Process Specification for Photovoltaics aimed at ultra-high purity

A recently released process specification from Swagelok is designed to help ensure quality and reduce cost of ownership for photovoltaic industry. The Photovoltaic Process Specification (SC-06) outlines testing, cleaning, and packaging steps for stainless steel components for use in PV applications.

December 17, 2009–A recently released process specification from Swagelok is designed to help ensure quality and reduce cost of ownership for photovoltaic industry. The Photovoltaic Process Specification (SC-06) outlines testing, cleaning, and packaging steps for stainless steel components for use in PV applications.

“The photovoltaic industry presents unique challenges for solar cell manufacturers, who have to balance the need for ultra-high purity processing with the cost containment that will help them achieve grid parity,” explains John Baxter, manager, products and technology. The specification defines a set of baseline requirements so that products can be processed at a level appropriate for the industry and its goals.”

Baseline requirements include specifying the high-quality surface finish, visual inspection criteria, and particle counts the PV industry needs to maintain reliability and process control for improved uptime, while identifying areas (such as work area classification, analytics, and packaging) where costs can be contained.

Swagelok products are designed to provide reliable, leak-tight performance in critical PV manufacturing processes, such as Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD) and diffusion. These and other processes require low leak rates for safety, control of process gas purity, as well as precise delivery of gases to maintain cell integrity and reduce scrap.

The Photovoltaic Process Specification is an available option for many of the company’s high-purity products, in place of the other specifications: SC-01 (Ultrahigh-purity Process), SC-10 (Standard Cleaning and Packaging), and SC-11 (Special Cleaning and Packaging).

Products currently available with SC-06 processing include DP and DPH springless diaphragm valves, HB and BN series bellows valves, CW series check valves, VCR metal gasket face seal fittings, and Micro-Fit miniature tube butt weld fittings.

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