For more information, visit DEK Solar at http://www.deksolar.com.

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