Optical metrology solutions ensure high quality photovoltaic modules

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Sunfilm, a manufacturer of silicon-based thin-film modules, has integrated three inline metrology solutions from Basler Vision Technologies into its Applied Materials SunFab Thin-Film Line for photovoltaic modules. Sunfilm not only inspects incoming glass, but is using Basler's Sensic inspection equipment to ensure high quality of the semiconductor coatings on thin-film modules, as well as to ensure premier quality of the final product after the lamination process is finished.

Basler metrology solutions have been successfully used for the LCD inspection for the last 10 years and have been adapted and optimised to the thin-film industry.

All three Basler Sensic inspection systems are inline systems. They were installed and put into operation with minimal downtime, since Sunfilm's SunFab line was operating in series production throughout the complete integration process. The data exchange between the SunFab's factory automation system and Basler's metrology system is made via the standard industry protocol SECS/GEM, which allows an online and in-time data exchange.

'Sunfilm is again demonstrating its technological edge and commitment to constant innovation and latest state-of-the-art process control with the implementation of this new generation of inspection tools, developed together with Basler,' said Dr Wilhelm Stein, chief engineer at Sunfilm.

Sunfilm is an applied materials customer using tandem junction thin-film silicon cell structure. This technology allows a larger part of the solar spectrum to be harvested as compared to amorphous silicon thin-film solar modules, leading to higher module efficiencies.

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