The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) divides the solar photovoltaic (PV) market into three sectors: residential rooftop, commercial rooftop, and utility-scale ground mount. According to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), solar PV has the third highest cumulative installed capacity for renewable energy sources after hydro and wind power. The EPIA represents the interest of  the solar industry and has a global membership roll consisting of stakeholders  from along the entire solar PV value chain, including silicon, solar cells, solar module production, systems development,  PV electricity generation, and sales. A recent report by IMS Research, a leading market research and consultancy firm...

On October 11, the University of Massachusetts-Lowell makes the public debut of its $80 million Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center (ETIC). The facility consists of a cutting-edge, four-story, 84,000-square-foot building that will house nanotechnology programs in plastics engineering, biomedicine, elect-optics, biomaterials and other fast-developing fields. The center also contains a state-of-the-art plastics-processing high bay, engineering-lab and wet-lab spaces and a trio of high-tech clean rooms -- Class 100, Class 1000, and Class 10,000, for nano-manufacturing of semiconductors and biopharmaceuticals. Nanotechnology describes the materials, applications and processes used to manipulate and engineer structures on microscopic scales of 1 to 100 nanometers (NM),...

For a fab manager designing a gas system at a research facility, this is a fairly common question.    As with most complex issues, the answer to the question is “it depends”.    Here is a list of the key considerations to address when making that decision: Purity Considerations:   Many of the small (under 1 liter per minute) Hydrogen Generation systems are designed primarily for gas chromatography service. The stainless tubing inside is passivated, not electropolished, and many of these systems typically use compression fittings, which are not as leak tight as VCR® type fittings.   Some of the bigger systems have VCR bulkhead...

Semiconductor, LED, medical devices industries, and diverse laboratories have a need for all types of complex mixtures and ultra high purity (UHP) gases, such as nitrogen and oxygen.  The strong oxidizing and life-sustaining properties of oxygen makes it one the most common gases used in nearly all industries.  The purity of oxygen can affect the outcome of a process or the precision of a measurement. In some cases, purity of 5.0 may be sufficient for a particular process, but the same purity level can act as a contaminant in other cases. Users who require Grade 6.0 oxygen and desire to move...

A recent report from Yole Development on the state of the MEMS sector indicates that the future is quite bright.  The number of MEMS enabled devices is expected to increase by at least 20% annually in the upcoming 6 years.  Meanwhile, increase in revenue to MEMS manufacturers is also expected to grow by at least 13% each year.  This jump in activity in the market means that MEMS will grow to a market of over $20 billion by the end of 2017. “Banner Year” in 2011 In 2011, nearly every company that manufactures micro electro mechanical systems saw an increase in their...

Sooner or later it happens at every facility. You get a bad cylinder of gas, a component fails, a cycle purge wasn't properly completed, and your gas panel or a gas line gets contaminated.  The good news is that an effective approach to the problem can save you weeks in downtime. The typical response when a gas line is contaminated is to pull the contaminated section, throw it away, and buy/install a new one. Replacement panels are sold by all the OEMs; then you’ll need to find a contractor to do the install.   But before going down that path, consider the...

Brief History The earliest point of use abatement systems (POU) were designed to provide emergency abatement for difficult to scrub gases that provided unusual safety hazards. These gases could create catastrophic or health damage if they leaked from, or reacted within, the facility ducting. Hence, local (point of use) gas scrubbers were developed to abate these gases as close to the point of origin as possible in order to minimize risk.  Examples of these gases include silane (SiH4), phosphine (PH3), and arsine (AsH3). Evolution of Point of Use Abatement Another driving factor in the development of point-of -use technology was the desire to...

Once an Orbital Weld Technician has “couponed-in” or has his test coupon accepted by QA/QC to start performing welding, the last thing that they need is for the equipment to fail. Yet it happens all the time because orbital welding causes a great deal of wear and tear on the equipment. Failure related to Chillers, Pendants, Wire or Cable Disconnect, Home-Switch accounts for nearly 80 percent of all field failure and disrupts productivity -- hours or even a whole day can be spent trying to identify and then qualify a new piece of equipment. This can be expensive as the...

I came from the thin film hard drive (HDD) industry, and we had several point of use scrubbers.  The main ones were the Delatech and dry abatement systems like Novapure (also CS Clean, or the GRC).  The thin film flows are low compared to other processes, but still pose environmental and safety issues if not addressed properly.  In order to pick out the best scrubber, you really need to figure out the max flow of your gases, and consider the individual gas types.   You can then use this information combined with your facilities requirements to determine the best gas scrubber...