News & Exhibitions
27/01/11 Non-Contact Metrology for Renewable Energy
Renewable Energy - Technology Partnership between CREST and Taylor Hobson
CREST (Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology)
Taylor Hobson company physicist Danny Mansfield and application scientist Yang Yu support CREST at Loughborough University with their new CCI HD metrology tool. The Taylor Hobson CCI HD will be used for research into both existing Silicon and Thin Film solar cells as well asnext generation Solar Photovoltaic technologies.
CREST (Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology) was established in 1993. The primary activity of the centre is to undertake research and education in renewable energy technology so as to provide substantial and benign energy options for present and future generations.
Today, CREST is firmly established as one of the leading international groups working in the field of renewable energy. The centre holds an excellent track record in research and education, with growing numbers of staff members and external research and development contracts.
Research activities at CREST cover a range of technical applications, including wind power, solar PV, energy in buildings, grid connection & integration and energy storage (including hydrogen). CREST is a member of the European
Renewable Energy Centres Agency. This is a network of over 40 of the top renewable
energy research centres.
Prof. Michael Walls, Professor of Photovoltaics at CREST commented: “Metrology plays a key role in the development and manufacture of solar cells and modules. Surface texture is an important means of reducing reflection on silicon devices and the roughness of the Transmitting Conducting Oxide (TCO) is crucial in thin film photovoltaics. The speed and extraordinary sensitivity of the CCI HD makes it an ideal tool both for R&D and quality assurance. We will be working with Ametek Taylor Hobson to establish its applications in Solar”
This month, Mike Conroy of Ametek Taylor Hobson and Michael Walls of Loughborough University are publishing an article, “Thin Film Accuracy”, in ‘Solar’ magazine, one of the leading international PV journals. The article discusses the role of metrology and Sunstar white light interferometry in a number of important photovoltaic application areas.
By using the Taylor Hobson patented HCF function on CCI HD, film thickness measurement from 5 micrometres to sub 300nm can be achieved and the industry leading 4 million pixel camera enables high lateral resolution
measurements to be made over much larger areas and much faster than with traditional tools.
Additionally, CCI HD is particularly well suited for metrology tasks
related to the design and manufacture of advanced photovoltaic solar cells, whether those cells are first-, second-, or third-generation designs. It is ideal for measuring the depth of scribe lines and surface texture on crystalline silicon Withits ability to measure surface roughness and trench depth, the CCI HD makes process control of silicon solar cells both faster and more cost effective.
Taylor Hobson looks forward to supporting and developing the partnership with CREST. Both CREST and Taylor Hobson are committed to playing their part in the development of cost effective renewable energy.