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ECN publication
Inline processing of crystalline silicon solar cells: the holy grail for large-scale manufacturing?
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Solar Energy 18-8-2009
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-W--09-026 Article (scientific)
Number of pages:

Published in: Photovoltaics International (PV-Tech), , 2009, Vol.PVI-5-14-2, p.77-83.

Lowering the cost of production of solar cells requires higher throughputs and higher production yields for thinner and more fragile silicon wafers, and inline processing could hold the key. However, current processes used in production do not enable full inline processing and often require a substantial amount of handling between process stations as the throughputs per station and tray requirements differ greatly. It will take many years before a full inline process flow is available and if it comes, wafers will most likely be positioned on a single tray throughout all process stations. This paper will discuss the current processing methods for all individual process steps and will provide an outlook on inline processing in view of the three cost reduction strategies: thinner wafers, higher throughput, and higher efficiency cell designs.

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