For producers in the photovoltaic silicon market space, production yield has become an increasingly critical competitive factor. Depending on the particular type of PV Si technology, there are a number of steps within the manufacturing process where birefringence levels can be used as an early indicator of future panel production yield. Exicor® birefringence measurement technology is a valuable tool for optimizing production yields at these critical upstream stages within PV Si manufacturing:
Stress in Silicon – Hinds scientists, in cooperation with leading single crystal PV Si manufacturing specialists, have documented a significant correlation between birefringence stress levels in early stage Si ingots and down-stream production yield failures.
Stress in Glass – Depending on magnitudes and degree of uniformity, high levels of strain birefringence in the glass substrate used in thin film photovoltaic panels contribute to premature panel breakage, either during production or in the field. The former reduces production yield, while the latter increases warranty costs.