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Beyond optical inspection – Dr Schenk 2 Steps ahead with the brand new I-V curve tracer

Dr. Schenk launches brand new product at their booth B6/6 during the 24th EU PVSEC in Hamburg (21-24. September, 2009)
The I-V Curve Tracer from the SolarMeasure family enables correlation of optical inspection and efficiency tests (I-V curve)


Currently, Dr. Schenk GmbH is the only “total-solution provider” of metrology systems for PV thin-film modules worldwide. Having installed more than 50 systems into running thin-film production lines within the past 3 years, Dr. Schenk‘s specialized solutions for virtually every processing step along the line are unmatched in the industry. Now, Dr. Schenk GmbH has taken the next step in thin-film metrology.

“Indirect metrology tests”, for example the measurement of pinhole density, layer thickness or haze monitoring, enable the manufacturer to evaluate the module quality and give an early warning as soon as a process step no longer meets the preset tolerances. These indirect measurements alone cannot make a prediction about the final electrical efficiency of the solar panel. As today‘s sun simulators or flashers are installed only at the very end of the production line when low quality modules have already gone through expensive back-end processing, Dr. Schenk has developed a unique innovation that is complimentary to flashers but enables an early feedback on the module efficiency!

Dr. Schenk‘s brand new I-V Curve Tracer meets three challenges that flashers cannot overcome and is therefore the perfect addition to every thin-film line.

As flashers are installed at the end of the production line, a module with bad/low efficiency can only be sorted out after complete processing. This results in a waste of expensive process capacity and material, e.g. for laminating or cover glass processing. In order to avoid this loss, Dr. Schenk‘s I-V Curve Tracer is integrated before the lamination step and enables the manufacturer to sort out faulty products before the module is sent on to cost intensive back-end steps.

Whereas a flasher test can only deliver one efficiency result for the entire panel, the I-V Curve Tracer measures space-, wavelength-and irradiance-resolved and can, thus, identify the exact position or cell of an irregularity.

By matching these detailed efficiency results with data from the indirect measurements of the SolarInspect and SolarMeasure systems along the production line, manufacturers can make immediate and long-term correlations between local defects and panel efficiency. These correlations enable manufacturers to define and optimize process criteria as well as quality rules for each production step. Corrective actions can be taken as early as possible and production costs can be reduced.

With the I-V Curve Tracer, a brand new measurement innovation being launched during the 24th EU PVSEC, Dr. Schenk sets itself 2 steps ahead of the metrology competition. With this unique and innovative product, customers can evaluate and correlate metrology data from optical and electrical measurements along the line and perceive an early feedback and a comprehensive overview of the entire manufacturing process. This global evaluation, uniquely offered by Dr. Schenk GmbH, reveals the real potential for process optimization.

For further information on the I-V Curve Tracer and other solutions for the thin-film PV industry, please visit the Dr. Schenk booth B6/6 at 24 EU PVSEC in Hamburg or refer to www.drschenk.com.

About Dr. Schenk GmbH

Dr. Schenk GmbH, established in 198 5, is an innovative high-tech company based in Munich,

Germany. For the third decade now, the range of products and services offered by Dr. Schenk comprises comprehensive solutions for automated quality assurance and production process monitoring to the solar, flat glass, film and foil, converting, paper, optical media and semiconductor industries. In these areas Dr. Schenk continues to set new standards for the inspection of surfaces through the utilization of the latest technical advances in optics and electronics.

The company’s primary objective is to achieve complete satisfaction of our customers on a long-term basis. This vision is realized by a perfect synergy between innovative solutions and practical ideas. Global sales and service facilities ensure local support, technical service, training and consulting at any phase of a project. From modular standard units to highly customized systems – Dr. Schenk’s high-performance test and inspection products have precision in focus!

Dr. Schenk GmbH Einsteinstrasse 37 (Martinsried) Press Contact: D-82152 Planegg, Germany Antje Reich Phone: +49-89-85695-0 Phone: +49-89-85695-172 Fax: +49-89-85695-200 Email: antje.reich@drschenk.com Website: www.drschenk.com