Israeli start-up BrightView Systems says it has successfully integrated and validated its wide-area metrology system for thin-film photovoltaics producers at Signet Solar’s amorphous-silicon TFPV manufacturing line in Mochau, Germany.
The WAM tool has demonstrated its contribution to both panel efficiency and line productivity via its unique in-line, true-cell-metrology and measurement capabilities and associated suite of control applications for excursion detection, chamber matching, and process window optimization, the companies said.
Signet recognized the value of improving line output and long-term panel reliability, and embedded the system into its production flow. The thin-film company says it was able, for the first time, to implement fully automated, continuous full-panel process monitoring and feedback on 100% of production panels and greatly reduced its reliance on offline measurements and special test panel cycles.
“The BrightView solution fills a major gap in the industry’s transition from pilot to mass production, providing true 24/7 inline process monitoring while saving long and tedious offline cycles and test panels,” said Gunter Ziegenbalg, managing director of Signet Solar GmbH.
“The system has been embraced by our R&D engineers, who are finally generating the data they need for concrete process improvements and optimization, and by our production engineers, who are relying on the continuous automatic alerting of process issues, as well as much quicker turnaround following process tool maintenance,” he added.
“Signet Solar has put our system through rigorous testing, allowing us to validate our vision in a high volume production line using actual panel performance data,” said BrightView CEO Benny Shoham. “Their talented team, working with the BrightView state-of–the-art WAM solution, was able to deliver major improvements to line productivity in a very short time.
“We are excited by the excellent results they achieved,” he continued, “and look forward to continue working with Signet Solar on their next production milestone and process improvement roadmap, as well as accelerate efficiency and productivity gains for the thin-film PV industry.”