SEMI’s PV Group has issued the “Global Photovoltaic Standards Roadmap Guidance Document,” which identifies immediate opportunities for reducing cost and accelerating innovation in thin-film and crystalline silicon cell and module manufacturing through industry standards. The document–developed by a team of industry stakeholders including equipment and materials suppliers, cell and module manufacturers, safety experts, and others–offers a high-level assessment of existing SEMI standards and safety guidelines with respect to their applicability to PV manufacturing.
The document identifies more than 64 existing SEMI standards topics and safety guidelines that are applicable to PV manufacturing. Out of those 64, 31 are rated as “Top Priority” for their potential to deliver immediate cost benefits to the industry with limited or no revisions necessary, according to the trade association.
“While many semiconductor equipment, materials, and device manufacturing companies that employ SEMI standards are diversifying into PV, the PV industry has a highly specialized and unique set of needs, with a diverse set of stakeholders,” said Dan Martin, executive VP of SEMI global standards and PV business development. “We greatly appreciate the dedication of the Standards Roadmap Core Team in applying their expertise and time in developing this document.”
Several key focus areas were determined from the standards review and assessment. They include wafer carriers and physical interfaces, chemical and gas purity, device tracking, equipment metrics, facilities, safety guidelines, silicon specifications, and process controls.
The guidance document also details planned collaborative initiatives involving other standards developing organizations, such as ASTM International and IEEE, as well as the increasing participation of research laboratories, such as the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which have made valuable contributions. The core team wants the roadmap to “be as comprehensive in approach and implementation as possible.”
“The next roadmap development phase will focus on identifying and establishing timelines for the top priority areas in PV manufacturing where new specifications, test methods, and safety guidelines will be developed to further reduce the costs of cell and module manufacturing,” said Martin.
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The first draft edition of the “Global PV Standards Roadmap” will be released in July at the Intersolar North America/Semicon West 2009 exposition and conference in San Francisco, according to the guidance document.
(To download a copy of the “Global Photovoltaic Standards Roadmap Guidance Document” or learn more about the PV Standards Roadmap Core Team, go to www.pvgroup.org.)