and Meyer Burger signed a strategic distribution and cooperation agreement for
the SOLARIS thin-film coating equipment. As part of the agreement, Meyer Burger's
sales + service organization will represent the SOLARIS for crystalline Silicon
PV application in most regions, such as China , Taiwan , Europe, Middle East
, India + the Americas . Furthermore, the two high tech companies will work
together to further develop anti-reflective coatings and other innovative process
steps within the manufacturing process of crystalline solar cells.
SOLARIS Coating System Improves Production of Crystalline Solar Cells (Photo: Business Wire)
“Meyer Burger's focus, strength and experience in the crystalline
silicon PV market will enable us to reach out to cell manufacturers faster +
more efficiently. Furthermore, we see significant synergies by leveraging Meyer
Burger's capabilities in automation, wafer + cell measurement tools
and – last but not least – with Meyer Burger's expertise in
wafer surface design.” says Andreas Dill, Head of Oerlikon Systems.
“We are very happy to have Oerlikon Systems – a true leader in
thin film technology - as our partner. This agreement is in line with our growth
strategy to expand our successful model of providing core technologies in photovoltaics
– to the benefit of our customers by further reducing cost of ownership
while increasing conversion efficiencies and plant output” adds Peter
Pauli, CEO of Meyer Burger.
The SOLARIS system is a high speed single wafer sputter system, similar in
design to other high performance manufacturing systems from Oerlikon for optical
discs and Semiconductors. The system is very flexible in its possible configurations,
such as for anti-reflective coatings and back-side passivation + metallization
for crystalline solar cells. It excels in its productivity, process quality
+ stability, lowest energy consumption and space requirements. The recent
live demo of the system at the EU PVSEC in Hamburg generated a lot of interest
The SOLARIS system is based on advanced nanotechnology. In solar cell or photovoltaic
production with SOLARIS, very thin layers of silicon nitride are applied on
the front of the cells. However, the flexibility of SOLARIS also allows coating
of the backside with various materials. Each wafer is handled and coated separately.
With six coating chambers, a special carrier transport mechanism and a wide
range of potential layer material, SOLARIS is not only highly flexible but at
the same time enjoys unmatched productivity. The machine is able to treat standard
wafer formats from 125mm2 to 156mm2, with an average amounting up to 1,200 wafers
per hour. Changing substrate formats, layer materials or processes requires
minimum time. A new system at a customer site can be installed and ramped up
in less than one week.
“With SOLARIS, we for the first time apply advanced nanotechnology in
the production of crystalline solar cells”, explains Andreas Dill, Head
of Oerlikon Systems – “with enormous advantages for solar cell manufacturing.
Firstly, with a size of 2.0 x 3.3 meters, SOLARIS requires 80 % less floor space
than competitive solutions. Secondly, the fully automated solution requires
minimal maintenance. Thirdly, SOLARIS needs significantly less power (minus
50 percent). Last, but not least, lower maintenance requirements result in a
significantly higher uptime.
The benefits of SOLARIS are quite obvious. It's a revolutionary concept
for solar cell manufacturing – the first of many ‘clean technologies'
possible with this new system”, says Dill.
The Oerlikon development teams have further, specific applications in mind:
- Touch panels: These devices are being integrated in a wide range of applications
from smart phones to PCs and refrigerators. SOLARIS applies a key conductive
layer and anti-reflective coatings on the touch screen panels.
- Thermoelectrics: These “green energy” devices generate electricity
when heated. The thin film layers applied by SOLARIS are efficient at conducting
electricity, but not heat, which keeps the device running.
- Energy storage: Actually a family of applications that includes highly
efficient (smaller and lighter) thin film batteries and advanced super capacitors
for energy storage; SOLARIS provides thin film processes for all of these.
For further information see www.oerlikon.com/systems/solaris