By Peter Wawer, Q-Cells SE; Uli vom Bauer, Q-Cells SE; Jörg Müller, Q-Cells SE; Daniel Paul Schreite, Q-Cells SE
A major challenge for the solar industry over the next few years is the reduction of production costs on the road to grid parity. Capacity must be increased in order to leverage scaling effects, production and cell efficiency must also be enhanced, and the industry must focus on intensified process optimization and quality control. Laser marking can make a key contribution to fulfilling these requirements. As hard physical coding, laser marking is applied to the raw wafer at the start of the manufacturing process, making each solar cell traceable along the entire value chain and over its whole lifetime. This paper presents Q-Cells’ laser-supported process for coding each individual solar cell (European patent pending), which will require transition work at the laboratory stage before the company’s innovation is ready for mass production.