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Posted: September 8, 2009

BASF presents innovative products for the solar industry in Hamburg

(Nanowerk News) From September 21 - 24, BASF will be presenting its range of innovative products for the solar industry at the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC) in Hamburg, Germany. The conference and exhibition, which is one of the most important worldwide for the solar and photovoltaic sector, will be taking place for the 24th time.
At BASF’s booth B6/39 in Hall B6 BASF experts will inform industry professionals about the company’s comprehensive portfolio of products and services. Apart from SELURISTM, a range of innovative chemical solutions for wafer processing, they will present a new laser printing technology and the silver conductive pastes specifically designed for it as well as COLO-FAST®, a UV-stable polyurethane system for the frames of photovoltaic and solar panels.
SELURISTM – for greater efficiency in manufacturing and better performance
With the SelurisTM range of products, BASF offers customers an all-round solution for cutting, etching, texturing and doping mono- and polycrystalline solar cells. The special feature of SelurisTM is that, under this name, the company is bringing together chemicals that are specifically geared to the solar cell manufacturing process. Thus, for example, the purity levels are tailored for use in solar cell production.
Within the solar cell manufacturing process, BASF cutting fluids are used as cooling and lubricating agents when the wafers are sawn from the high-purity silicon blocks. Special etching and texturing chemicals eliminate the saw damage and the “patterning” created on the wafer surfaces. High-purity phosphorus oxychloride (POCl3) from a new production plant is used for subsequent doping of the wafers.
In addition, the company is working on innovative, new chemical solutions to optimize the production processes and increase the efficiency of solar cells, which will mean greater profitability for customers. These solutions include, for example, improved cutting fluids, with which wafers can be cut even more quickly and thinner.
Lead-free metallization pastes – for better conductivity
In Hamburg, BASF will, for the first time, be presenting the contactless digital laser transfer printing process developed by the company as well as the corresponding lead-free pastes for the metallization of wafers/solar cells. This new process for crystalline solar cells reduces the breakage rate during metallization and enables customers to handle even thinner solar cells (below 180 µm). Further advantages are the environment-friendly lead-free paste technology and a simplified process with high throughput. Beyond that, the new silver conductive pastes are also suitable for use in conventional wafer production (screen printing process).
COLO-FAST® - more design freedom in just one step
With the new COLO-Fast® polyurethane casting system, BASF’s subsidiary Elastogran offers quick, economical and secure framing of photovoltaic and solar panels. The UV-stable PU system is able to replace the aluminum frames normally used in the past and opens up a variety of frame design opportunities for customers: the PU casting system is poured directly onto the solar cells. Production is by way of the process known as reaction injection molding (RIM process). Here, the solar cells and solar panels are placed into a closed mold and COLO-FAST® is injected through a mixing head. After a reaction time of just 30 seconds the framed panel can be removed and used immediately.
Apart from the greater design freedom for solar and photovoltaic modules, COLO-FAST® provides faster production times, better edge protection, extreme resistance to weathering and high UV resistance. Consequently, very flexible shapes can be cast, different shades of color achieved and – according to the customer’s particular requirements – light, thinner or thicker frames produced.
About the Inorganics division
The Inorganics Division develops and manufactures one of the broadest portfolios of inorganic chemicals, products mainly based on natural gas and metal compounds worldwide. It supplies customers, e.g. from the construction, pharmaceutical, food or wood working industry. Its product portfolio ranges from inorganic basic chemicals such as sulfuric or nitric acids to inorganic salts like ammonium bicarbonate, specialties such as boranes and carbonyl iron powder, glues and impregnating resins, electronic chemicals and fertilizers. The Inorganics Division employs about 3000 people at sites in Europe, Asia and the United States. In 2008 the division posted sales of about €2.8 billion. Further information on the Inorganics Division is available on www.basf.de/inorganics.
About Elastogran
Elastogran is a member of the BASF Group. The Elastogran Group, a market and technology leader in polyurethane systems and special elastomers, comprises the headquarters in Lemförde (Germany) and eleven companies with twelve system houses in Dubai, France, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Elastogran supplies BASF base materials for polyurethane throughout Europe and develops, produces and distributes polyurethane systems as well as special thermoplastic (Elastollan®) and cellular (Cellasto®) elastomers as highly refined specialty materials. In 2008 Elastogran generated net sales of €2,2 billion (consolidated) with a staff of approximately 1,800.
Polyurethanes (PU) are versatile polymers for a variety of applications. The material properties can be tailored to the particular use. PU products are used successfully in the automotive industry, for thermal insulation in construction and civil engineering and in refrigeration, in the electronics sector, for the manufacture of shoes and furniture, and in articles for sport and recreation. Information about Elastogran is available on the Internet at www.elastogran.de.
Source: BASF (press release)

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