Global PV Standardization Efforts

Global PV Standardization Efforts

By James Amano, SEMI

Since formation of our first committee in 2007, PV standardization at SEMI has grown rapidly. Committees are now active in China, Europe, Japan, North America, and Taiwan, and the SEMI Standards PV volume now contains over 30 standards developed specifically for PV. This release of Standards Watch charts progress recently made in several areas, including PV wafer and cell traceability, test methods, chemicals and vibration testing.

As reported in the previous Standards Watch release, formation of a China PV Standards Committee was recently approved. The new Committee recently held its first meeting at Suntech in Wuxi, China, with over 50 attendees from China industry participating. The committee approved the formation of the Crystalline Silicon PV Module Task Force and the PV Silicon Wafer Task Force, as well as three new activities to develop a Specification for Mono-Like Silicon Wafer for Use in Photovoltaic Solar Cells,  a Test Method for Vinyl Acetate (VA) Content for Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) applied in photovoltaic modules—Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA), and a Specification for Package protection technology for PV Modules. These three activities are just the beginning; several more are expected throughout 2012 as the China PV industry familiarizes itself with the SEMI Standards consensus process and integrates with the rest of the global committee.

Over 500 PV industry experts in more than 20 task forces have now developed and published 33 SEMI PV standards covering equipment, materials, and test methods used in crystalline cell, module and thin film manufacturing.  Several of these PV standards are among our most utilized standards, proving the industry is embracing and supporting standardization.

  • SEMI PV1-0211            Test Method for Measuring Trace Elements in Silicon Feedstock for Silicon Solar Cells by High-Mass Resolution Glow Discharge Mass Spectrometry
  • SEMI PV2-0709            E Guide for PV Equipment Communication Interfaces (PVECI)
  • SEMI PV3-0310           Guide for High Purity Water Used in Photovoltaic Cell Processing
  • SEMI PV17-0312         Specification for Virgin Silicon Feedstock Materials for Photovoltaic Applications
  • SEMI PV18-0811         Guide for Specifying a Photovoltaic Connector Ribbon
  • SEMI PV19-0811         Guide for Testing Photovoltaic Connector Ribbon Characteristics

This has been a truly global effort, and critical contributions to standards development has been made in all regions. The SEMI PV Standards Committee meets on a regular basis around the globe throughout the year.  In providing the opportunity for key individuals to attend, SEMI PV Standards meetings are held around PV events such as SEMI PV Fab Managers Forum Europe (March) and Intersolar Europe (June) and North America (July). To get involved in this important work, please visit, or contact your local SEMI Standards staff.

SEMI Standards Watch, March 2012