Crystal Solar to move to pilot line production of ultra-thin wafers

  • US-based ultra-thin silicon wafer start-up Crystal Solar is planning to complete pilot production of its ‘Epi Thin-Silicon’ technology this year with volume production targeted sometime in 2014.
    US-based ultra-thin silicon wafer start-up Crystal Solar is planning to complete pilot production of its ‘Epi Thin-Silicon’ technology this year with volume production targeted sometime in 2014.
  •   The company claimed that its technology would results overall PV module production costs being reduced by approximately 50%.
    The company claimed that its technology would results overall PV module production costs being reduced by approximately 50%.
  •   ITRPV does note that as-cut wafer thickness in mass production of solar cells and minimum cell thickness in module manufacturing is expected to reach below 120 microns in 2020.
    ITRPV does note that as-cut wafer thickness in mass production of solar cells and minimum cell thickness in module manufacturing is expected to reach below 120 microns in 2020.

US-based ultra-thin silicon wafer start-up Crystal Solar is planning to complete pilot production of its ‘Epi Thin-Silicon’ technology this year with volume production targeted sometime in 2014.

Crystal Solar highlighted the production plans after saying it had completed an 18-month US Department of Energy-funded "incubator project", which it claimed successfully demonstrated the capability of its technology in eliminating multiple process steps in conventional monocrystalline silicon wafer production while retaining the material's inherent conversion efficiency superiority. 

The company claimed its technology would result in overall PV module production costs being reduced by approximately 50%.

The incubator project, which included collaborations with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), also involved the Georgia Institute of Technology on silicon solar cell processing during this period.

However, according to the recent edition of the International Technology Roadmap for PV (ITRPV), alternative wafer technologies will be hard pressed to replace conventional multi- and mono-crystalline wafers due to costs and the conservative wafer thickness reductions adopted by the majority of the PV industry.

Yet the ITRPV does note that as-cut wafer thickness in mass production of solar cells and minimum cell thickness in module manufacturing is expected to reach below 120 microns in 2020.

Dow Corning had also previously announced that it would work with Crystal Solar to jointly develop new products for building-integrated PV applications, using its ‘direct gas to wafer’ process for ultra-thin wafers. 

PV-Tech Storage Promo

Newsletter

Preview Latest
Subscribe
We won't share your details - promise!

Publications

  • Photovoltaics International 25th Edition

    In this issue we offer some insights into what the next wave of photovoltaic technologies may look like as that upturn gathers pace. Industry observers have been in broad agreement that the major next-gen PV technology innovations won’t happen straight away. But there’s also little doubt that the search is now on in earnest for the breakthroughs that will come to define the state of the art in the industry in the years to come.

  • Manufacturing The Solar Future: The 2014 Production Annual

    Although the past few years have proved extremely testing for PV equipment manufacturers, falling module prices have driven solar end-market demand to previously unseen levels. That demand is now starting to be felt by manufacturers, to the extent that leading companies are starting to talk about serious capacity expansions later this year and into 2015. This means that the next 12 months will be a critical period if companies throughout the supply chain are to take full advantage of the PV industry’s next growth phase.

Partners

Acknowledgements

Solar Media