Significant cost savings and process improvements in the print process
11 October 2012 - DEK Solar, a leading provider of screen printing equipment and
metallisation tests that show the possibility for significant cost savings and process
improvements in the print process.
DEK launched the paper, entitled ""Fine Line Printing of Front Side Metallisations
Using Ultra Fine Mesh and Stencil Technologies", at the recent EU PVSEC exhibition
in Frankfurt, Germany. It was developed in collaboration with DuPont Microcircuit
Materials (MCM), a leading global manufacturer of high efficiency photovoltaic
metallisation pastes. The two companies evaluated ultra-fine wire mesh screens and
metal stencils in both single and dual printing processes in order to investigate
whether it was possible to improve cost per watt through increasing cell efficiency
and reducing paste consumption.
Key findings were:
 Use of ultra-fine meshes in single print mode can enable reductions in paste
consumption up to 30% without effecting cell efficiency. In this mode the busbar
thickness is significantly reduced causing a reduction in solder adhesion forces
 In dual print mode the use of a stencil to print the fingers and a 400 mesh to
print a dedicated busbar paste can achieve total laydown reductions up to 40%
and a relative increase in efficiency > 0.5% . Use of dedicated busbar paste
enables high solder adhesion forces to be maintained.
Tom Falcon, Senior Process Development Specialist at
DEK Solar comments, "We're really excited by the results of these tests, and the potential impact this might have
on solar cell production in the future. By showing that significant cost savings can be
achieved by reducing silver usage, whilst also generating improvements in both
electrical efficiency and reliability, we feel that both solar cell manufacturers and
consumers will benefit.
DEK and DuPont MCM carried out these tests over a period of 6 months at the
DuPont MCM facility in Bristol.
About DEK Solar
DEK is a global provider of next-generation technologies and process support to solar cell
manufacturers with solutions that include modular metallization platforms, precision
screens and materials applications used in back side field coating, current-collector pattern
and termination deposition for photovoltaic substrate production. For more information,
visit DEK Solar at www.deksolar.com.