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PV Process Equipment Award
now on its 3rd revision and currently in singulator module offers a solution for
use with many key wafer manufacturers, both multi-crystalline and mono-crystalline
has proven to be an economical, fast and wafers and is user configured for 125, 156
reliable solution for separating pre- and 210mm wafers over a very short
cleaned, raw wet solar wafers from the changeover time. A spraying system
Issue III 2009
3S Swiss Solar Systems
wire saw, for inline or batch processing. ensures wafers are kept wet throughout
AG XL Laminating Line
The system is designed and has proven separation and during transportation
to offer, fast, safe and reliable wet wafer through the system. There is also an
The AG XL Laminating Line is designed to separation offering a very fast return of automatic rejection lane for wafers out of
provide a fully-automated high volume investment for automation at this crucial thickness tolerance, which enables
lamination process of solar modules at wafer handling step. continuous operation.
highest speed: cycle times can be reduced up to 40%, according to the The market cost per wafer is dropping,
company. The system has a total capacity additionally wafer thicknesses are getting
of up to 34 modules per hour which smaller and breakages are increasing
equals an annual capacity of up to through manual wafer handling,
60MWp. It combines two vacuum consequently manufacturers need to
chambers with the patented hybrid compensate through the higher
heating plate of the 3S Laminator S3622 production yields of automation. The
with a cooling press. The two vacuum ecoSplit is a separation system that offers
chambers are separately controlled in a very short ROI and a low COO by
terms of evacuation, ventilation and providing a totally safe, proven, and fast
heating. The system can handle both c-Si mechanical method of separating wafers.
and thin film sizes. It is innovative, beautifully simple but
Solar wafers from pre-cleaned wet wafer difficult to copy.
The patented Hybrid Heating Plate of 3S stacks direct from the wire saw need to
Swiss Solar Systems combines the be separated from the sawn stack for the
advantages of both electrical and oil subsequent cleaning process. The wafers
heating techniques that generates higher are held together by fluid retention of wire
Advanced Solar
temperature homogeneity, boosting yields saw coolant and waste silicon carbide Photonics (ASP)
and throughput. The heating system has making them difficult to manually Zero Width Laser Cutting
40 electrical rod elements with 2kW each. separate without a compromise of speed Technology (ZWLCT)
Heat carrier oil transmits the heat from the against breakage. The market cost per
rod elements to the heating plate at high wafer is dropping, additionally wafer Zero Width Laser Cutting Technology
speed allowing very short heating times; thicknesses are getting smaller and (ZWLCT), is a non-contact process which
however it retains maximum temperature breakages are increasing through manual splits glass and other non-metallic brittle
difference of 2°C absolute. After wafer handling, consequently materials on the molecular level with
lamination the cooling press permits manufacturers need to compensate tremendous speed, no material loss, and
controlled cooling of the modules. 3S through the higher production yields of no chips or other debris associated with
technology shortens the time between automation. scribe and break technology.
lamination and post processing, as The advantages for automaton at this step
well as it reduces interior stress in the are quite clear; firstly to provide a higher Precisely cutting glass and other
module. throughput of wafers per operator, and substrates has always been a challenge
secondly to provide a lower breakage rate to the industry. There have been two
ACI-ecotec GmbH
per operator. The ecoSplit is a separation major cutting methods: mechanical
system that offers a very short ROI and a scribing or sawing and laser cutting. The
& Co. KG low COO by providing a totally safe, rapid rise of the photovoltaic industry has
Automated Wet Wafer Separator proven, and fast mechanical method of put new demands on these existing
separating wafers into process carriers for cutting technologies. Advanced Solar
ACI-ecotec GmbH & Co. KG developed batch processing; or to 5-6 output lanes Photonics utilises ZWLCT in its Fantom
the first wet wafer separator. That system, for inline processing. The patented G8, a thin-film laser scribing system.
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