Taiwan-initiated solar cell technology standards receives international recognition
In terms of c-Si solar technology development, lower cell damage rates mean higher production yields. Temperature, pressure, subtle cracks in polycrystalline silicon, and other factors could damage the integrity of the wafer, causing damage to the silicon cells, thereby affecting the overall yield of solar modules. However, the main reason for solar cell failure is the external forces when manufacturing, processing, and transporting, which often damage the cells. And the damage caused during transportation is the main reason for cell failure. The new trend in solar cell development of using thinner silicon wafers in manufacturing stresses the importance of this issue.
In view of this, SEMI, ITRI, King Design, TeraSolar Energy Materials, Gran Systems, Shining Energy, DelSolar, PV Guider and UL jointly proposed a set of test criteria for solar cell transporting - the "SEMI PV38-0912 Test Method for Mechanical Vibration of C-SI PV Cells in Shipping Environment". The formal proposal was passed in September of this year and has become the second international solar industry technological standard proposed by Taiwan within 3 years. That also shows Taiwan’s ambition to win the global PV market with Taiwan-initiated standards.
This standard provides a uniform test method to evaluate the damage of solar cells caused by the vibration generated during transportation. The standard can also be used for any transportation condition and mode of transport to assess the cracks or defects in solar cells. In addition, testing different cell packaging will yield different results, which can be used to advise vendors to package properly to reduce damage during transit. Therefore, those who worry about products being damaged during transit - cell manufacturers, buyers, or other related companies- can make assessments based on common standards.
Terry Tsao, president of Taiwan and Southeast Asia of SEMI PV Group, indicates: "Taiwan plays a vital role in the global solar industry. Our solar cells lead the industry in terms of quality and quantity. To help Taiwan manufacturers be more competitive in the global market, SEMI provides an international technology standards platform and together with industry and research experts, and has completed another solar cell related international standard this year, building upon the launch of Taiwan's first solar module international standard last October. This is the best example of industry cooperation that maintains sustainable development for the solar industry while helping Taiwan's solar industry shine on the international stage!"
Jia-Ruey Duann, general director, ITRI’s Center for Measurement Standards emphasized: "To help Taiwanese technology companies increase competitiveness in the global market and connect with the world more smoothly, ITRI has long been actively involved in promoting international industry standards. ITRI worked with Taiwanese companies to create Taiwan's very first SEMI international PV module standard and went on to produce the solar cell standards this year, signifying extraordinary importance. With this shipping standard, solar cell damage during different transit environments can be controlled, and at the same time it provides cell manufacturers and their customers with a reference. It's even the best practice for reducing costs to benefit the end customers, further speeding up the development of cell protection during shipping."
This approved standard was proposed by the Vibration Test Methods Group under the "SEMI Taiwan PV Standards Technical Committee" in February, 2011. After a year and a half of discussions and coordination, about 60 worldwide related companies finally voted in its favor and the standard got approved in September, 2012. In addition to ITRI, Dr. J.S. Chen, chairman of TeraSolar Energy Materials, Rui-Yi Song, director of UL, Kun-Da Lee, chairman of King Design, Dr. Ching-Chieh Lin of PV Guider, Kuang Han Ke, chairman of Gran Systems, Yi-Heng Zhou, senior manager of DelSolar, and Bo-Xun Huang, director of Shining Energy are all promoters involved in the development of this standard, allowing the PV industry to focus on product innovation and differentiation on a consistent basis.
"SEMI Taiwan PV Standards Technical Committee" is the fourth PV Standards Committee and was established in July, 2009 by the SEMI PV Group following Europe, North America, and Japan. There are currently three work groups--c-Si Cell Appearance, Vibration Test Method, and Wafer Measurement Test Method--and two international cooperative groups--Equipment Interface Standards Coordination and Cell Spec Coordination--set up under the committee. The committee's next goal is to involve in more establishment of international technical standards for the continual improvement of the international competitiveness of Taiwan's solar products.