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DEK launches Eclipse at EU PVSEC 2010; showcases unprecedented PV production flexibility

Aug 17, 2010

DEK's Eclipse metallization line.

DEK's Eclipse metallization line.

DEK Solar is preparing to launch its highly anticipated Eclipse platform at this year’s EU PVSEC exhibition, being held in Valencia from 6th – 10th September. On stand B14 in Hall L2/H4, the DEK Solar team will introduce visitors to the advanced metallization line’s unprecedented flexibility. Senior Process Development Specialist, Tom Falcon, will also be presenting the company’s latest breakthroughs in Print-on-Print (PoP) technology during the show.

A world-first, the Eclipse showcase on DEK Solar stand B14 will introduce EU PVSEC visitors to the company’s pioneering high throughput metallization solution for commercial solar cell production. Launching an entirely new, flexible platform design concept, Eclipse incorporates a series of field retrofittable process modules that enable manufacturers to easily scale production up and down, to 1200, 2400 or 3600 wph. The primary process modules, including the print head and loader, incorporate master controls and are designated as master units. Additional process modules operate as secondary “slaves”, making the scale-up process even more cost effective.

Eclipse performance can be easily upgraded in the field for manufacturers who forsee a production ramp up in their future. Spacer process modules equipped with conveyors can be deployed at initial installation, then simply exchanged for additional print capacity when demand dictates – eliminating the need to reconfigure the entire line to accomodate extra modules and streamlining scalability even further.

DEK Solar Alternative Energy Business Manager, Darren Brown, explains: “In today’s competitive industry, solar manufacturers are targeting both enhanced cell efficiency and improved manufacturing productivity. However, as economic, industrial and political goalposts move around them, manufacturers are faced with the potential cost impact of what they need today not being necessarily what they will need tomorrow. Equipment cost-of-ownership is therefore critical. This is why Eclipse introduces the flexibility, configurability, modularity and field scalability necessary to achieve maximum value – today and tomorrow. This platform is therefore one of our most high profile technology breakthroughs to date – and I’m looking forward to highlighting its potential to EU PVSEC visitors!”

In configurations of 2400 wph and above, Eclipse deploys multiple print heads that function independently in parallel, ensuring that if one head halts for operator attention, the others continue to print – virtually eliminating downtime. Offering six-sigma repeatability for capability in advance of current solar cell requirements, the Eclipse platform also achieves print-on-print capability (PoP) - +/- 12.5 microns at 2 Cpk.

Reinforcing Eclipse’s PoP capabilities even further, DEK’s Tom Falcon will be presenting the company’s latest research in this field during the show’s conference programme. Entitled ‘High Accuracy, High Aspect Ratio Metallization On Silicon Solar Cells Using A Print-On-Print Process’, the new DEK Solar paper outlines how the development of an optimised PoP process can deliver measurable improvements in conductor aspect ratios, with dramatic efficiency gains proven to be sustainable in production volumes over many wafers.

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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