Case Study

Home page slider image - Argon recycling machine

GR2L’s ground-breaking Point of Use gas recycling system enables recycling of argon in solar ingot production facility.

The GR2L ArgonØ delivers cost and carbon savings by ‘cleaning up’ and recycling waste argon purge gas that normally would be lost to the atmosphere. These can be installed at brand new facilities or easily retrofitted to existing ones. GR2L supplied and installed fifty-five ArgonØ units to one of the six major Chinese manufacturers of ingots/wafers for photovoltaics, who are widely known as the world’s largest manufacturer of mono-crystalline silicon wafers.

What did we do?

GR2L worked closely with our Chinese-speaking partner in Taiwan to facilitate an open line of communication and ensure a seamless installation. Our UK engineers headed the team to certify that the commissioning of the argon recovery and recycle units met our standards after which, a representative from GR2L attended the site to confirm that all the units were working correctly.

What did we supply and where?

The ArgonØ units, are relatively compact (~ 2.0m x 2.0m x 1.0m deep) and simple to install and each ArgonØ is arranged to serve four furnaces at a time. Recent updates to the unit mean six furnaces can now be served by a single Argon Ø. 15 of those supplied have been seamlessly integrated into an existing photovoltaic facility in Malaysia where they have been running 24 hours a day for several years, delivering an impressive argon return rate of over 94%.

Forty of the ArgonØ units have been supplied to a brand-new facility for the production of 5GW of monocrystalline ingots in Yunnan Lijiang, China. It is our largest installation to date and almost certainly the world’s largest installation for POU argon recovery. The stand-alone nature of the ArgonØ, and the fact that it connects to furnaces rather than the factory exhaust stream, gives it a clear commercial advantage in simplicity of installation. This was advantageous on this project because we were working around other elements of the installation, and it offered the potential for our clients to test in situ, seeing first hand significant advantages over a centralised system.

In summary – Creating one of the world’s largest know installations for argon recovery

Our customer expressed a clear intent to concentrate on producing cost effective monocrystalline products in order to strengthen its leading position in this segment. The ArgonØs are contributing to this mission by reducing their demand for argon, and having a significant impact on the carbon footprint of what is a huge business.

Supplying fifty-five ArgonØ units in one order was a considerable commitment and a huge challenge, but the team at our partner Puretech Process Systems helped us to deliver an exceptional result.

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