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A journey that started 10 years ago

10 years ago we went off on a journey.
Its start: 2009, 5 experts at 1 company.
Its first stage: 2019, over 4,000 professionals in 8 companies of the group which provide a full cycle of PVPP creation and maintenance, manufacture of all components for PVPPs in Ukraine, and has powerful RnD.

Its destination: Ukraine, 100% provided with renewable energy, in the world living on clean energy.
Thousands and thousands of stories of selfless, persistent, intensive work lie between the start and the finish of this journey. Now we will show a small part of this journey – a path of the Ukrainian solar panel to the solar power plant Zalissya Pershe, the first of PVPPs that is 100% constructed from the equipment made in Ukraine at the plants of our group. We have been going at this for 10 years. This is a symbolic stage in our journey, which we came through thanks to our amazing team at KNESS Group and our common belief in the goal – clean energy for every Ukrainian.


PREPARATION SECTION
Olha Nakhtman
Solderer, KNESS PV
I make tab wire parts to make a panel: I cut details of the necessary sizes and solder it to each other. In our section, we also sort the cells by color and capacity.

GLASS INSERTION AND IMPOSITION OF THE FIRST EVA FILM LAYER
Volodymyr Kravchuk
Transport worker, KNESS PV
I load up trays with special «sun» glass to the manipulator. It is 7 trays a shift, 700 glass sheets. The manipulator inserts glass sheets from the tray, one by one, at the beginning of the production line. Then another machine puts a sublayer of EVA film on it. I check for the availability of the film in the machine and replace the roll when no film remains.

SECTION OF CELL ASSEMBLY
Vitaliy Posvystak
Operator, KNESS PV
We monitor every section of the machine, temperature, and availability of components in sections from which the manipulator pulls them out. The components are photovoltaic elements: cells and busbars that connect cells into strings. At this stage, the machine assembles the cells into strings and places them over the first layer of EVA film.

TABBING
Andrii Kuznetsov
Operator, KNESS PV
We monitor the operation of the tabbing machine and fix defects manually if required.

This is the path of the Ukrainian solar panel SNRG by KNESS to its destination. Simultaneously, mounting structures that will carry panels and inverters and other electrical equipment, are created in other production cycles and find their way to PVPP. Everything is made by the hands of Ukrainians who believe in the world on clean energy and with their own hands contribute to the achievement of that goal.
In 2019, for the first time in Ukrainian history, Ukrainian equipment was assembled into a 100% Ukrainian PVPP near the village of Zalissya.

Oleh Dovboshchuk
Director, KNESS PV
For the Zalissya Pershe PVPP, approximately 38,000 of 375-W and 380-W Ukrainian panels SNRG-FR72- 5BB-MONOPERC were produced. The plant KNESS PV needs 32 days of work to produce that many panels. To make those panels better than foreign analogs, the best completing parts, a modern line with the highest level of quality control, and skilled staff are needed.

THE START OF THE SOLAR PLANT CONSTRUCTION
Mykhailo Fuyarovskiy
Construction Manager, KNESS Group
The construction of the plant starts from the territory planning, then – piling, arranging metalware, tranches… This is a painstaking step-by-step process. Then – panel assembly, cable connection, everything is being checked, and only then we obtain energy.
I am proud of what our company is doing. When I started to work here 3 years ago, we had already been using Ukrainian mounting structures. Then our inverters; today our company also produces its own solar panels! It once seemed that it is as far away as we are from the moon, but here it is. I am proud and sure that the guys are also happy that all that is produced not by some foreign state, but by ours.

ASSEMBLY OF THE PANEL TABLE MADE IN UKRAINE BY KNESS

Yurii Fomishyn
Crew Chief on mounting structures and installation of photovoltaic panels, KNESS Group
First of all, we need to drive piles for mounting structures evenly, set a base at the 25-degree tilt, as well as diagonal rods, support brackets – all that is necessary. This affects how the row will be located, how and at which angle the panels will be located in relation to the sun and to each other, and, as a result, affects their performance. That is why the guys take it very carefully.

PANEL INSTALLATION
Serhii Sverchevskii
Worker, KNESS Group
My job is to install panels on the support structures. This is not about just placing a panel and fixing it. Each framework is being individually adjusted to the panel. We tighten up and fix everything so that all connections hold firmly. It is made to last for years. The installation of a panel takes about 2-4 minutes.
I was recommended this job by my friends; it's only a third month since I am here. This is a great job, in the open air, with new acquaintances. Speaking briefly, I am very happy.
Iryna Kotseruba
Placer, KNESS PV
Our section controls the flatness of the strings laid and brazing accuracy; if the brazing did not get through as required, we fix it with manual tools. Both the visual and technical characteristics of the panel depend on our work.
PANEL CONNECTION
Viktor Nikolchuk
Worker, KNESS Group
I am dealing with the solar panel installation. If the panels are not installed, the plant will not work, this is obvious. But how we will install those panels affects the panel's performance and, therefore, how much power it will give to people. We need to install at least 71 tables a day. And this is 284 solar panels. Such a job is attractive to me, I am from a village, and I like doing everything with my own hands.

Yevhenii Kulik
Worker, KNESS Group
My job is to connect panels. Everything should be connected properly so that the batteries could do their job. First, we connect solar panels to each other, then lay a cable that connects them and runs further to the combiner box. In general, there are no more important or less important stages. Everything is important and responsible. The main goal of our work is to provide people with clean energy, and without correct connections, we will not able to obtain it.

INSTALLATION OF THE INVERTER
MADE IN UKRAINE BY KNESS


Serhii Bilyk
Worker, KNESS Group
At the moment, we are putting up a supporting wall near the inverter plant. It will protect the inverter from rain and other influences so that it could work smoothly. And then we will pour concrete casting over all of that.

Ihor Chervinskii
Project Manager, KNESS Group
180 Ukrainians were building the Zalissia Pershe PVPP from February to June 2019. The new PVPP increased annual local budget revenues by 678 thousand hryvnias.
SYSTEM CONTROL SERVICE

Maksym Muravskii
Dispatcher, KNESS Service
We monitor the operation of each of our PVPPs and other PVPPs which we service. We coordinate the time and place of work of the crew that works at each PVPP, maintain normal grid operation, and localize technological disturbances if required.

This is how clean energy comes to our homes and our offices. And with the Zalissya Pershe PVPP, the cleanest energy comes – first, this is clean RES energy; second, it is purely Ukrainian by the origin of the equipment. And each its watt is warmed up with hands of Ukrainians, their care about us, the country and the environment. Because when generating and consuming energy, we need to be sure that during its generation, no emissions that make our planet less and less liveable get into the air. While you read these words, thousands of people in Ukraine are already working to provide as many Ukrainians as possible with clean energy, fresh air, and to stop climate change.
LINE CONTROL
Dmytro Babiy
Transport Worker, KNESS PV
I control the operation of manipulators that impose the second EVA layer and the back sheet, control the availability of film in the roll and replace the roll if needed.

BARCODE IMPOSITION
Nataliia Banit
Products and parts placer, KNESS PV
We attach the barcode in two places. In fact, we give an original name to the panel, by which it will be identified.

FIRST EL-TESTER
Vadym Oleksandruk
Examiner, KNESS PV
Our job is to discover possible defects during sandwich assembly: dry joints, cracks, bus displacement. At this control stage, any defect may be fully fixed by replacing an element in the panel.

PANEL LAMINATION SECTION
Serhii Chupryna
Senior Production Hall Operator, KNESS PV
At the lamination section, the line is completely
automated – people do not work here due to high temperatures. We control the operation of laminators from the operator room.

FILM EXCESS TRIMMING AND VISUAL CONTROL AFTER LAMINATION
Vadym Golumbyovskiy
Examiner, KNESS PV
We examine the quality of the laminated panel: check for impurities, soldering, cell integrity, busbars, row spacing joints, symmetry – everything must completely comply with standards.

FRAME AND DISTRIBUTION
BOX ATTACHMENT SECTION

Nataliia Mazur
Manual Worker, KNESS PV
I control that no aluminum frame elements have any defects, and put elements into the manipulator that places the frame on the panel sandwich.

SOLIDIFICATION
Yevhen Franko
Products and Parts Placer, KNESS PV
In our section, we check the quality and air-tightness of the frame installed, attach the distribution box and send it to the machine that seals the distribution box. This is a final stage of the panel assembly. Now it only has to solidify in the «aging» chamber for 4 hours.

INSULATION RESISTANCE MEASUREMENT AND CURRENT-VOLTAGE TEST SECTION
Svitlana Koniukhova
Manual Worker, KNESS PV
We prepare the panel for the test. We remove the protection film from the aluminum frame, sealer leftovers, and attach terminals necessary for the panel testing.

PANEL TESTING
Oleksandr Vynnychenko
Quality Engineer, KNESS PV
Using special equipment, we take the current-voltage curve, measure the insulation resistance. Based on the measurements, the panel is assigned a class, and a panel passport is printed out automatically.

FINAL VISUAL INSPECTION
Olena Babiy
Examiner, KNESS PV
I do a final visual inspection of the panel before packaging because even a small scratch on the aluminum frame impacts the panel class.

PACKAGING
Volodymyr Vlasiuk
Placer-Packager, KNESS PV
I remove testing terminals, attach the passport assigned to the panel at the testing section, then a special machine places the panels in the trays according to their class.