HighLine Technology with new process for the metallization of solar cells

Parallel dispensing print heat of the HighLine company used for silicon solar cell metallization.

HighLine Technology GmbH, a spin-off of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, intends to commercialize a new process for applying metal contacts to the front of solar cells, which was developed during ten years of research at the ISE. In the dispensing technology, the materials are pressed onto the surface of the solar cell in a contactless printing process through the finest openings of a highly parallel print head, similar to toothpaste through a tube opening. The dispensing technology can easily be integrated into conventional production lines for silicon cells and replace the screen printing used to apply the front metal contacts, according to a statement from the ISE. This could reduce silver consumption by about 20 percent. The thinner contacts would also cover less cell area, which would lead to a one percent higher efficiency. The contactless process is also gentler on the cells, which reduces waste. In addition, the inline printing process enables a higher throughput compared to screen printing. HighLine Technology GmbH received funding from the EXIST research transfer program of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology BMWi and is also financed by the Fraunhofer Technologie-Transferfond Fonds GmbH - FTTF - among others.