Equipment:
ROD 500 laser cleaning system

Company Address:
Russia, Novocheboksarsk, Chuvashskaya Republika

Industry:
Manufacture of photovoltaic (solar) modules

Process:
Laser cleaning of ITO covered pallets

Implementation:
2020 – 2021

About the company

Hevel Energy Group
Hevel was founded in 2009 by Renova Group and Rosnano OJSC for the manufacture of solar panels and the construction of solar energy facilities. Production is located in Novocheboksarsk and is the largest photovoltaic module manufacturing plant in Russia. In the spring of 2015, the plant reached its design capacity, and in July 2017, as a result of modernization, the production of solar modules doubled to 160 MW per year. In 2018, the plant completed preparations to expand its production capacity to 260 MW. The company currently employs over 600 specialists.

The Hevel Group uses high-performance technology (HJT). The current production capacity is 340 MW/year.
Hevel Group is also the largest investor in solar parks in Russia and CIS – with a project pipeline of 1.1 GW in various regions.
Hevel Group is one of the world’s leading industrial manufacturers of HJT PV cells and modules, with their products being supplied to various regions, including EU countries, India, Japan and others.

Customer requirements

Due to increased production volumes, the need for additional equipment for cleaning process equipment arose. Two cleaning methods were considered, ultrasonic and laser. As a result, the decision was made in favour of laser cleaning due to its low operating costs, efficiency, material and environmental friendliness and mobility.

The laser cleaning system is designed for non-contact removal of a thin layer of indium lead oxide (ITO), which is applied to the surface of stainless steel pallets during magnetron sputtering (PVD). The pallets are used to place silicon wafers during PV panel manufacturing by applying an electrically conductive layer. Cleaning is carried out without disturbing the surface morphology of the pallets and reducing their thickness. In addition, the equipment would allow non-contact cleaning of the surfaces of various materials from rust, paint, grease and other types of contamination.

Technical requirements

The laser cleaning system is mobile and includes:

• 500 W laser source with adjustable pulse length from 30 to 100 ns
• Optical fibre with a length of 10 m
• Laser head with automatic focus distance adjustment from 100 to 180 mm;
• PLC
• Control system with touch screen and access options (operator, administrator, service);
Certified safety glasses for laser cleaning
• Consumable parts kit
• Industrial extraction unit

Specifications

NARRAN ROD 500W laser cleaning system
Sibilia SM2 industrial extraction system

Result:

After installation and commissioning, the laser cleaning system was tested to ensure that the guaranteed performance and quality of cleaning was achieved.
Compared to the existing ultrasonic unit:
Energy consumption was significantly reduced
• the number of preparatory measures (pre-installation – dismantling of individual parts) has been reduced and, as a result, the total time spent on cleaning has been reduced
the cost of disposal of cleaning agents has been reduced
the environmental safety of the work has increased

The smoke generated during cleaning is removed by an industrial vacuum cleaner SM2 connected to the laser head.
In the future, it is planned to robotize the cleaning process and incorporate it into the photovoltaic module production line.