HOME > News

Reducing the Cost of Thin Film Solar Module Production through Process Optimization

published: 2012-09-25 17:05

DAS Environmental Expert GmbH, headquartered in Dresden, supports companies in the solar industry in significantly lowering their production costs. The environmental experts from Saxony will present one example of their systems at the world’s largest trade fair for solar products: The 27th European Photovoltaic Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC) in Frankfurt, Germany.

“The increasing price pressure within the solar industry poses a challenge to most of the sector’s companies. We are continuously working on new solutions that will allow our clients to effectively lower their process cost”, explains Dr. Andreas Frenzel, Director Research and Development at DAS Environmental Expert GmbH.

The Dresden environmental technology company together with Baoding Tianwei Solarfilms Co. Ltd. has optimized waste gas abatement processes during ongoing production operations. The Chinese company produces thin film solar modules on the basis of amorphous and microcrystalline silicon.

The manufacturing process employs large amounts of silane (SiH4), hydrogen (H2) and nitrogen

trifluoride (NF3). To eliminate these toxic substances reliably from the waste gas stream, DAS Environmental Expert GmbH has combined two of their systems. The GIANT treats the waste gas by combining burn/wet technologies, the two processes of burning and scrubbing; the system was specifically developed for large waste gas flows. In a subsequent process the electrostatic dust collector (EDC) separates all remaining fine dust particles from the waste gas. The exhaust, after having undergone the abatement process, can be directly discharged to the atmosphere.

The manufacturing of transparent front and rear contacts leaves a residue of diethyl zinc (DEZ) and zinc oxide particles as well as various hydrocarbons that need to be removed. The ESCAPE series fulfills this task reliably. Like GIANT, the ESCAPE series combines burn/wet technologies and works efficiently, allowing the remaining exhaust to be directly discharged into the atmosphere.

The Dresden environmental experts together with the specialists from Baoding Tianwei were able to lengthen maintenance intervals. Small, but effective changes within the systems have optimized the technology step-by-step and reduced the maintenance cycle. All technical changes and adjustments of maintenance routines were realized and evaluated during production operations.

Due to the system optimizations, the time for maintenance cycle was reduced by a third. Compared to the demands initially planned the demand for water could be reduced by approximately 50% and the demand for natural gas by 40%. Baoding Tianwei has seen noticeable savings and significantly lowered their process costs.

During the optimization process, the system’s uptime was > 99%, which makes it a highly stable and reliable waste gas abatement system. Additional back-up equipment guarantees the system’s

operating safety 24/7 and prevents production interruptions during maintenance and service.

“Tianwei’s business style can be described in four words: discipline, care, pragmatism and efficiency”, says Dr. Yuelong Huang, Vice General Manager of Baoding Tianwei Solarfilms Co. Ltd. “We expect the same from our suppliers. This is why we chose DAS in 2009. We greatly appreciate the excellent service they offer and the extraordinary technical concepts behind their solutions, which provide stable performance, clean exhausts and reliable processes.”

announcements add announcements     mail print