Solar Cell Manufacturing Facility

In 2009, Superior Controls completed a $5.2M control system project that provided one of the greatest challenges our team has ever faced. The entire complex system was designed, developed, installed, and functionally available to allow Certificate of Occupancy in less than 6 months. To meet this extremely aggressive schedule, Superior Controls executed the design, fabrication, test, and shipment of 56 Control Panels in less than 14 weeks to set the stage for the rest of the project. Also included in the scope of work was the provision of instrumentation and control devices (controls valves, AHU dampers, transmitters, sensors, etc.) plus all associated electrical and pneumatic installations and calibration.

Superior Controls was responsible for implementing the Facility Management System (FMS) for the 75 MW PV Solar Cell Manufacturing Plant which performed process control, monitoring, data logging and reporting of the building utility systems for the facility. The FMS provides a distributed PLC architecture with a centralized Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA). The system included multiple servers that contain the Real Time Information reporting and the data historian. The PLCs used hardwired I/O for the bulk of the points and DeviceNet to all Variable Speed Drives.

The base control system consists of 11 GE Pac systems (Building utilities), 26 GE Versa Max systems (Air Handlers), GE Proficy iFix, GE Historian, GE Proficy Real Time Information Portal and WIN911, a development server, and 7 client workstations.

The following major systems were controlled and/or monitored by the FMS:

  • Air Handling Units (26)
  • Process Cooling Water
  • Compressed Air (5 compressors)
  • Exhaust Systems
  • Supply Air
  • Silicon Dust Collection
  • Waste Water Treatment
  • Safety Showers
  • Chilled Water Control (3 Chillers)
  • Non-Potable Water
  • Condenser Water (5 Cooling Towers)
  • Containment Sumps
  • Heated Water (2 Boilers)
  • Furnace Cooling Water
  • Electrical Monitoring
  • Toxic Gas Monitoring System

The system also had to interface a number of skids with disparate controllers to provide various levels of monitoring and controls. These systems included:

  • Chemical Delivery Systems (with GE VersaMax PLCs)
  • RO and HF Waste Systems (with Siemens S7 PLCs)
  • Acid, Nox, and VOC Scrubber Controls (with Allen-Bradley ControlLogix PLCs)
  • Chemical Lift System (with an Allen-Bradley ControlLogix PLC)
  • Chiller Controls (via LonWorks)

The system included 200+ analog points, 400+ discrete points, 100+ PID loops, 700+ data logged points, 1300+ setpoints, and 1600+ alarms.

A dedicated team of 12 Superior Controls engineers executed the project by working 7 days per week and often as much as 14 hours per day.

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