The OSIS Sorter EL-1800 system from Op-tection offers high-throughput

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Product Briefing Outline: Op-tection has developed a brand new solar cell sorter to meet the demand for increasing cell sorting needs in terms of speed and automation. The OSIS Sorter EL-1800 system inspects and sorts’ solar cells automatically based on user defined quality parameters. Recently one of the first new generation sorters successfully entered production at a leading German PV manufacturer.

Problem: The performance of any solar module is depending on the weakest cell in the assembly. Wet-chemical processing, coating, and screen printing can cause strong tension, resulting in silicon bulk defects that are not visible on the outside of the cell. Even if the IV-test shows the efficiency is high enough right now, micro cracks, shunts and edge isolation imperfections have long-term effects and can cause a dead cell in modules over time.

Solution: The OSIS Sorter EL-1800 system inspects and sorts’ solar cells automatically based on user defined quality parameters and or criteria. This is done for up to 1800 cells/hour. The operator loads the cells into the system. 4 input boxes containing up to 150 cells each are used. The cells are fed into the system automatically and placed on conveyor belts, which transport the cells within the sorting system. The solar cells move through an inspection station, which spots defects by using Electro Luminescence and optionally also AOI and flash-testing. After inspection the cells are sorted by quality into 5 different sorting boxes. The recorded EL images are analyzed by software, defects are classified and marked, after which, the cell gets a quality grade that is based on user-definable criteria such as crack-size, percentage of dark areas, and the amount of dislocations. From the classified defects in the cell, the software groups the cells by quality into 5 different sorting boxes (or more than 5 if specified by customer). The quality is transmitted to the sorter unit, which handles the cells to the appropriate output box. Detection and classification parameters set are user definable.

Applications: Solar cell sorter for inline inspection.

Platform: The sorter can be equipped with many of the OSIS systems for wafer and cell inspection that are also available for inline inspection. When configured as cell sorter, in addition also electrical performance can be tested with an optional IV-tester

Availability: August 2010 onwards with delivery time of approximately 8 weeks ARO.

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