Safety a Focus of Integrated Solar Line

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 @ 05:07 PM gHale

Elkem Solar is now seeing the light on its production line at its new facility in Kristiansand, Norway.
Elkem Solar, which produces highly processed silicon for the global solar cell industry, invested $700 million in a new facility, which will produce 6,000 metric tons of high-purity silicon a year.
With the new facility, Elkem is attempting to meet the increasing market demand for high quality silicon for the solar cell industry. The problem of limited availability of such silicon is a major bottleneck for growth in the solar power industry.
The new production line consists of five independent process steps. In one area ABB Norway delivered all electrical high/low voltage electrical infrastructure to the plant. ABB’s delivery also includes process automation based on System 800xA for two of the process steps.
These process steps contain Elkem developed technology for the purification of the silicon produced. System 800xA will provide control of two of the process steps, while ensuring safe, reliable operation and optimizing production and energy efficiency.
By integrating power and process systems on the common 800xA platform, the goal is to optimize the design and performance of their electrical and automation systems, improve overall energy efficiency, and see additional benefits in reduced maintenance, engineering and overall lifecycle costs.
Elkem is getting the System 800xA consisting of several operator workplaces, five AC 800M controllers and one AC 800M HI integrity controller for approximately 3000 I/Os, and uses Foundation Fieldbus to communicate with the various types of process equipment throughout the plant. The new process line went into operation July 2009.

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