The cleanroom installation company have completed an ISO Class 6 & 7 cleanroom at Swansea University to support solar cell research
The installation was part of the SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre. Led by Swansea University, SPECIFIC is an academic and industrial consortium with a vision to turn buildings into power stations.
Their solar photovoltaics research is developing materials and manufacturing methods to produce solar cells on glass and steel construction materials.
These materials will replace conventional roofing, cladding, and glazing products, so buildings can generate a significant proportion of their electricity demand from the fabric of the building alone.
Following the construction of new laboratories on Swansea University’s Bay Campus, SPECIFIC required a cleanroom to provide a stable and consistent environment for their research, as well as a larger space to co-locate all of their solar cell activity.
SPECIFIC’s extremely tight specification required temperature control to maintain 21 °C reliably and for humidity control at less than 30% relative humidity at all times.
Connect 2 Cleanrooms designed, manufactured and installed a Modular Hardwall panel system on the new Bay Campus
The system has an overall footprint of 114 m² and suite of cleanrooms consists of four rooms. The humidity controlled room is 6x4m, ISO Class 7, temperature controlled to maintain 21°C, and can deliver a constant humidity level of less than 30% at all times.
The ISO Class 6 area is at the other end of the cleanroom, the same size and temperature control.
The main cleanroom area is 11x6m, ISO Class 7. Its temperature is controlled to the same level as the other rooms. It houses three gloveboxes for research requiring an oxygen-free atmosphere.
Trystan Watson, Swansea University, said: “Our cleanliness requirement is significantly lower than that for conventional photovoltaic research into silicon solar cells. In terms of device performance and we’ve seen a very significant influence in terms of humidity – so the consistent control of this was almost more important than the level of cleanliness in our cleanroom specification.”
The final room is the change area which is ISO Class 7 and allows operators to gown up in a controlled area, minimising the introduction of particles into the room.
The transparent hardwall panels to two walls allow visitors an unobstructed view of the facilities and equipment without impacting upon the research or cleanliness of the room.