Photovoltaic Value Chain – Cell Process

Process intelligence

Highlight: Diamond Wire
Diamond wire technology achieves further ­reductions in cost per wafer. The environmentally friendly water-based sawing process cuts the brick at double the cutting speed compared to standard slurry cutting processes. This ­increases production output significantly and maximises machine capacity.


Cropping is the process in which the ingot is cut into segments of optimal length, and top end and tail, test wafers

and faults are removed.


Subsurface damages and geometric irregularities are eliminated and the brick prepared with the final wafer geometry during grinding which enables optimal process stability in downstream processes. It is the base for higher yields during wafering.


Screen printing is used to print the contacts (fingers) on the front and back sides of wafers with silver paste.


During the squaring process, the ingot is cut into bricks with the desired wafer geometry.


The homogeneous application of the glue ensures highest yield in follow-on processes. By marking each brick with the HSC Code, it is possible to trace the position of the brick and the wafers cut from it within the production process.


Using diamond wire cutting technology, the hard and brittle silicon brick is cut into ultra-­thin high-quality wafers which are ideal for application in the trendsetting heterojunction (HJT) cell process.



Separation, Final cleaning
Fully automated wafer handling systems separate and transport the wafers without stress and breakage from separation to final cleaning up to the final inspection.


Fully automated inspection and sorting provide empirical data about wafer geometry, possible material or surface defects, conductivity and lifetime forecast.


For high efficiency HJT cells, damages from cutting have to be completely removed and a special texture created by wet chemical processes. The wafers are also put through a special cleaning process.


PECVD coating
The surface of the cell is passivated (p/n junction) in order to prevent energy loss within the cell. The intrinsic and amorphous silicon layers are separated without cross-contamination, thus achieving passivation with a high longevity.


PVD Coating
A sputter process is used to apply a TCO (transparent conductive oxides) layer to the front and back of the wafer which serves as an antireflection layer.


Curing printed HJT cells is a simple thermal process at temperatures of < 250 °C in order to outgas the solvents within the low temperature paste.


Testing & Sorting
Meyer Burger offers leading measurement procedures for the precise testing of high capacitance HJT cells which require a measurement speed of 400–600 ms.


Cell Connection
Solar cells are linked with foil-wire electrodes to form a string. The electrical interconnection of the strings only takes place during the laminating process.


Lay-up and Matrix
The strings are positioned on the glass and the encapsulant to form the solar cell matrix.


In order to protect the cells from environmental influences, the individual layers are bonded together using pressure and heat under a vacuum to form the final solar module.


Final Assembly
In the final assembly process, sockets are attached to the module.


The final step is to test each module for performance, hipot and electroluminescence.


After sorting of the solar modules into their respective performance cate­gories, they are stacked on euro-pallets and ­released for transport.


Highlight: Heterojunction Technology (HJT)
HJT combines the advantages of crystalline silicon solar cells and thin film technologies enabling solar cells to reach higher degrees of efficiency at a lower cost of production.


Highlight: Contacting busbarless cells
Meyer Burger’s contacting system for contacting busbarless cells for IV/EL performance measurements ensures that the shadowing on the cell is minimised and that the IV measurement is both precise and highly reproducible. Using perpendicular wires on the front and back sides instead of standard contact pins ensures a uniformly distributed pressure on the cell and thus a capability of contacting very thin cells < 120 μm.


Highlight: SmartWire connection Technology (SWCT)
SWCT is the most cost-effective method of connecting cells. It employs a foil-wire electrode instead of the conventional

cell connectors (ribbons). This results in significant improvements in efficiency while reducing the negative effects of possible micro-cracks to a minimum.


Highlight: DragonBack®
Solar modules are sold based on performance categories making the precise performance measurement modules critically important. Meyer Burger sets the standard for industrial measurement technology with its innovative solutions for accurate power rating of high efficiency modules. Meyer Burger’s award winning performance measurement technology for high efficiency modules is A+A+A+ certified by TÜV Rheinland.

Solar systems
Meyer Burger is actively engaged in implementing future-oriented energy strategies and realising intelligent energy systems. Together with partners in industry, research and politics, at the trade association level and with our customers, we aim to prove that photovoltaics can contribute considerably to the future energy supply. We are proactively involved in such topics and issues as energy generation, energy storage technology and energy efficiencies.

Quartz sand
Quartz sand is the raw material for photovoltaic systems. In a series of complex production processes, it is transformed from its original form into solar panels capable of producing electricity.

Cell Process

The basis for crystalline silicon solar cells are mono- or multi-crystalline silicon wafers. The wafers are coated and processed into solar cells in a series of production processes.


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