Watlow improves solar cell thermal processing with precise control of tungsten lamps

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Product Briefing Outline: Watlow has expanded the EZ-ZONE ST integrated controller family to include phase angle power switching and increased load current capabilities. The upgraded EZ-ZONE ST features single-phase solid-state relay output up from 40 to 75A and phase angle power switching with soft start to prevent high in-rush currents, load failure or blown fuses during solar cell thermal processing.

Problem: Radiant quartz (tungsten) lamps are commonly used in the manufacturing of PV cells to deliver a variety of specific thermal profiles rapidly. To overcome inherent limitations (low resistance/high in-rush currents), these heating lamps require phase angle power to function properly. These lamps are also usually ganged into small banks for improved temperature uniformity, which require temperature control, power switching, current monitoring, over-temperature protection and field communications.

Solution: This upgraded controller is designed specifically for the production of PV cells where size and temperature uniformity are required to reliably produce a cell with high conversion yields. This expanded offering improves thermal uniformity, temperature repeatability and provides the functionality of multiple components and footprints collapsed into one, while also remaining compact. The design of the EZ-ZONE ST provides a complete thermal system kit to reduce project and engineering design time and is already tested and validated for the specified ampacity.

Applications: Solar cell thermal processing.

Platform: The EZ-ZONE ST comes complete with a free internal communications bus (standard bus) which provides a single entry point for configuration and monitoring or location to access multiple controllers on the bus. Option of 1/16 DIN RUI as a stand-alone device or combining the RUI with gateway functionality.  The gateway will access higher level field buses (PROFIBUS, Ethernet/IP, DeviceNet or Modbus) by converting standard bus to the field protocol once.

Availability: Currently available.

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