Giant solar-cell factory to have HERO water purification

The largest silicon solar manufacturing factory in the world is to use a high-efficiency reverse- osmosis (HERO) ultra-pure water treatment system supplied by GE. SunPower Corp selected GE to supply the new SunPower-AUO joint-venture solar-cell fabrication plant in Malaysia.

The SunPower-AUO facility is expected to begin operations near the end of 2010 and ramp production during the following two years. The factory is near Melaka, Malaysia, in a region that has experienced prior water shortages and drought.

GE will design, supply and install an advanced ultra-pure water system featuring the internationally patented HERO process. The system, operating on a challenging and variable feedwater source, will provide 3.46 MGD (13,000 m³/d) of ultra pure water for manufacturing.

“With operating efficiencies exceeding 90%, the HERO system will not only conserve water, but through advances in technology and its implementation, we’ll also see an immediate positive return on environment for our customer,” said Jeff Connelly, vice president, engineered systems, water and process technologies for GE Power & Water.