Much of the Russian territory is situated in climates where winter temperature could reach -40°C. The need for energy supply of these regions in accordance with the program “The Energy Strategy of Russia for the Period of up to 2020” imposes certain requirements, such as environmental friendliness, safety, autonomy, low operating costs. These requirements are met by renewable energy sources, in particular, solar modules. To evaluate the effect of low temperatures on their parameters, long-term test is being conducted at temperature of -50°C in a special environmental chamber in the R&D Center.
Also, since June 2013 in Yakutsk on the roof of the building of natural science faculty of North-Eastern Federal University R&D specialists have installed photovoltaic systems based on a-Si:H/mc-Si:H and crystalline Si for tests in real operating conditions.
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.