ABB automation and power solutions help Elkem Solar establish production in Norway
03 August 2010
Integrated process automation based on System 800xA, safety and power for silicon production line to maximise capacity while increasing energy efficiency.
ABB delivered a compressive automation and power solution for Elkem Solar’s production line at its facility in Kristiansand, Norway. The facility produces highly processed silicon for the global solar cell industry. ABB’s scope of supply includes comprehensive electrical and automation systems integrated on the common System 800xA platform.
Elkem Solar, part of the Norwegian Orkla Group of companies, invested $700 million in the facility, which produces 6,000 metric tons of high-purity silicon a year. With the facility Elkem will meet the increasing market demand for high quality silicon for the solar cell industry. Limited availability of such silicon is a major bottleneck for growth in the solar power industry.
The production line consists of five independent process steps. ABB Norway delivered all electrical high/low voltage electrical infrastructure to the total 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 precise control of the above mentioned processes, while ensuring safe, reliable operation and optimising production and energy efficiency.
By integrating power and process systems on the common 800xA platform, customers optimise 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.
The System 800xA solution consists of several operator workplaces, five AC 800M controllers and one AC 800M HI integrity controller for approximately 3000 I/Os, using Foundation Fieldbus to communicate with the various types of process equipment throughout the plant. The process line has been in operation since July 2009.
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