Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services


Solar cell metallisation system

11 May 2011 Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services

Following extensive testing by the Fraunhofer Institute ISE, Rehm Thermal Systems’ Fast Firing technology is now being proven in use around the world. Featuring a host of innovative design features that enable high levels of process performance, this solar cell metallisation system delivers a large process window thanks to flexible temperature profiling.

The firing system’s process chamber is subdivided into burning and fast-firing sections equipped with IR radiators. Eight individually adjustable heat zones allow for flexible temperature profiling, while variable zone length accommodates diverse paste requirements. The RFS process chamber consists of a multilayer ceramic insulation, creating a metal-free interior. An integrated air ducting system serves to preheat the flow of gas and cool the insulation, reducing energy consumption and increasing system insulation.

For the RFS-D system with integrated dryer, a residue management process involves heating the gas to high temperatures, causing molecules to crack and combine with atmospheric oxygen. In order to oxidise hydrocarbons energy efficiently at low reaction temperatures, catalysers are installed downstream from the heating chamber. This results in a thermal reactor which is dimensional for solar dryers so that a gas exchanger of greater than 40-fold assures reliable removal of vapour or smoke for a clean process chamber and extended maintenance intervals.

High throughput rates are enabled by transport speeds of up to 6 metres/minute, along with single-, dual- and triple-lane handling of wafers. Separate heating and cooling transports improve the cooling gradient and shorten the necessary cooling zone length, reducing floor space. Vibration-free transport also assures highly accurate positioning of the solar cells and minimal breakage rates.

Process control is enabled by Rehm’s Visu2 software which incorporates traceability tools, remote diagnostics and an extensive product library. This menu-driven software features a multilingual user interface and enables remote maintenance procedures and real-time status updates of setpoint, actual temperature, conveyor speed and gas flow parameters.

For more information contact Truth Electronic Manufacturing, +27 (0)31 822 8555, terence@truthelectronics.co.za



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