Photovoltaics or PV is the technology for converting sunlight into electricity. With the increasing concerns about the global climate and with the uncertain sources and prices of oil and other traditional fuels adding economic pressures, the solar power industry has been growing substantially in recent years. According to industry sources, photovoltaic production has been doubling every two years, increasing by an average of 48% per year since 2002, making it the world's fastest-growing energy technology. In addition to the growth in output, there has also been substantial investment in pioneering new technologies and manufacturing practices in order to reduce the cost of PV and improve material efficiencies.
Solar cells, photovoltaic modules and photovoltaic arrays are all assembled components, but a core part of all of these products is the photovoltaic material. Currently, there are two prevailing processes for manufacturing PV material, and Ferrotec works closely with PV manufacturers to provide solutions for both
- Crystal Growers and Silicon Wafers - One technology uses Silicon wafers and is similar to traditional semiconductor manufacturing processes. This process involves growing the silicon crystal, then slicing it into wafers. Ferrotec offers Ferrofluidic seals, components, and systems for this method of manufacturing. And with our history in providing manufacturing technology solutions for the semiconductor industry, we're able to work closely with manufacturers to bring market-transforming innovation to these processes.
- Thin Film Coating - An alternative technology involves applying a deposition process and thin-film coating process using a manufacturing system that is similar to a printing press. Ferrotec offers Ferrofluidic seals that are used for this method of manufacturing, providing the precision, rotational performance, and thermal tolerances that our vacuum rotary feedthroughs are renowned for.
To find out more about Ferrotec's solutions for photovoltaic manufacturing equipment, contact your Ferrofluidic Seal and Vacuum Rotary Feedthrough Solutions representative, or submit your request directly using the Vacuum Feedthrough Inquiry Form.