Our R&D department currently is working and will continue to work on new, innovative products for the photovoltaic industry. Already this year, we have introduced new alloys and fluxes. We will launch even more new products in the coming months.

Solders and fluxes for soldering PV panels

Josef Jost, President | Balver Zinn

Q. Josef, although Balver Zinn does not produce solar cells, your products are used in various solar applications. Can you tell us about some of these applications and how they benefit the industry?

A. We produce and supply non-electrical building materials for this market. Solar cells are connected using solder connections and Balver Zinn is a leading manufacturer of high-quality solders and fluxes for soldering. When you need solder or fluxes, you can turn to Balver Zinn.

Q. What drove Balver Zinn to enter the solar industry?

A. Renewable energy is becoming increasingly more important. By supplying to this industry, we feel that we are contributing to the environment. As a supplier of surface treatments, wires and solder, Balver Zinn has more than three generations of experience in the electronics industry. This metallurgical knowledge and the company’s drive in “forging new paths” is the basis for entering the solar market. Additionally, Balver Zinn is working closely with suppliers of PV ribbon products. Balver Zinn provides supplies to produce tin coated precision copper flat wire for solar cell tabbing and string interconnects.

Q. Balver Zinn and the Cobar division provide flux pens for customers that want to hand solder their own solar panels. How do the pens work?

A. The pens are filled with flux and have a fine point for clean, precise application. The flux pens enable the user to precisely apply the desired quantity of flux. The pens can be refilled with flux to remove oxides and promote wetting in order to create strong interconnections that are resistant enough for the standard industry pull tests.

Q. You recently introduced a new variant of your unique lead-free solder, Balver Zinn SN100C, in the form of SN100CS solder. Please tell us about this new development.

A. Our SN100CS™ is a variant of SN100C™. It helps to make optimal solder available for each specific application. This eagerly anticipated development in the highly regarded SN100C solder range has a content of 100 ppm (0.01 percent) of germanium (Ge). In the SN100C formulation, Ge plays the vital role of the antioxidant, providing a preferential reaction with oxygen to protect the solder from oxidation, which results in the formation of dross. The greater content of germanium in the SN100CS solder renders it especially suitable for applications without nitrogen. This new solder also offers all of the same advantages that have made Balver Zinn’s SN100C so popular with leading manufacturers around the globe, including its substantially reduced copper dissolution. The lower surface tension of the solder surface deoxidized with Ge also results in improved wetting and flow.

Q. What are some of the common issues that customers face in solar manufacturing and how does Balver Zinn help to solve them?

A. The most common challenge is to manufacture products that are reliable over their life span of 20 years and the Balver Zinn range of products helps to achieve this reliability. Balver Zinn provides technical support and dedicated solar products. Our R&D team has a long history of metallurgical and chemical knowledge along with different facilities across Europe to design and make unique products or materials for new solar markets. 

Q. Photovoltaic contributions are expected to increase drastically over the next 10 years. How will Balver Zinn contribute to this growth?

A. Our R&D department currently is working and will continue to work on new, innovative products for the photovoltaic industry. Already this year, we have introduced new alloys and fluxes. We will launch even more new products in the coming months.

Established more than 30 years ago, Balver Zinn GmbH & Co. KG is a family-owned and operated company. Today, the company is among the leading providers of specialist anodes with various alloys, as well as soft solders and special wires and fluxes developed by the Cobar manufacturing facility of Balver Zinn. All Balver Zinn products yield excellent results in the printed circuit board (PCB) industry and are used in electronics assembly, microelectronics, solar and electrical engineering applications.

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