Despatch Industries has introduced its patent-pending in-line ‘PowerLock’ LID (Light Induced Degradation) prevention technology that eliminates the need for material handling that can retrofitted into existing Despatch tools and will be offered on all ‘Safire’ firing furnaces.
Light Induced Degradation (LID), which reduces the efficiency of PERC (Pasivated Emitter Rear Cell) cells by up to 6% after they are installed, has been a persistent problem for PV manufacturers. Several furnace manufacturers have introduced solutions to the problem but they are all claimed to require the purchase of stand-alone equipment that takes up valuable floor space and requires additional material handling steps.
Despatch has developed an in-line solution that integrates into its metallization firing furnace line and reduces LID to around one percent. The patent-pending in-line PowerLock LID prevention technology eliminates the need for material handling and saves floor space. PowerLock uses LED lamps which have a 20SUN maximum intensity that achieves the desired result in just 3.6 metres. These lamps allow the dwell time to be reduced significantly, which enable an in-line process that maintains furnace throughput speeds, according to the company. LED lamps are energy efficient, producing twice the lumens per watt compared to the arc lamps used in other solutions. These lamps have a life expectancy of 50,000 hours which is ten times longer than arc lamps. To extend life and reduce power consumption, the lamps can switch off automatically when there is no load present. This is not possible with arc lamps that need time to reach full power.
PERC-based cell processing using Despatch furnaces.
PowerLock can be retrofitted into existing Despatch tools and will be offered on all new Safire Firing Furnaces. Despatch CF-Series Firing Furnaces can also be ordered with PowerLock but Safire is recommended on both mono and multi PERC and p-type cells. The Safire tool features PowerLock technology which suppresses LID on PERC cells from 3-6% down to ~1%, according to the company.
October, 2015 onwards. The company said it had already received orders from several of the top-tier PV manufacturers in China and Taiwan.