Canadian start-up gains funding for low-cost mono polysilicon

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Canada-based start-up, Ubiquity Solar Inc has received CAD$3.1 million in funding to further develop its low-cost hyper-pure polysilicon and monocrystalline ingot/wafer technology, ahead of plans to commercialise the technology.

Funding was secured via a not-for-profit foundation funded by the Government of Canada, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), which will be used by Ubiquity Solar to support its US$10.9 million demonstration pilot plant project.

Ubiquity Solar has gathered a consortium of research institutes and universities to support the development of low-cost polysilicon and high-performance N-type and P-type monocrystalline ingots and wafers.

The consortium includes the University of Waterloo Centre for Advanced PV Devices and Systems, University of Toronto, McMaster University, Fraunhofer Centre for Silicon Photovoltaics CSP, ECN Solar Energy Silicon Photovoltaics, Si Con, Core Business Developers LLC, Jerry Olson Consulting, and DJ Met Consulting.

Ian MacLellan, President & CEO Ubiquity Solar said: “We are extremely pleased with the $3.1million of support from SDTC to help fund our $10.9 million demonstration pilot plant project. This project leverages Canada's strengths in natural resources, advanced materials processing and automation. It lays the foundation for a 10,000 metric tonnes per annum integrated production plant that will produce over 2GW of product per year. We expect to create over 500 export focused jobs over the next five years in Canada.”

The start-up is banking on improving minority charge carrier lifetime of mono-based solar cells to boost conversion efficiencies and offer industry leading low oxygen and carbon containing wafers to limit impurities and offer a narrow resistivity range.

Low-cost mono wafers offer the potential to improve cell efficiencies without shifting cell designs that would lead to new tool-sets, potentially adding costs, negating cost per-watt benefits.

Companies already using N-type and P-type mono wafers with advanced cell designs could become increasingly competitive with low-cost wafer offerings, challenging the ubiquitous multicrystalline wafer dominance.

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