TSMC's energy-saving team inspects the heating system of low-energy-consumption pipelines and confirms the energy-saving effect.

TSMC Introduced a Heating System of Low Energy Consumption Pipelines, with 80 Million Kilowatt-hours (kWh) of Electricity Being Saved Every Year Starting from 2025

C.C. Chiang
Scott Chang
Y.F. Yeh
T.C. Kao

TSMC continues to practice green manufacturing and optimize process energy efficiency. In 2020, the Company led the industry to introduce a heating system of low-energy-consumption pipelines into the advanced manufacturing process, reducing heat loss through high-efficiency thermal insulators, and successfully reducing the energy consumption of the machine heat pipe by about 25%. The system has already been implemented in Fab 15 and is expected to be introduced to all 12-inch fabs in Taiwan in 2025, benefiting the 3nm process in Fab 18B and the 2nm process in the future fab. By then, an estimated 80 million kWh of electricity will be saved each year.

The Pipeline Should Also Wear a High-Performance Thermal Insulation Jacket to Catch the "Heat" and Save Energy

In the past, in order to avoid the formation of crystallization and blockage in the gas pipelines for wafer production machines, it was necessary to continuously supply power to the heating equipment outside the pipelines during the operation of the pipelines to maintain the high temperature of the pipeline surface and ensure smooth pipelines. The traditional kit only focuses on the heating function of the pipeline, and ignores the heat preservation performance of the surface material, resulting in easy loss of heat energy and waste of electricity.

The energy-saving team led by the Energy Conservation and Carbon Reduction Committee of TSMC has worked with suppliers to leverage the concept of "reducing heat loss" and use aerogel materials that were mainly used for building insulation in the past to replace glass fiber as the outer layer of the gas supply pipeline. Based on the aerogel's low thermal conductivity and excellent thermal insulation properties, TSMC's energy-saving team has further tested and strengthened its durability, thermal conductivity, particle testing and power-saving verification, and successfully developed the first set in the industry. The "Low Energy Consumption Pipeline Heating System" was first tested in the Fab 15 in March 2020, effectively reducing the surface temperature of the pipeline, reducing energy consumption by 25%, and reducing heat dissipation and heat energy loss.

To improve energy efficiency, TSMC's energy-saving team continues to look for various potential energy-saving opportunities. It not only replicates the method in parallel in the existing fabs, but also sets the standard specifications for the new fab as soon as possible to reduce the risk of machine modification and maximize energy efficiency.

- Y.J. Wang, Director of Intelligent Engineering Center, TSMC

Parallel Replication of the "Low Energy Consumption Pipeline Heating System:" TSMC Taiwan Fabs Will Be Fully "Heat-Saving and Energy-Saving" from 2025

In addition to passing the quality and energy-saving verification of TSMC Fab 15, the low-energy-consumption pipeline heating system has also obtained safety certifications for heat-resistant temperature and ductility from the third-party verification agency of SGS. This system has been listed as a standard facility in the newly built Fab, and will be introduced in the 3nm process in Fab 18B and the 2nm process in the future fab. The existing domestic 12-inch Fabs are expected to complete the system upgrade by 2025. By then, an additional 80 million kWh of electricity will be saved each year. The energy-saving team of TSMC will also amplify the innovative power of green manufacturing and continue to pursue the maximum energy efficiency of machines.