Andor optimizes NIR CCD for photovoltaic inspection - Photovoltaics World
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Andor optimizes NIR CCD for photovoltaic inspection

Andor Technology plc, low light imaging, spectroscopy solutions and microscopy systems provider, launched the iKon-M PV Inspector, a dedicated CCD camera that is designed to deliver market-leading speed and sensitivity performance for in-line electroluminescence and photoluminescence inspection of photovoltaic cells.

The 1024 × 1024 back-illuminated deep depletion sensor array of the PV Inspector offers >90% Quantum Efficiency (QE) beyond 800nm and incorporates Fringe Suppression Technology to minimize fringing effects in the NIR. Industry highest throughput is achieved via rapid readout speeds up to 5MHz, combined with a unique ‘Dual Exposure Ring Mode’ that allows fast switching between two exposure times without any timing overheads.

The PV Inspector benefits from thermoelectric cooling down to -70°C for minimization of darkcurrent. Andor’s proven Ultravac hermitic vacuum process provides both sustained cooling and unparalleled longevity through absolute protection of the exposed sensor surface. A lockable USB interface ensures a secure, vibration resistant connectivity. The camera, which cools automatically on power-up, also offers acquisition capability within the powerful Halcon machine vision imaging software, from MVTec Software.

Dr Colin Coates, Product Manager within Andor Technology, said: "The advanced, targeted performance characteristics of the PV Inspector were borne out of intensive consultation with the Photovoltaic Inspection market. The enhanced NIR sensitivity and unique high speed modes will enable dual exposure EL inspection at rates in excess of 1 cell per second, ideally suited for very high throughput PV cell inspection systems as found in stringers and cell sorters.”

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Andor enables its customers to break new ground by performing light measurements previously considered impossible. Andor is a world leader in low light imaging with a portfolio spanning high-performance scientific digital cameras, spectrographs, and microscopy confocal and white light systems. Andor now counts over 250 employees in 17 offices worldwide, offering over 70 products to 10,000 scientific research and OEM customers, and acquired Bitplane in 2009 and Photonic Instruments in 2010. Andor Technology is quoted on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE: AND).

-- Posted by Vision Systems Design

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