iLS-W2 PL inspection tool from BT Imaging offers quasi-mono wafer grading

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

Updated: Video interview attached: BT Imaging has launched the next-generation iLS-W2 for on-the-fly photoluminescence (PL) inspection of wafer quality; the all-new iS-G1 for inline cast mono grain inspection; a new automation unit, the iQ, that houses the iLS-W2 and/or iS-G1 so that existing production lines can be upgraded; and, the QS-W2, a fully integrated inspection tool that can automatically sort wafers. With this suite of tools, wafer makers and fully integrated PV manufacturers can inspect every wafer in production and understand its electrical performance before they make it into a cell, thereby commanding premium pricing for wafers and cells.

Problem

In the drive to higher cell efficiency, cast mono silicon PV wafers are being seen as a major technology for the future of wafer manufacturing in the solar industry. As wafer producers migrate capacity to quasi-mono or cast mono, they have to contend with new yield challenges. The main benefit of the mono-like wafer is that an alkaline texture process can be used which increases the cell efficiency by about 0.5% absolute—a significant gain. Thus, the current industry practice is to manually sort wafers based on the fraction of mono-crystalline area in a wafer. Grade A wafers sell at up to a 50% premium (to standard multi) since the 0.5% efficiency gain can be achieved from the alkaline texture.

Solution

Even though the Grade A wafers look optically perfect, there is often a wide efficiency spread due to defects like dislocations that go undetected by standard optical inspection technologies. With BT Imaging’s new suite of tools, manufacturers can efficiently grade cast mono wafers. The iS-G1 is an optical inspection module, which grades wafers based on mono area fraction. The iLS-W2 is a PL module, which grades mono-like wafers based on dislocation count. Both of these modules can inspect wafers on the fly at the end of the wafer manufacturing line or beginning of a cell line, and sort wafers according to their electrical quality and value. The iLS-W2 offers on-the-fly inspection at 3,600 wafers per hour—a 2x increase over the iLS-W1. Together the iS-G1 and iLS-W2 provide a complete grading solution for cast mono wafers.

Applications

The iLS-W2 inspects and grades the electrical quality of silicon PV wafers at full wafer line speeds using PL imaging and integrated image processing algorithms.  The iLS-W2 is capable of grading as-cut multi-crystalline and cast mono wafers, with the ability to grade CZ mono silicon PV wafers being added in the near future.

Platform

Existing production lines can easily integrate the iLS-W2 with any wafer inspection system. The new iQ automation unit can be retrofitted into existing wafer lines to enable grading with the iS-G1 and the iLS-W2. This compact automation unit contains an internal belt which moves the wafer under the iLS-W2 for inspection. The iQ has adjustable belt height, flexible handshaking, and supports any communication protocol, enabling it to be easily installed between any wafer inspection system and sorter system in a factory. The QS-W2 is a stand-alone sorter which automatically loads and sorts wafers with the iS-G1 and iLS-W2.

Availability

Tools are shipping from July 2012. BT Imaging is accepting orders now.

26 January 2022
Join this free webinar for our analysis of the growth of N-Type technology including; new capacity expansions and production output. We'll also be looking at the global manufacturing footprint with forecasts on how much product will be made outside of China this year and which companies are driving technology change across the crystalline silicon value chain.
23 February 2022
Held annually since 2016, the Energy Storage Summit Europe is the place to be for senior stakeholders in the European storage industry. Designed to accelerate deployment of storage, we examine evolving chemistries, business models, project design, revenue stacks and use cases for storage. The 2022 edition will include exclusive content around longer duration solutions, energy strategies for wide-scale deployment of EVs and "EnTech", the event which sits at the intersection of digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonation of the power system. Come to meet TSOs, DSOs, Utilities, Developers, Investors and Lenders and leave with new contacts, partners and a wealth of information.
7 March 2022
Take your chance to join the most powerful platform in the MENA region. Middle East Energy (MEE), Intersolar, and ees, the leading energy exhibitions are joining hands to co-deliver an outstanding renewables and energy storage event at Middle East Energy 2021. Renewables and energy storage at MEE is the largest gathering of solar and renewable energy industry professionals in the Middle East & Africa, offering the most effective trade focused platform to international manufacturers and distributors looking to meet regional buyers.
8 March 2022
As Solar Finance & Investment enters its ninth year, we sit on the cusp of a new power market with solar at its heart. The 2022 edition of the event will build on our years of expertise and relationships to bring investors and lenders together with top developers. Connect with leaders in the field and use exclusive insights to drive investment and development decisions for the future. Meet new and existing project partners at the largest gathering of European solar investors and lenders.
23 March 2022
When it comes to storage, the US market exceeded a gigawatt of advanced energy storage installations (weighted towards lithium ion) at 1.46 GW, more than the previous six years in total! An exponential growth rate could see the market hit 7.5 GW p.a. by 2025. The summit will provide a wealth of content around this vital piece in the US power puzzle, with sessions dedicated to explore how companies are making money from batteries, the latest chemistries and their applications as they apply to different use-cases. We ask how investors can match ESG criteria to batteries and we will bring case studies of successful deployment and project execution onto the stage to examine how you can ensure your own projects are successful.
29 March 2022
Now in its 10th sell-out year, Large Scale Solar returns to Lisbon in 2022. We are excited to gather together face-to-face with the European solar industry as we provide unique and exclusive access to a powerful selection of the market's key stakeholders. Join this elite summit to find out how the market is maturing, which new markets are becoming more exciting, how technology is evolving and who's driving the market forward into the 2020s. Always senior, packed with developers, EPCs, utilities and investors this is the event for companies serious about European solar PV.

Read Next

January 25, 2022
Regulators in Nevada have paved the way for two solar-storage hybrid projects to replace a legacy coal power plant in the US state, approving their sale to utility NV Energy.
January 25, 2022
The Czech Republic’s largest utility, ČEZ Group, should scale up its domestic solar PV portfolio over the next decade instead of pursuing new nuclear power plants, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has said.
January 25, 2022
SK Ecoplant, part of the South Korean conglomerate SK Group, has signed a US$200 million joint venture (JV) agreement with Vietnamese rooftop specialists Nami Solar for the development of 250MW of rooftop solar in Vietnam over the next four years.
PV Tech Premium
January 25, 2022
European solar power purchase agreement (PPA) prices can be expected to level off this year following a turbulent end to 2021 as the market undergoes a shift in the balance of power to the seller side.
January 25, 2022
Indian PV encapsulant and backsheet manufacturer RenewSys has brought its encapsulant production capacity up to 3GW with the commissioning of a new line in Bengaluru, India, with the company eventually targeting 11GW of capacity through a “phased manner”.
January 25, 2022
A consortium including Saudi solar developer ACWA Power has inaugurated the 500MW Ibri 2 solar project in Oman, which becomes the country’s largest utility-scale solar project to date.  

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
January 26, 2022
Free Webinar
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 8, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal