PV manufacturing equipment specialist SCHMID Group has launched a new texturing tool for diamond-wire-cut multi-c-Si wafers that has already secured orders in the 500MW range and expects significant order intake through the first half of 2017.

The DW PreTex tool is claimed to be a low-cost alternative to plasma etch processes using standard texture HF/HNO3 chemistries in a high-volume wet bench configuration. 

“We have processed samples for all leading wafer and cell manufacturers in our Technology Center,” noted Dr. Christian Buchner, head of the business unit Photovoltaics at SCHMID. “With DW PreTex, our customers achieve more uniform surfaces than by texturing slurry-cut wafers – at operating costs of less than 0.01 Euro per wafer.”

Claimed to provide a more uniform surface than slurry-cut wafers, the DW PreTex system is also said to provide potential cell efficiency gains.

SCHMID noted that apart from the 500MW of pre-orders, a further 5GW of new orders for the tool are expected in the first-half of 2017. The first systems are expected to be shipped in Q2, 2017.

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