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Optimization potential of the wire sawing process for multicrystalline silicon

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By Thomas Kaden, studied applied natural science at TU Bergakademie Freiberg and received his Ph.D. in physics in the photovoltaics group of Prof. H.J. Möller.; Elena Ershova, holds a diploma in information technology and systems from TU Wolodga (Russia) and performed the majority of experiments presented here during her bachelor thesis at Fraunhofer THM.; Marcel Fuchs, worked as an operator in wafer and solar cell production and was production supervisor of a wafering company before he joined Fraunhofer THM as senior technician in wafering in 2012.; Rajko B. Buchwald, studied applied natural science at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg. He received his Ph.D. in 2010. In 2010 he joined Fraunhofer THM in Freiberg.

Today, silicon solar cells are still produced in almost equal shares from mono- and multi-crystalline silicon wafers. The authors here look at the scope for efficiencies in the wire sawing process for multi-crystalline silicon.

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Photovoltaics International Archive
As always we have a selection of technical papers from some of the industry’s leading minds. Radovan Kopecek and Joris Libal from ISC Konstanz tackle one of the biggest issues impeding the rollout of bifacial cell and modules, how to standardise their measurement. As long as there is no commercially available means to measure their gain, bifacial modules will struggle to improve their market penetration. The materials section includes an excellent paper from Fraunhofer THM examining the optimization of diamond wire sawing. The method is becoming increasingly predominant with some equipment manufacturers shelving their slurrybased tools. Here Fraunhofer assesses how to squeeze even more efficiency out of diamond wire saws. CSEM meanwhile explores the required metallization and interconnection process changes required to enable a production-scale shift to silicon heterojunction PV. Mark Osborne provides his latest capacity expansion report as upgrades to higher efficiency lines continue to drive planned investments.

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