38th EU PVSEC, 06 - 10 September 2021

10 August 2017

Leading Solar Materials and Equipment Companies as well as Research Institutes at EU PVSEC Exhibition in Amsterdam

This year’s EU PVSEC in Amsterdam from 25-29 September 2017 will have again a research and industry connecting exhibition – and the entire space is already fully booked. We have included this business and research platform to offer attendants the opportunity to complement the scientific exchange at the conference with first-hand updates from leading PV equipment and material suppliers as well as from institutes at the exhibition.

We are happy to have leading companies along the value chain that will show their latest products at our exhibition in Amsterdam:

A solar cell can only be as good as the incoming wafer; whose quality in turn depends on ingots. Semilab from Hungary, for example, is offering a large variety of inspection tools for ingots, silicon blocs and semi processed wafers. The company’s products can perform several testing methods, including photoluminescence to inspect wafers for typical defects as well as lifetime values. Its wafer sorting devices can be used by wafer manufacturers for outcounting wafer inspection as well as cell manufacturing who want to test incoming as-cut wafers.

Cell production starts with a wet-etching process and texturization is a key process for a solar cell’s performance. RENA Technologies from Germany, for example, has made tremendous progress in improving texturization – reducing process time and improving bath life time. Wet-chemical benches have gained importance in light of advanced cell concepts. An important application of wet-benches for PERx cell concepts is to tweak the edge isolation tools for accomplishing rear polishing. RENA Technologies and Singulus Technologies are offering wet-benches that allow the cell makers opt for different degree of rear polishing. In addition, Singulus Technologies is providing exclusive solutions for advanced cleaning, especially required for heterojunction cells. Wet-chemical solutions providers are also working on so-called black silicon texturing, which is the key to use low-cost diamond wire saws for producing multicrystalline wafers.

Principally, the first step to turn a wafer into a solar cell is creating a p-n junction, which is accomplished in a diffusion furnace. While commonly used p-type wafers are doped with phosphorous atoms, n-type wafers for higher-efficient cells are doped with boron. US based Amtech’s Dutch subsidiary Tempress is offering diffusion furnaces for phosphorus diffusion and it is very successful in particular with its boron diffusion tools. Amtech said that its solar orders in Q2/2017 was the highest bookings since Q2/2011, mainly coming from n-type processing. Tempress is also offering PECVD tools for depositing ARC and passivating silicon nitride films.

When looking at backend cell processing, high-quality metallization pastes are vital for producing high-efficiency cells – and that is true for any cell technology. German company Heraeus, the world market leader for metallization pastes, for example, is offering silver pastes for various cell architectures. Only recently, the paste maker introduced several new products suitable for high-efficiency cell architectures, such as PERC and n-type as well as pastes for advanced metallization processing concepts, including double printing and knotless screens. Heraeus has been continuously improving its formulations for front contact silver formulations in areas of compatibility with higher sheet resistance emitters, low laydown and printability through narrow screen openings.

Good contact pastes are one thing, the right equipment to apply the metallization is the other ingredient. Top suppliers of screen printers, like ASYS from Germany, are complementing efforts of material suppliers in realizing reliable contacts. In addition to proving tools capable of processing any high-tech cells with double and dual printing, ASYS has recently introduced a new dual-lane metallization line that reduces the cycle time to 1.5 seconds, resulting in a throughput of 4,800 wafers per hour.

There is a strong push in the solar industry moving towards PERC - and laser tools are one of the two additional devices required for upgrading a production line from standard BSF cell technology to PERC. Germany’s InnoLas has been offering high-quality laser systems to open the rear passivation stack for back-side metallization. The company’s PERC laser system comes with a throughput of 3,600 wafers per hour and supports complex patterning, such as dotted and dashed patterning, to improve the performance of PERC cells.

Heterojunction is yet another cell architecture that is gaining traction. Besides Panasonic, a few cell producers are already in pilot production and expect to enter commercial production soon. The deposition of TCO layers is an important integral part of both thin-film solar and heterojunction cell making - and VON ARDENNE is a global leader for such PVD coating technologies.

There are many ways to improve efficiency and yield on the module level. Interconnection ribbons are a crucial consumable in module processing – and Finnish company Luvata is a high-quality solar ribbon supplier for many years. In addition to offering extra soft ribbons that induce lower stress and keep breakage low during interconnection, Luvata’s product portfolio comprises colored ribbons that perfectly fit solar modules for BiPV applications.

Glass has always been an important part in a solar module bill of materials - and Sisecam Flat Glas from Turkey is a leading European solar glass supplier. In fact, the importance of glass in solar module manufacturing is even growing with panel suppliers increasingly looking into double-glass solutions to replace the backsheet. One benefit is a higher durability – with glass-glass module makers often extending warrantee periods. Moreover, the glass-glass module configuration enables innovative bifacial PV concepts that result in higher solar power yields.

Whatever is the effort in improving the performance of a cell or module, it becomes only evident during final testing. Thus, accurate IV testers with their ability to simulate the sunlight indoors are very important. BERGER Lichttechnik and h.a.l.m. elektronik, both from Germany, have been known for their high-quality IV testers for cells and modules for many years. In addition to IV testing, luminescence imaging, which is a sort of X-ray that exposes internal defects of solar wafers, cells and modules, has established itself as a standard method in solar product quality control. The beauty of electroluminescence (EL) is that it can be integrated as part of IV testers. H.A.L.M.’s latest manual tester accomplishes IV-measurements as well as EL and IR imaging of cells. greateyes from Germany focuses exclusively on luminescence imaging systems.

The list is by no means complete. Further equipment makers and material suppliers will be at the EU PVSEC industry exhibition with their latest innovations. And there are leading research insitutes that link with their results to industry.

EU PVSEC’s Exhibition 2017:

25 - 28 Sept 2017

Monday: 13:00 - 18:00 / Tuesday & Wednesday: 09:00 - 18:00 / Thursday: 09:00 - 16:00