3D-Micromac develops a new laser cutting system for solar cells

3D-Micromac AG has introduced an advanced laser cutting system for half and shingle solar cells – the microCELL MCS. The new advanced microCELL MCS laser system has been designed to meet the demands of the photovoltaic market to increase the output power and life of the modules by minimizing power losses and enhancing the mechanical strength of cut cells. It allows higher throughput to cut cell sizes up to M12 / G12 into half cells or shingle cells.

Heckert Solar GmbH, one of the largest German manufacturers of high-performance photovoltaic modules, has purchased two microCELL MCS systems for its factories in Thuringia (LWD Solar GmbH) and Chemnitz.

Cell cutting is fueling recent advances in photovoltaic manufacturing. In recent years, the cutting of solar cells into half-cells has become a key strategy for the manufacture of photovoltaic panels, allowing remarkable gains in power and mechanical resistance at the module level. This trend has been accompanied by the move to larger full cell formats and the associated increase in the power ratings of the modules.

Cutting cells into half and third cells or even shingles compensates for the increased power loss associated with higher cell currents from larger wafer areas, ensuring that cell cutting remains at the heart of PV manufacturing in the foreseeable future.

The microCELL MCS system takes advantage of 3D-Micromac’s patented Thermal Laser Separation (TLS) process for cell separation. The no-ablation technique guarantees excellent edge quality. As a result, the separated cells have up to 30 percent greater mechanical strength than ablative laser processes and allow for lower power degradation over the life cycle of the solar module. By drastically reducing edge recombination losses and paving the way for tip edge passivation, TLS has been shown to achieve a module power gain of at least 2 W.

The main advantages of the microCELL MCS include:

• One-pass non-contact dicing process, which offers significantly better mechanical stability than conventional solar cells2
• Flexibility on the number of cell cuts – in standard configuration, the laser system cuts half cells. Depending on the number of laser sources, the system is able to cut up to sixth cut cells without reducing throughput
• More than 6,000 platelets per hour
• Easy integration of additional laser modules to increase the number of cell slices
• Suitable for insert sizes up to M12 / G12
• Suitable for solar cells with temperature sensitive coatings or deposits such as Heterojunction Technology (HJT) cells

“The use of half-cells and shingles in photovoltaic modules will have a huge impact on the growth of the industry in the years to come. With our new microCELL MCS laser system, we offer module manufacturers a sustainable production solution that fits seamlessly into an intelligent and scalable cell production line. The system can be upgraded with additional lasers with minimal effort to allow more cuts per wafer without compromising throughput, ”said Uwe Wagner, CEO of 3D-Micromac.

Tags: 3D-Micromac, solar cells

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