In order to confirm the required product output characteristics and operation stability of R&D Center’s pilot line for silicon thin film solar modules production a control lot of modules for certification was delivered to independent expert organization TṺV Rheinland, a leading center of the certification of industrial products in the EU (Germany),. The tests confirmed full compliance of R&D Center’s solar modules with manufacturers specification and demonstrated that the pilot line reached stable production regime. The modules produced at R&D center possess characteristics at the level of major European manufacturers of thin-film solar modules.
On the 26th of July 2014 the international competition “Solar Regatta 2014” with innovative engineering helio-boats powered by solar energy has taken place on the Moscow River in the frames of the festival “Moscow Sports at Luzhniki”.
Solar-powered boats competed at the speed and manoeuvrability. Unique social project “Solar Regatta” was planned and built by the graduate students of Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO and implemented in Russia for the first time. The regatta participant – the joint team of St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University and Marine Technical University – presented to the audience and the jury their design development on the basis of solar modules produced in the R&D of thin-film technology for energetics under Ioffe Institute. In the category of boats with motors under 2 kW the team won 3rd place and by the decision of the Expert Council of journalists has been recognized as the winner in the nomination “Best Technical Design”.
The project organizers are sure that the competitions are of great importance not only for water sports and environmental protection but also for the system of engineering education of “future specialists” in Russia who will be able to see into modern technologies, to meet the challenges and to achieve breakthrough results in high-tech sectors.
The unique storage and distribution system of ultrapure process gases has been established at “Hevel” in Novocheboksarsk.
Unique for Russia storage and distribution system of ultrapure process gases has been established at “Hevel” in Novocheboksarsk. The supply of process gases has been started to the “front end” part of the production line, where the primary production cycle operations at solar modules producing plant “Hevel” in Novocheboksarsk are being accomplished.
For now gas distribution equipment for TCO has been put into operation (TCO – transparent conductive zinc oxide layers deposition equipment). The gas distribution operation was preceded by adjusting of the system for utilization of process gases and of the gas detection system.
The next step is organization of process gases supply to KAI machines which provide deposition of micromorph silicon layer on glass substrates. Gas distributing equipment for KAI is already tested and is ready for operation. Due to the unique technology the silicon content in thin-film modules is about 200 times less than in the solar modules produced by other technologies.
In order to ensure stable production at the “Hevel” plant in Novocheboksarsk unique for Russia storage and distribution system of ultrapure process gases has been created. The world leading manufacturing companies – Air Products, Air Liquide, Sempa – installed about 10 km of pipelines using special quality tubes with electropolished internal surface, which are not having analogues in Russia. Gas volume that has been delivered to the plant so far, guarantees the starting-up and adjustment procedures continuity.
Actually all parts of final assembly of solar modules – so-called “back-end” – are completely assembled, configured and are operating. The first output of test batch of product using pre-deposited glasses (prepared in advance technological reserve for the conveyor assembly of the first solar modules) under real production conditions became possible.
Until the end of this year, the factory will produce at least 200,000 photovoltaic modules for solar power stations construction with installed capacity of 25 Megawatt.
Stepwise start-up of the main systems of production line and production of a trial batch has been launched at solar modules production factory “Hevel” in Novocheboksarsk with the participation of specialists of japanese corporation Tokyo Electron Limited (the main process contractor).
At present all sites of final assembly of solar modules, so-called back-end equipment, are completely installed, configured and are in operation. In particular the adjustment works of laser scribing system that is used for separation of solar modules into separate cells and providing of consistent connection in an electrical circuit are completed. The specialists of KUKA company implemented and configured robots software for the final stage of solar module assembly – installation of junction boxes.
Fulfillment of all works on the back-end sites enabled the first test release of production batch on glasses with pre-deposited transparent conductive layers – in advance prepared substrates for the first conveyor assembly of solar modules under real production conditions. At the same time the TEL specialists are in the stage of completion of commissioning of on the front-end part of the production line, where the initial technological operations of production cycle are accomplished. At present KAI and TCO systems are tested – the primary equipment of technological line for deposition of microcrystalline and amorphous silicon layers and zinc oxide conductive layers. Also the equipment for automatic washing of front and back glass is launched and in operation. Range of activities on preparation of the class ISO 7 and ISO 8 “clean rooms” has been accomplished previously. The rooms are now operating in full mode. The engineers and technologists have to checkout all the technological processes to reach the design parameters of the factory in July of this year.
The factory “Hevel” is a unique experience of high-tech industries creation and technology transfer in the field of solar energy for Russia, allowing not only to revive the domestic industry, but also to integrate it into the global renewable energy industry. In the Novocheboksarsk factory and in the R&D Center in Saint-Petersburg the unique for Russian chemical industry technology, applicable not only in solar energy, but also in optoelectronics, microelectronics, robotics will be established.
The main construction works at the production site were completed in 2012, and in the same year the installation and equipment checkout began. Thus, about two and a half years passed before the production line is running, which corresponds to the European experience of high-tech industries creation in solar energy sector.
In total more than 230 people, 45 of them are servicemen of TEL Solar, which train russian colleagues in work with the equipment. Creation of about 300 work places at the factory is expected by the time of full installed capacity achievement.
The “Hevel” company has already signed agreements for supply of necessary raw materials and consumables for solar modules production (optical quality glass, process gases and others).However to solve the problem of components production localization the company is negotiating intensively with russian regions, and are discussing the possibility of establishing relevant industries to ensure “Hevel” factory needs.