Despatch Industries Announces In-Line, Light Induced Degradation Prevention for Metallization Furnaces
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, October 7, 2015 – Light Induced Degradation (LID), which reduces the efficiency of PERC cells by up to 6% after they are installed, has been a persistent problem for solar manufacturers. Several furnace manufacturers have introduced solutions to the problem but they all require the purchase of stand-alone equipment that takes up valuable floor space and requires additional material handling steps. Now Despatch has developed an in-line solution that integrates into its metallization firing furnace line and reduces LID to around one percent. The patent-pending in-line PowerLock™ LID Prevention technology eliminates the need for material handling and saves floor space.
Despatch PowerLock™ uses LED lamps which have a 20SUN maximum intensity that achieves the desired result in just 3.6 meters. These lamps allow the dwell time to be reduced significantly which enable an in-line process that maintains furnace throughput speeds. LED lamps are energy efficient, producing twice the lumens per watt compared to the arc lamps used in other solutions. These lamps have a life expectancy of 50,000 hours which is ten times longer than arc lamps. To extend life and reduce power consumption, the lamps can switch off automatically when there is no load present. This is not possible with arc lamps that need time to reach full power.
“With the largest share of firing furnaces in the market there has been a lot of anticipation for an LID solution from Despatch,” said Erik Anderson, Despatch Industries Solar Product Manager “we already have orders from several of the top-tier solar manufacturers in China and Taiwan.”
PowerLock can be retrofitted into existing Despatch tools and will be offered on all new Safire™ Firing Furnaces. Despatch CF-Series Firing Furnaces can also be ordered with PowerLock but Safire is recommended. Despatch has demonstrated and proven results with PowerLock on both mono and multi PERC and p-type cells.