China Gets Involved in Developing PV Standards
Tina Yu, SEMI China
Great changes in the PV industry are being influenced by global energy security, climate change, technology improvements and government policy. In order for the industry to sustainably continue its explosive growth, additional PV manufacturing standards will be required. Fortunately, an increasing number of companies and individuals are realizing the importance of standards, and are actively participating in PV standards development. Given the global nature of the PV industry, it is critical that major players from around the world drive standards development. More and more China PV companies are joining the SEMI International Standards Program and will play an important role in creating PV standards.
Many Chinese PV manufacturers are now featured on the top ten lists of PV companies around the world. They focus on their own development and technology innovation and realize the importance of international cooperation and connection. Several leading companies, including GCL, Renesola, LDK, Suntech, Trina, and CGC actively participate in SEMI PV international industry standards program. They express their opinions and represent the voice of the China PV industry, through ballots, voting and conferences.
Perhaps most importantly, Chinese companies are now initiating new standard activities at SEMI. Suntech, one of the most famous Chinese crystalline silicon cell and module manufacturers, recently submitted a SNARF (standards proposal) for a new standard activity to develop a specification for anti-reflective (AR) coating glass, which is used in crystalline silicon PV modules. Arthur Liang of Suntech commented, “Despite the importance of AR-coated glass, there currently is no industry consensus standard in the PV industry. A standard will improve communication between users and suppliers, reduce costs, and increase productivity, so it is critical for the PV industry to come to consensus in the near future.”
This is the first SEMI Standards development proposal ever issued from a Chinese company. It was approved by the North America PV Committee during their Spring 2011 meeting. (Efforts are underway to create a SEMI PV Standards Committee in China, but this activity will officially fall under the NA PV Committee.) The initial draft is expected to be ready by the North America PV Committee’s next meeting at Intersolar North America in July 2011. As with all SEMI Standards ballots, the ballot will be distributed to the entire global membership of the PV Committee.
Since 2007, over 400 PV industry experts in more than 20 task forces have developed and published 15 SEMI PV standards covering equipment, materials, and test methods used in crystalline cell, module and thin film manufacture process. Chinese PV companies are proud to include their voices for these important efforts.
If you’d like to get involved in SEMI PV standards activities, visit our website at www.pvgroup.org/standards.