Water management planning for photovoltaic manufacturing facilities


By Ralph Williams PE, Process Engineer, CH2M HILL

Various economic and political influences continue to push high-volume manufacturing of semiconductor and PV devices into relatively arid and water-constrained geographies. As the social, economic and political focus on water resources and sustainability increases daily, the need to address the supply, use and disposal of water at manufacturing facilities is growing increasingly more complex. Historically, PV manufacturing has not been considered a major water consumer so there has been little scrutiny of water management. As the costs of water and wastewater disposal spiral upwards, water resource management becomes a significantly more important factor in the capital and operating costs of PV manufacturing. This paper outlines the preparation of a water management diagram (WMD) with reference to the development of water systems for new PV manufacturing plants, and discusses some cautionary design considerations.

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Our largest issue to date at 224 pages, the 13th edition of the Photovoltaics International journal features a focus on myriad topics including wafering and wire-sawing thermodynamics, the passivation benefits of ALD, reactive magnetron sputtering, PV module degradation and inverter certification. Contributors include imec, Fraunhofer IST, Motech Industries, PI Berlin, University of Toledo and CH2M HILL.

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