Prium® SunBath®, forming equipment for solar glass
Today, large volume production of pattern glass is exclusively realized by the roll glass process.
However, this process has some major production limitations:
- The capacity is limited to about 150-200 tpd per rolling machine
- The glass feeding has to be interrupted for roller changes and maintenance
- No flat glass with acceptable surface quality can be produced
Large volume production of flat glass is exclusively realized by the tin bath float process with the advantages:
- Very high production volumes up to 1200 tpd possible
- High surface quality and flatness
However, the two glass forming processes are fundamentally different and have no flexibility to switch over between float glass and pattern glass.
For a float glass producer, the addition of pattern glass products requires an additional investment:
- Deviation of the melt of a float tank to a parallel rolled glass production line.
- Or independent melting furnace with one or more rolled glass production lines
A proprietary process
Fives developed a proprietary process that overcomes these constraints. Specific equipment is inserted in the lehr A0 zone between the dross box of tin bath and the annealing lehr. The equipment consists of surface heating, embossing roller and cooling.
In function of requirements, normal float glass or patterned float glass can be produced on the same float glass line.
The equipment can be installed on any float glass line with an A0 zone. Else, the A zone of the lehr could be slightly shortened. Many standard patterns can be produced but in particular precise structures for photovoltaic applications.