Fab & Facilities

Photovoltaics International Archive
Fab & Facilities, Photovoltaics International Papers
As polysilicon producers perform expansions and upgrades to increase production and improve operations, plant safety remains critical. Companies should routinely review their safety policies and effectively plan their projects to ensure uninterrupted product supply and create a safe environment for employees and the communities in which they operate. Both the design and the execution of expansion and upgrades to projects are critical as companies strive for minimal down time so that productivity is not affected. Such hazards and scenarios that may hinder and delay start-up, specifically in relation to polysilicon plants, are highlighted in this paper. Furthermore, the paper outlines how best to avoid these situations, offering methods of execution to achieve the three key measures of success: safety, high purity and minimal down time.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Fab & Facilities, Photovoltaics International Papers
Development of fine-line crystalline silicon solar cells is a potential direction for application of high-efficiency and low-cost solar cells in the industry. Fine-line mask-free metallization offers huge potential to increase cell efficiency by reducing metal shadowing losses and surface recombination losses. At China Sunergy, three promising approaches for fine-line crystalline silicon solar cells are currently undergoing research, including processes such as laser doping selective emitter (LDSE) technology, inkjet or aerosol jet printing of metal paste and upgraded screen-printing technology. This paper presents the basic investigations of these three manufacturing technologies, singling out the technology that presents the most potential for further application.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Fab & Facilities, Photovoltaics International Papers
PV manufacturers can quickly reduce their costs, and increase their yields, by using SEMI standards that were originally designed to help semiconductor fabs deal with power glitches and power costs. SEMI, the global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chains for the microelectronic, display and photovoltaic industries, has two well-established electric power standards that could prove especially useful for PV manufacturing: SEMI F47, which helps equipment deal with power disturbances, and SEMI E3, which helps users understand how much electric power is used in their recipes. This paper provides a method of lowering costs and increasing yield by applying these standards in the PV manufacturing industry.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Fab & Facilities, Photovoltaics International Papers
In most complex manufacturing environments, equipment failures dominate. These failures are commonly referred to as ‘fires’ because of the chaos and damage they inflict on factory operations. For example, a key piece of equipment fails, creating a blockage in the production line. One or more personnel are quickly dispatched to fix the problem. The situation is dire, threatening to slow daily product starts and slip output goals. Those working the problem know this failure is of the utmost importance and know if they can just get the machine at an acceptable level, the stress from management will be lifted. Logic leads these personnel to suspect a specific component, which is then replaced. This paper discusses the best method of ensuring that this ‘patching’ of problems does not become part of the regular maintenance routine.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Fab & Facilities, Photovoltaics International Papers
Interconnection of inverters to the electrical grid is a key issue for the widespread integration of distributed energy resources, especially when the scenario surrounding international standards is so unclear. As a pre-normative research step, a round-robin test of two small-scale photovoltaic inverters was performed by nine DERlab laboratories during 2009. The test activity was focused on the verification of individual test procedures, common interpretation of standards and requirements, and determination of problems related to the equipment and facilities involved in conducting roundrobin.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Fab & Facilities, Photovoltaics International Papers
Efficient management of the PV supply chain can save a company money, both directly by reducing material and component cost, and indirectly by improving lead time, inventory optimization and quality throughout the entire value chain. So-called static supply chains compare poorly to their dynamic counterparts that see cost reduction and quality as well as material availability improvements. What follows is a proposal of improving the supply chain using methods like integration, data exchange and collaboration that can also help to improve entire E2E flows through re-structuring and outsourcing from one level to another.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Fab & Facilities, Photovoltaics International Papers
The photovoltaic market is currently experiencing a rapid decline in average selling price per module, resulting in a new era of challenges to reduce the investment and operational costs of manufacturing facilities. Subsequently, PV modules are rapidly gaining acceptance for industrial applications in the renewable energies sector. The PV industry will therefore need to progress toward high volume production of the established process technologies to meet future demand after the current inventory base has been installed. This paper addresses the potential impact of process technology, manufacturing and automation considerations, as well as the appropriate building concepts for large-scale crystalline silicon cell manufacturing. The other inherent advantages and considerations regarding fabs with a capacity approaching one gigawatt peak are also evaluated and discussed based on comparisons between two actual production facilities.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Fab & Facilities, Photovoltaics International Papers
This paper presents a strategy for improving c-Si factory productivity and efficiency via software, focusing on software systems that improve yield and reduce cost. Specifically, the role of automation software systems and example areas where they can provide impact will be discussed. Key requirements of these software systems will then be identified that guarantee reusability, reconfigurability and extensibility, and thus high and continuing ROI. Case studies will then be presented illustrating how Advanced Process Control (APC) software has been successfully applied in the semiconductor and FPD industries to improve productivity and efficiency. The paper concludes with a roadmap for automation software implementation to support PV factory productivity and efficiency improvements.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Fab & Facilities, Photovoltaics International Papers
SolarWorld USA’s two main manufacturing facilities in Camarillo, CA, and Hillsboro, OR, represent the past, present, and future of crystalline-silicon solar photovoltaic manufacturing in the United States. The Southern California site, which sits in a small industrial park across from a verdant expanse of strawberry fields, was home to one of the world’s first (and at one time the largest) solar factories in the late 1970s, a historic campus that has changed corporate hands several times, from Arco Solar to Siemens Solar (1990) to Shell Solar (2001) and finally to SolarWorld (2006) over the three decades since its inception. This paper provides a look inside the factory doors.
Photovoltaics International Archive
Fab & Facilities, Photovoltaics International Papers
The European PV committee of EPIA/SEMI released the new PVECI standard that describes a unified IT interface for PV equipment in March 2009. If used properly, it provides the PV industry with a powerful tool for reduction of IT-related issues – especially between the factory planning and the ramp-up phase – and establishes the basis for deploying advanced factory management and control software systems. The first part of this article describes the standard in detail while the second part focuses on the anticipated benefits regarding IT integration and outlines further possibilities of a pervasive Production-IT landscape.

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