Delivering What’s Next in Precision Cleaning

Ultrasonic Solar Panel Cleaning

Crest offers manufacturers the ideal ultrasonic system for solar panel cleaning.

Making solar cells from Silicon wafers involves several fabrication steps:

1) Etching silicon to remove unwanted material, followed by chemical and mechanical polishing. You clean the silicon with an alkaline solution before being rinsed in deionized water. Finally, it’s dried using compressed air or nitrogen gas.

After you treat the wafers with chemicals, you rinse them, but traces of the chemicals may remain. These chemical traces can shorten the lifespan of the solar cells, reduce their efficiency, and impact the next steps.

2) Performing wafer doping to create positive and negative charges on both sides of the cell. You then coat the wafers with metal contacts and encapsulate them in protective plastic packages. These processes often result in contamination of the wafer’s surface.

It is common for the wafers to be rinsed after chemical treatment, but traces of the chemicals may remain. These chemical traces may shorten the wafers’ life expectancy, reduce the solar cells’ efficiency, and hurt subsequent processes.

When manufacturers mask wafers while creating conductive paths, they must remove them after applying the conductive film.

In ultrasonic cleaning, operators can completely remove the masking substance without harming the thin and delicate conducting paths created during production. A complete precision cleaning is required to ensure the proper operation of solar cells.

3) Layering conducting and non-reflective films onto the front side of the wafer while covering the backside with a layer of aluminum. The operator then applies a thin film of silver over the top of the aluminum layer. Lastly, another layer of aluminum is deposited on top of the silver. 

One last cleaning process is necessary to ensure that the operation hasn’t introduced impurities into the casing of the sealed solar panel. Solar cells are delicate, and cleaning must be gentle. By using higher ultrasonic frequencies, ultrasonic cleaning systems can deliver cleaning action that is gentle and yet effective while still removing all contamination.

Crest Ultrasonics equipment and detergents effectively remove contaminants and residues quickly and entirely while leaving the performance of the underlying silicon wafers or glass sheets unaffected. 

An additional benefit is that the ultrasonic cleaning method works without harsh chemicals, using a bath of plain water or water with a mild detergent. Ultimately, Crest helps ensure that every solar panel is precision-cleaned after every step in the manufacturing process.

The benefits of using ultrasonic cleaning for solar panel manufacturing include:

One of the few technologies that can safely and effectively clean photovoltaic cells is ultrasonic cleaning, and manufacturers prefer it for that reason. The process is gentle, an absolute requirement for the fragile wafers that comprise the core of a solar cell. Despite this, it is powerful enough to remove any metal films that result from the assembly.

In sum, using ultrasonic cleaning for solar panel production:

  • Avoids any risk of heat damage during cleaning by using cavitation
  • Removes any trace residues along the manufacturing line
  • Speeds cleaning time during production
  •  Eliminates potential damage caused by human cleaning error
  • Improves product quality through consistent results
  • Reduces labor and materials costs

Crest Ultrasonics equipment typically used:

All-purpose Parts Cleaner

Engineered with high-intensity ultrasonic power that goes beyond industry standards, our parts washers’ pull-through bag filtration and specially designed pump recirculation eliminate the loss of ultrasonic activity and cavitation while processing.

Powersonic Benchtops

Cleans like no other benchtop ultrasonic cleaner with ceramically enhanced transducers and overlapping ultrasonic waves. You can order your preferred Powersonic tank size, voltage, and accessories online right now!

Ultrasonic Digital Sink (UDS)

A convenient modular design includes both wash and rinse, providing easy multi-tank precision process cleaning in a workhorse two-stage unit. Additional UDS units can be added to meet the new process requirements.

Digital Modular Series (DMS)

For higher throughput and larger components that can’t be handled manually. Standard plug-and-play options include filtration, frequencies, automatic fill/drain, conductivity, and much more. Our DMS system is expandable, versatile, and modular.

Optimum Console

With a compact, space-saving design and rugged, stainless steel tubular frame, it offers the convenience of an all-in-one, wash-rinse-dry design with a single-point facility connection for easy installation. Standard, automated, and custom.

Optimum Console Junior

Used for manually operated processes, this four-station ultrasonic cleaning system (wash/rinse/rinse/dry) cleans a wide variety of metal, plastic, and glass components, as well as composites.

Chem-Crest® Chemistrires Typically Used

Do not flammable solvents in your ultrasonic cleaner. For the sake of safety, choose an aqueous cleaner that is not flammable. These solutions can reach into all areas and will clean exceptionally well when combined with heat.

Chem-Crest offers you exceptional ultrasonic cleaning detergents such as these below.

chem crest chemicals
Ordering available for gallon, case, pail, 55-gallon drum, and tote sizes. Items generally shipped within 24 hours.

Chem-Crest® 200

A multipurpose, mild, phosphate- and caustic-free alkaline cleaner that is useful in many applications demanding removal of various contaminants such as oils, greases, particulate matter, and carbon residues. This detergent finds uses throughout industrial, mechanical, aerospace, and maintenance cleaning operations. Freely water soluble. See detailed specifications >>

Chem-Crest® 515

A mild liquid detergent that is useful in many applications requiring good detergency and wetting, especially on hard surfaces. It is a non-etching and neutral pH detergent that was specifically developed for additional particle removal capability. It can also be used as an additive to other detergents to increase wetting capability. See detailed specifications >>

Chem-Crest® 2000X

A non-ionic ultrasonic liquid cleaner that is capable of removing and dispersing various lubricants, lapping compounds, various machining residues, fingerprints, and particulates, and typical contaminants of disk drives. It is free-rinsing and biodegradable. See detailed specifications >>

Chem-Crest® SolvaClean

A unique, high-performing, non-flammable, azeotropic fluorinated solvent blend developed specifically as a safe, powerful, and environmentally favorable product for the critical cleaning of precision components and as a high purity carrier solvent. See detailed specifications >>

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