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DEK and Heller announce state-of-the-art drying technology for solar cell metallization

DEK Solar and Heller Industries have unveiled the results of a recent collaboration; a pioneering drying system that enhances the state-of-the-art PV3000 metallization line even further. The alliance between the market-leading screen printing and thermal technology specialists has enabled a significant breakthrough in solar cell production, incorporating precise thermal control, improved VOC management and reduced power consumption – all on a compact footprint.

DEK Solar and Heller Industries initially joined forces in a bid to create a technology-leading Metallization line which offered a distinct competitive advantage to customers manufacturing solar cells. The result is the enhanced PV3000, a high throughput metallization line delivering six-sigma repeatability for capability in advance of current solar cell requirements. Offering the most compact footprint available today, the platform benefits from Heller’s experience in the field through the recent addition of a solar cell dryer, the PVD3000, equipped to handle increased product throughput over a reduced footprint and with reduced maintenance.

Heller’s pioneering dryer concept is based on the principles of hot air convection drying, a process which is conducive to precision thermal control at lower drying temperatures. Offering a significant advantage over conventional IR-based dryers, the PVD3000’s drying technology creates improved air exchange within the process chamber which enables the dryer to manage the increased VOC volume associated with raised throughput. In addition, the specialist catalyst incorporated within the process chamber converts the VOCs to simpler compounds such as carbon dioxide and water. An important by-product of the catalyst conversion is heat which, in turn, is used to enhance the drying process and reduce overall power consumption.

Commenting on the new addition to the PV3000, DEK’s Alternative Energy Business Manager Darren Brown explains: “Our ongoing collaboration with Heller is a great example of our commitment to working with industry-leaders to deliver our customers the best possible competitive advantage through technology. Equipped with state-of-the-art drying capabilities, the PV3000 achieves this. Not only can we deliver one of the smallest, most compact footprints available today, but we can also deliver a novel approach to VOC management which actually benefits the overall drying process. The resultant reduction in power consumption proves that you can be green in manufacture as well as in end product!”

Heller Industries’ European Sales Manager, Joe Balackyi, adds: “Here at Heller Industries, we’re continually looking to develop and improve our systems for the benefit of our customers. By teaming up with DEK, we’ve been able to offer a breakthrough solution for solar cell producers; cost-efficiency, improved thermal process, increased system uptime, reduced maintenance and lower power consumption are just a few of the benefits the industry can expect from the enhanced PV3000. Plus, both ourselves and DEK have spent years building up a comprehensive global infrastructure; so our customers can count on dedicated support – wherever they are in the world!”