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News from KIC Thermal


KIC’s e-Clipse Wins a 2010 NPI Award

Apr 11, 2010

e-Clipse solar cell thermocouple (TC) attachment fixture.

e-Clipse solar cell thermocouple (TC) attachment fixture.

San Diego - KIC announces that it has been awarded an NPI Award in the category of Process Control Tools for its e-Clipse solar cell thermocouple (TC) attachment fixture. The award was presented to the company during a Tuesday, April 6, 2010 ceremony that took place in the Mandalay Bay Resort & Convention Center in Las Vegas during APEX 2010.

The e-Clipse delivers fast and convenient TC attachment, as well as accurate repeatable profile readings. It features four spring loaded TCs within a lightweight fixture that also holds the solar wafer. The TCs have patented disk-shaped beads, rather than the traditional spherical shaped beads. These flattened TCs offer a more reliable contact to the surface of the solar wafer, as well as repeatable profile readings on the same wafer and across different wafers of the same type.

To operate, the user simply slides any relevant solar wafer into the fixture and the TCs seat themselves automatically. Today’s solar wafers can break easily because they are very thin and brittle. The e-Clipse allows for quick replacement of broken wafers. Four standard type K TC connectors plug into the profiler.

TC attachment has been a long-standing challenge for the production of solar cells. Traditional TC attachment methods have suffered from inaccurate and non-repeatable readings. The e-Clipse addresses this challenge and helps manufacturers advance toward better thermal process control, resulting in higher solar cell efficiencies.

Premiering in 2008, the NPI Awards program is an annual celebration of product excellence in electronics surface mount assembly. Premier products based on the finest examples of creative advancement in technology are chosen by a distinguished panel of industry experts.

Based in San Diego, KIC has recently developed new profiling and thermal process optimization tools for the solar cell manufacturing industry. These products take advantage of KIC’s extensive technology platform developed in the semiconductor and SMT industries. They are designed for quick and accurate profiling and process optimization for higher efficiency cell manufacturing. The product range includes the SunKIC profiler, the e-Clipse TC attachment fixture, and the Spectrum process optimization software.

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