Light Induced Plating of Photovoltaic Cells (Technisol LIP200X)

TechniSol LIP 200X

Solar cell metallization tools utilizing LIP (Light Induced Plating) technology

Technic's TechniSol LIP 200X series, the latest design of dependable, wet processing Light Induced Plating tools, for various metallization processes for the solar cell industry. The TechniSol LIP 200X performs critical plating accuracy with a high degree of uniformity and repeatability on industry standard thin silicon156mm square solar cell substrates.

The TechniSol LIP 200X model offers a cost effective tool to optimize each type of metallization process utilizing a single lane, manually loaded, transport system with an output capacity of 100-1000 solar cells per hour. All TechniSol models features modular process cell and chassis construction for easy and effective maintenance, repairs and changeovers. All exposed mechanical components of the tool are built with corrosion resistant materials. The tool can also be constructed from optional materials to meet FM‐4910 fire prevention specifications. An open and direct access design to the processing area features built in exhaust with controls for the effective removal of fumes, assuring safe and clean operation.

Customized transport assembly per customer solar cell configuration, provides stability and ease of material handling through the entire operation with features to greatly reduce solar cell breakage.

Process cell components are easily removed for routine maintenance and feature secondary containment backup in the event of an overflow or spill. The TechniSol LIP 200X is controlled by a customized single point of use HMI touch screen coupled to a PLC. Variations of the control systems range from basic tool operation to complete monitoring and control of all key processing functions, data logging, alarm history and recipe controlled functions.

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The TechniSol LIP 200X tool was designed around a robust conveyor system to transport the solar cells through each of the process steps. The transport system is designed with multiple vacuumed formed plastic carriers with a finished machined recess per customer solar cell configuration, to accurately locate the solar cell and protect it from breakage during the process cycle. The carriers are attached to a simple robust design dual stainless steel flat belt transport system with only a few moving parts, which greatly reduces maintenance costs and down time. The transport belt system has a variable speed drive motor with controller and tensioning device to provide uniform system output.

Each solar cell carrier assembly is designed with reliable spring loaded (4) point cathode contact arms to make electrical connection to the solar cell and holds the device securely in place. The spring tension provides enough contact force to provide electrical connection without exerting excessive force that may damage the thin silicon solar cell. The vacuumed formed carrier body is designed with features to minimize solution drag out. The carrier assemblies can be manually loaded for low volume pilot tool configurations, or robotically loaded in high volume production tools. Each assembly is easily removed from the transport belt to provide maintenance.

The Light Induced Plating cell is designed with numerous features to provide consistent and uniform metal depositions to the solar cells. The electroplating cell is configured as one continuous process cell with multiple sections of anodes, LED light sources, solution sparging tubes, and shielding features. The cathode connection is made to the solar cell carrier assembly, and not to the individual solar cells, by multiple rotating mechanisms along the length of the cell.

This provides constant, uninterrupted power connections to the solar cells without risk of damage. The process cells include AC inverter drives connected to pumping motors coupled with a flow meter to provide closed loop electrolyte solution flow control through the solution sparging manifolds. This provides uniform flow control for repeatable electroplating deposition rates.

Optimized mechanical cathode shields are implemented to fine tune the metallization deposition uniformity. Plating power supplies are designed with programmable automatic ramping capability to deliver constant current density to solar cells when entering and exiting the process cell. Air wipes are incorporated after each process step to reduce drag out of solutions. Rinses and dry station complete the tool process for dry in and dry out processing of solar cells.

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