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Shimadzu Corporation Launches MCXS Anti-Reflective Coating System for Solar Cell Market

Published on 2013-04-29. Author : SpecialChem

Shimadzu Corporation introduced the MCXS anti-reflective coating system and two SCI series cell inspection system models for the crystalline silicon solar cell production process.

The solar cell market is experiencing increased demand in China, which has introduced preferential policies to secure areas of demand and to cultivate local companies, in the USA and India, where good conditions are in place for solar power systems, and in Japan, which has started feed-in tariffs for renewable energy. In the long term, huge increases in energy demand due to economic growth and improved living standards in developing countries are expected to increase demand for solar energy in regions with good insolation conditions, including Africa, the Middle East, South America, and South-East Asia. By 2030, it is predicted that the total output will increase to 128,600 MW, which is 3.2 times the 2012 level.

This situation demands lower manufacturing costs and high resistance to Potential Induced Degradation (PID), which can cause problems of reduced output from megasolar and other solar power systems.

These issues must also be resolved for the anti-reflective coating and associated deposition systems that suppress the reflection of sunlight and enhance energy absorption to contribute to enhanced power generation efficiency, and a high level of performance and productivity is demanded from them.

Shimadzu has adopted a newly developed hollow-cathode plasma source and the direct plasma method to create the MCXS plasma CVD system, which is capable of forming anti-reflective coating that are highly resistant to PID at high throughput and low running costs. By terminating crystal defects on the surface and inside of the substrate with high-density plasma and improving the performance of solar cells, this system contributes to higher conversion efficiency.

Thanks to the high rate deposition achieved by the low-frequency, high-density plasma, crystalline silicon solar cell modules produced by the MCXS system offer high PID resistance. This has been proved by the verification results from the Phase II Consortium Study on Fabrication and Characterization of Solar Cell Modules with Long Life and High Reliability, conducted by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).

On the other hand, the competition for solar cell quality is becoming ever more severe. To achieve more stringent quality control while increasing productivity, there are strong demands to automate the inspection processes that are currently performed manually at the solar cell production stage.

To meet these demands, Shimadzu has developed the new SCI-8SM Compound Inspection System, which performs simultaneous inspections of microcracks and wafer appearance in a single system, and the SCI-8S Exterior Inspection System, the most compact instrument in the field.

These inspection systems help avoid lengthy production halts due to production line stoppages and contribute to enhanced yield.

Through the introduction of these three systems into the ever-expanding solar cell market, Shimadzu is contributing to the widespread adoption of environmentally friendly renewable energy.

About Shimadzu Corporation

Shimadzu Corporation is a manufacturer of precision instruments, measuring instruments and medical equipment, based in Kyoto, Japan.

Source: Shimadzu Corporation

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