German PV tool supplier Schmid Group has announced that is has sold eight of its APCVD (atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition) units to three renowned solar manufacturers in Asia.
Although further details of who the customers are were not forthcoming, the sale is being touted by Schmid Group as indicative of a strong solar PV industry one that is constantly on the look-out for process upgrades that improve maximum energy yield.
"The [sale] should be interpreted as a clear sign of stimulation of the PV industry," said Schmid Groups VP and head of business unit PV, Christian Buchner. "In future there will be more and more technology upgrades in the direction of high-efficiency cells, in particular concepts with maximum energy yield such as bifacial solar cells."
The APCVD tool was developed specifically to meet the demands of high volume production, applying many of the layers required in modern high efficiency solar cell production. Its thermal processing system is touted as precise and energy efficient, and its multiple injection heads allow for highly uniform films to be deposited in a single system.
In one process step, claims Schmid Group, the APCVD tool can configure doped glasses like BSG and PSG, as well as capping and passivation layers like SiO2.