SOLAR AND VACUUM PUMP
Our Earth is accumulating more and more greenhouse gases these days. Hence, it is resulting in the rise of world temperature at a rapid rate. Consequently, human activities are the main contributor to this rapid rise in temperature. Some of these main contributors are coming from the generation of electricity and fuel combustion sectors (about 40%). This is where carbon dioxide (CO2) makes up the vast majority of greenhouse emissions on top of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). Therefore, moving towards renewable energies like solar and wind becomes a natural path to contain these gases.
These gases are generated during the combustion of fossil fuels like natural gases, coal, and oil. On top of contributing these greenhouse gases from these fossil fuels, these have also created health concerns and pollution. As a result, it stretches from respiratory damages to the ability to receive fresh oxygen to our body. Hence, it becomes a push-and-pull factor between the economy and human health. One of the directions to accommodate both of these factors is through the adoption of more renewable energy.
Renewable energies come from Solar, Wind, Hydroelectric, Geothermal, Ocean, and Biomass. One of the widely published sources is Solar. Within the solar production process, there are polysilicon, ingot, wafer, cell, and module. Out of these processes, the dry vacuum pump can be applied at the ingot, cell, and module process. The widespread solar adoption in the renewable sectors is based upon the success of achieving end-product cost compare economically with other energy sources. Careful attention to the design of vacuum systems can strike a significant contribution to reduced cost thereby leading to the profitable production of solar cells. This encourages widespread market growth.
Cost of Solar PV
We all know that the cost of solar PV has fallen substantially during this decade. By estimation, the cost of PV on average falls by about 22 percent for 2 times of PV Solar capacity increase (the trend may not be constant over this period).
An interactive chronological sequence of Solar PV prices from the year 1976 to 2016 can be viewed here.
Applications of Dry Vacuum Pump in Solar Industry
Dry Vacuum pumps are essential components from the silicon growth to cell manufacturing operations, inclusive of critical processes from wafer to final lamination. Selecting an ideal vacuum pump with specific criteria in each step poses the feasibility of continual solar production at a low cost of ownership.
Vacuum Pump – Silicon Growth
The application of the vacuum pump during the silicon crystal growth was intended to eliminate the high cost of purity argon in a directional solidification technique. The solar cells fabricated on monocrystalline wafers provide better efficiency than the polycrystalline-based wafer. Dopants are added during the ingot growth process. Hence, this process requires a vacuum pump that works reliably well in the highly by-product generated process. This is because a crystal grower can generate several kilograms of silicon monoxide (SiO). As a result, a strong and adaptive vacuum pump to this process becomes essential. Factors like the ability to handle the high powder-generated process and low maintenance cost become the essential criteria to achieve higher efficiency and lower cost of ownership (CoO).
Vacuum Pump – Solar Cell
The next step that requires vacuum pump in the process is the fabrication of solar cells on the wafer. Within this process involved doping and diffusion, dry etching as well and plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) and physical vapour deposition (PVD). All these process steps involved highly corrosive and massive powder generation. The dry vacuum pump which is specifically designed for corrosion resistance and dust handling capability is an absolute solution for this application.
Vacuum Pump – Solar Module
After the solar cell production, these wafers are gathered at the module production line. From here, the solar cells are soldered together, using metal connectors to link the cells. Solar panels are made of solar cells integrated together in a matrix-like structure. During this process, the wafers which are electrically connected are then encapsulated to provide protection against the environment. This encapsulating material, typically ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) is applied at high temperature in a vacuum chamber. However, the EVA material being captured by the vacuum pump will pose a harmful effect on its lifespan in terms of reliability. Therefore, the choice of a vacuum pump with a strong capability to handle this effect and continually consuming at low power will be an ideal choice.