At this year's European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference in Hamburg, Germany,
live runs of crystalline solar cells will be demonstrated by Oerlikon
Systems, a leading provider of nano-Technology manufacturing solutions.
The live demo of the new SOLARIS coating system (booth B6/26) highlights the
system's growing popularity within the PV industry.
"Right now, we have a large number of clients around the world qualifying
processes on the SOLARIS," adds Andreas Dill, Head of Oerlikon Systems.
"And the market interest continues to boom."
Similar in design to high throughput production systems used in the optical
disc industry for DVD and Blu-ray discs, SOLARIS is a high-speed single wafer
sputtering system that can be easily configured for emerging nanotechnology
and clean energy applications, but the combination of low power consumption,
small footprint and high uptime make it an ideal solution for PV production.
Helping improve solar cell quality and efficiency
The production costs of solar energy depend not only on cell efficiency but
also on the productivity of the manufacturing process for solar cells. The system
design of the SOLARIS will help the solar industry quickly implement cleaner,
more cost-efficient and more reliable production processes that are superior
to conventional batch processing platforms. Also, the combination of six process
chambers, 'single substrate' handling, a wide range of layer materials,
and high throughput - 1,200 wafers per hour - will contribute to
a noticeable increase in solar cell quality and efficiency, helping reduce overall
"If we want to significantly reduce costs for solar power to grid parity,
we not only have to improve the cell itself but must also rethink production",
states Andreas Dill. "Existing standard fabrication methods for coating
crystalline solar cells are based on complex processes with high demands made
on cleaning and manual maintenance. SOLARIS works much more efficiently."
For example, crystalline solar cells require an anti-reflective layer on the
front and a contact layer on the backside. AR layers are currently coated with
PECVD processes and the backside contacts are screen-printed; conventional production
equipment has a very large footprint, must be cleaned and maintained frequently
and requires additional costly equipment like scrubbers; consumables are also
expensive, adding to solar cell production costs. SOLARIS utilizes a clean PVD
process and does not require greenhouse gases or any other additional equipment.
Oerlikon - Enabling High Technology
Oerlikon (SIX: OERL) is one of the world's leading international high-tech
industrial groups specializing in machine and plant engineering. The company
is a leader in the field of industrial solutions and innovative technologies
for textile manufacture, thin-film solar and thin-film coating, drive, precision
and vacuum systems. With roots in Switzerland and a long tradition stretching
back 100 years, Oerlikon is a global player with a workforce of more than 16000
at 158 locations in 37 different countries. The company's sales amounted to
CHF 4.8 billion in 2008 and it ranks either first or second in the respective