Innovalight has installed what is being called the industry’s first high-throughput silicon-ink inkjet printing system at the company’s headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA. Netherlands-based OTB Solar engineered and manufactured the system in cooperation with Innovalight.
Through the use of high-precision touchless inkjet printing of silicon ink, Innovalight said it can cut in half the number of manufacturing steps usually required to produce high-efficiency solar cells. The OTB platform can print more than 2000 solar cells per hour, faciliating high-volume production of ultrathin crystalline-silicon solar cells with thicknesses down to 50 microns.
“In OTB Solar we found a strong partner with experience in both solar industry and inkjet printing technologies,” said Conrad Burke, CEO of Innovalight, adding that the Dutch company’s “team delivered a very sophisticated and powerful solution to Innovalight in record time.”
Chris Boomaars, head of OTB Solar’s new business development division said that “inkjet printing is becoming the next generation solar-cell manufacturing technology. Using silicon-ink processing, Innovalight will dramatically improve the cost and efficiency of today’s silicon solar cells. This partnership is a great example of how we take solar cell production to the next level.”
Innovalight announced in January that Roth & Rau had installed a scaleable 10-MW pilot production line, which combined aspects of traditional solar-cell process tooling and the venture-backed company’s proprietary silicon ink manufacturing systems.