EINDHOVEN, Netherlands, July 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Smit Ovens is joining forces with Solliance to develop new thermal solutions for CIGS. In a recently signed four-year deal, Smit Ovens becomes a partner in Solliance's CIGS program. Smit Ovens will supply Solliance with a VTD Selenization / Crystallization furnace for use in Solliance's pilot line. The partners will work together to define and develop furnace specifications based on experience gained over the course of the agreement. This partnership will reduce the time for Smit Ovens to develop and market advanced thermal solutions that meet CIGS manufacturers' needs.
Within the deal, Smit Ovens will supply and operate a Pilot Line VTD Selenization and Crystalization system. The system is currently operational and is used to verify current precursors for use with a cost effective mass production concept. The insight and feedback gained will allow Smit Ovens' customers to refine and qualify a mass production concept. As a part of the agreement, Smit offers the opportunity for CIGS module manufacturers to work jointly with Smit to develop and validate production processes.
"As a machine builder, Smit Ovens has extensive experience in high-precision thermal solutions for the solar energy industry. Performing these qualification programs with our customers will help us deliver mature cost effective solutions to meet manufacturers' "cost of ownership" requirements that support industry roadmaps," says Smit Ovens CEO Wiro Zijlmans.
Smit's active selenization concept supports a more flexible crystal growth process by vapor supported process chambers. These process chambers are independently controlled and offer broad process windows which enable predefined crystal growth. "Want to verify your substrate performance with active selenization? Contact Smit for additional information and a timeslot for process development," offers Smit Ovens' Process Engineer Maarten van der Vleuten.
About Smit Ovens
Founded in Nijmegen, the Netherlands in 1936, Smit Ovens is a leading supplier of customized thermal equipment and processes for the glass, electronics, displays and photovoltaic industries. It employs around 50 people and currently has an installed base of around 3000 installations, including some 86 in the solar industry.
Solliance works in close cooperation with industry, both to fulfill short-term needs of industry, and to convey promising lines of mid- and long-term research. For its three principal themes (thin film Si, Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS), Organic PV (OPV)) it is constructing baselines that facilitate direct answers to the industry's most pressing questions. Its research stretches across the entire field, from fundamentals of materials science to sophisticated production technologies. The presence of a university in the alliance assures a continuous influx of highly trained researchers into the region's ecosystem.
Solliance is the alliance of TNO, TU/e, Holst Centre, ECN and imec.
SOURCE Smit Ovens B.V.