The microCELL™ MCS cell cutting system provides free choice of cutting layouts that range from half- to shingled cells without compromising throughput or yield
Chemnitz, Germany, October 5, 2021—3D-Micromac AG, the industry leader in laser micromachining and roll-to-roll laser systems for the semiconductor, photovoltaic (PV), medical device and electronics markets, today introduced an advanced laser cutting system for half- and shingled solar cells – the microCELL™ MCS. The new microCELL MCS advanced laser system has been designed to meet the PV market’s demands for boosting module power output and service life by minimizing power losses and providing for an exceptionally high mechanical strength of cut cells. It enables the highest throughputs for cutting cell sizes up to M12/G12 into half-cells or shingled cells.
Heckert Solar GmbH, one of the largest and leading German manufacturers of high-performance PV modules, has purchased two microCELL MCS systems for its plants in Thuringia (LWD Solar GmbH) and Chemnitz.
Cell cutting fueling recent advances in PV manufacturing
In recent years, cutting solar cells into half-cells has become a key strategy for PV manufacturing by enabling remarkable gains in power output and mechanical strength at the module level. This trend has been accompanied by the switch to larger full-cell formats and the related increase in module power ratings1. Cutting cells into half- and third-cells or even shingles compensates for the increased power loss associated with the higher cell currents from larger wafer areas – ensuring that cell cutting remains at the heart of PV manufacturing for the foreseeable future.
The microCELL MCS system takes advantage of 3D-Micromac’s patented thermal laser separation (TLS) process for cell separation. The ablation-free technique guarantees an excellent edge quality. As a result, the separated cells have up to 30 percent higher mechanical strength compared to ablative laser processes and enable a lower power degradation over the solar module’s life cycle. By significantly reducing edge recombination losses and setting the stage for cutting edge passivation, TLS has been shown to achieve a module power gain of at least 2W.