The furnace is capable of producing high-quality ingots suitable for processing high-efficiency poly-crystalline solar cells.
Hind High Vacuum (HHV), based in Bangalore, has taken a unique ‘Make in India’ initiative to design and build the Directional Solidification (DSS) Furnace for Silicon growth. Leveraging their expertise in industrial furnace manufacturing and vast experience in supplying vacuum furnaces, HHV has created a DSS furnace tailored specifically for the PV industry. This furnace is capable of producing high-quality ingots suitable for processing high-efficiency poly-crystalline solar cells. The innovative production mechanism enhances the properties of standard, mono-like, and quasi-mono cells, leading to improved performance of solar cells.
According to Nagarjun Sakhamuri, Managing Director of HHV, the furnace is ideal for both production and research and development on polycrystalline silicon ingots. It offers a backward integration solution for poly-C-Si solar cell manufacturers who wish to start their own ingot/wafer production facility. Additionally, existing ingot makers can use this advanced equipment to improve the growth process and ingot quality. Researchers and academia in India and around the world seeking to enhance production technology can also benefit from this furnace, especially those who wish to avoid Chinese products.
The poly-crystalline silicon ingots produced by HHV’s DSS furnace undergo minimal loss during wafer production, resulting in higher yields and lower costs for solar wafers and cells.
HHV has taken into consideration the possibility of accidental breakage of the silica crucible, a critical component of the furnace. The furnace incorporates several safety functions to protect against overpressure and malfunctioning, minimising downtime and repair costs.
Prof. P. Ramasamy, Dean (Research) at SSN College of Engineering, Chennai, emphasised the opportunities for academia and research institutions to explore mc-Si / monolike Si with furnaces like this. Such research will contribute to improving the quality of silicon growth and equipment efficiency, making these materials more competitive and attractive to renewable energy producers.Nagarjun Sakhamuri added that HHV’s focus on building self-reliant technology aligns with India’s ambition to become more self-sufficient in PV installations. The DSS furnace meets international standards, equipped with state-of-the-art PLCs, automatic controls, mandatory safety features, and interlocks. This advancement in technology will enable India to produce its own wafers, supporting the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiatives of the Indian government. Ultimately, the lower production costs of solar cells and modules made using this technology will drive increased affordability and accessibility of renewable energy solutions.
(Note: As published in Manufacturing Today - https://www.manufacturingtodayindia.com/sectors/hhvs-dss-furnace-to-power-solar-module-affordability)