Tool Order: Levitech wins multiple ALD systems order for PERC cells in Japan

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A major multinational Japanese firm has ordered two Levitrack Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) systems from Levitech intended for volume production of PERC (passivated emitter rear cell) solar cells including both multicrystalline and n-type wafers. 

According to Levitech the multiple single order, is the first for any ALD tool. Although rival firms have started selling ALD tools these have been single tool purchases including for R&D purposes. 

“The further success of the Levitrack, with two being sold to a prestigious client, is confirmation that our mass production solutions for fast ALD deposition deliver the right product to meet the needs of mass-production manufacturers”, noted Jaap Beijersbergen, CEO of Levitech. “The system will be used for PERC cells – with efficiencies exceeding 20 per cent – as well as multi-crystalline and n-type products.”

“We know that aluminum oxide film provides excellent cell passivation and increased cell efficiencies, especially when deposited in uniform and dense layers, a particular feature of the ALD technique. In the Levitrack these qualities are combined with an efficient and effective platform for delivery,” added Beijersbergen. 

According to the company, the Japanese PV manufacturer selected the Levitrack system due to overall productivity, cost-of-ownership and process advantages over competitive PECVD and other ALD systems for aluminum oxide (Al2O3) applications. 

Japanese manufacturers have benefited from string domestic demand since Japan introduced a new FiT plan, with many running at full capacity throughout 2013 and 2014, though few have added meaningful new production capacity during the period. 

In mid-2014, only Kyocera officially announced a module assembly expansion of 200MW, according to a recently published report on 2014 capacity expansion announcements in PV Tech’s sister technical journal, Photovoltaics International.

The majority of over 4.7GW of cell capacity announcements in 2014 were for PERC-based solar cells, according to the report.

Financial details of the Levitech deal were not disclosed. Delivery schedules were also not provided by the company. 

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