PV Group announces new SEMI Standards Committees in Japan and Taiwan

The PV Group announced an important milestone in the scope and coverageof PV global standards efforts through the formation of PhotovoltaicStandards Committees in Japan and Taiwan.

The initial focus ofwork in the Japan Committee will be to standardize the dimensions ofthin-film substrates, while Taiwan recently started developingstandards for crystalline-silicon cell appearance as well as avibration test method. The new standards development groups join SEMIStandards committees in Europe and North America, which have beenactive since 2006.

Industry stakeholders believe that creationof consistent cross-border manufacturing standards and safetyguidelines can dramatically lower costs, improve quality and accelerateinnovation in the PV industry. SEMI has 36 years of experience andproven expertise in this area with nearly 800 manufacturing standardsand safety guidelines currently in place.

The PV Group, aspecial interest group of SEMI, promotes standards development for allaspects of PV manufacturing including thin films, machine interface,process control and others through the SEMI International Standardsprocess and in collaboration with partner associations around the globe.

ThePV Standards Committee’s charter is to explore, evaluate, discuss, andcreate consensus-based standard measurement methods, specifications,guidelines, and practices. Through voluntary compliance, theseconsensus-based standards will promote mutual understanding andimproved communication between users and suppliers of photovoltaicmanufacturing equipment, materials and services— enhancingmanufacturing efficiency, shortening time-to-market, and reducing PVindustry manufacturing cost.

In 2008, a Taiwan PV StandardsWorking Group was formed. The group held more than 30 meetings over thelast year, consolidating the needs and requirements of the Taiwan PVindustry. The Taiwan PV Standards Committee consists of key playersfrom all segments of the PV manufacturing chain— manufacturers ofmaterials, equipment, wafers, cells, modules, thin films, as well asacademia, local industry associations and research institutes.Committee leaders include staff from Chroma, DelSolar, UL Taiwan, andITRI.

The Japan PV Committee will work to include liaisons andsynergies with other SEMI technical committees for the development ofPV-related standards. The PV Standards Committee will explore anddevelop standards that pertain to common criteria, guidelines, methodsfor control and comparison of PV-related process/metrology equipment,materials, components, or manufacturing operations.

It willseek to support the international need for increasing PVproduct/process yield and reducing related PV costs per Watt peak. Thiscommittee will investigate opportunities towards harmonization ofPV-related efforts with other SDOs. In addition to the above, thecommittee will facilitate any industry initiatives towards productstandardization needs.

Recently, the SEMI PV Group released aStandards Guidance Document that identified 64 SEMI Standards topics as“Applicable” to the PV industry. Thirty-one SEMI Standards topics wererated as “Top Priority” for their potential to deliver immediate costbenefits to the industry with limited revision.

This summer,an important Standard was passed that defines a unified equipmentcommunication interface for PV production systems (PV2-0709). Earlierin the year, a standardized test method for detecting elementalimpurities in photovoltaic silicon feedstock was approved (PV1-0309).