Photovoltaic Materials Standards Committee Formed

Photovoltaic Materials Standards Committee Formed

Kevin Nguyen, SEMI Standards

The SEMI North America PV Materials Standards Committee (charter), co-chaired by David Williams (REC Group) and Lori Nye (Brewer Science), was formed on July 14, 2011 during the meetings at Intersolar North America in San Francisco, CA.  This new committee will more effectively address the growing activity level in standards development for PV materials, where the market is projected to grow to $17 billion by 2015.  (Source: Linx-AEI)

Standardization efforts for silicon-based solar cell have been underway at SEMI since 2007, reflecting the needs and demands of PV industry.  Currently, standards activities are underway in silicon test methods, electrical and optical properties, chemicals and PV materials.  Seventeen (17) SEMI PV Standards have been published and eight (8) additional PV standards will be published in September 2011, pending procedural review.

Standards task forces for thin film solar cell technology such as amorphous silicon, cadium telluride (CdTe) and copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) may form in the near future as critical mass is established.

In addition to the NA PV Materials Standards Committee, Japan formed a PV Materials Standards Committee in December 2010, and a counterpart European Committee is expected to form later this year. All committees are closely liaising to avoid duplication of efforts.  To view the current SEMI PV standards organization chart, please click here.

Standardization efforts in PV are critical to help lower costs and accelerate time to market. As a point of reference, an economic impact of measurement in the semiconductor industry was conducted by National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).  Benefits of $9.6 billion resulted between 1996 and 2011.  In addition, another study was conducted by the United Kingdom (UK) Department of Trade and Industry.  An annual economic growth in the UK surpasses £2.5 billion as a result of standardization.

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Current Standards members may review their current membership profile, and register for the new PV Materials Committee at the Access SEMI Standards Membership Area.

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