Close search
Back to results
Solar

Inline inspection tools for photovoltaic manufacturing

  • $2.25m

    ARENA Funding

  • $5.18m

    Total Project Value

  • Project basics

    Lead Organisation

    BT Imaging Pty Ltd

    Start Date

    Jul 2010

    Project Partners

    Australian National University, Applied Materials (China) and Suntech R&D

    Location

    New South Wales, Sydney

    Status

    Past

Project Basics

Lead Organisation

BT Imaging Pty Ltd

Start Date

Jul 2010

Project Partners

Australian National University, Applied Materials (China) and Suntech R&D

Location

New South Wales, Sydney

Status

Past

This project developed two inline inspection tools, which are integrated into solar cell manufacturing ‘lines’ to help solar research organisations reduce the cost of manufacturing photovoltaic cells.

Need

Variable yields and product quality during the production process cost the photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing industry $2 billion each year. Improving both can reduce the cost of solar PV cells.

Project innovation

This project developed two inline inspection tools, which are integrated into cell manufacturing ‘lines’ to help solar research organisations reduce the cost of manufacturing PV cells.

The first tool finds hard to detect micro-cracks in silicon wafers and cells during the manufacturing of silicon wafers, cells and modules.

The second delivers process control as well as quality control and sorting of multi-crystalline and mono-crystalline silicon blocks (the raw material in photovoltaic cells).

The specialist tools will help reduce costs by predicting cell performance, managing material quality control, identifying process and material faults, and implementing control and debug measures.

They were developed by in-house photoluminescence and photovoltaic technology experts in collaboration with leading industry players who will also be buyers of the tools as they are released for commercial use.

Benefit

The tools developed in this project will assist solar cell manufacturers by enabling them to efficiently produce high-performance silicon photovoltaic technologies using cost-effective yield, quality and process management.

Final report

BT Imaging – Final Report: Project Results PDF 347KB) | (DOC 122KB)

Contact information

Mr Ian Maxwell, Project Leader

+61 2 9962 8861

ian.maxwell@btimaging.com