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Silicon and wafer materials 2011 overview

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By Mark Thirsk, Managing Partner, Linx Consulting LLC

With more than 80% of PV module demand being satisfied by crystalline-based modules, the health of the silicon and wafer supply chain is of vital importance to the overall PV industry. This paper reviews the overall materials value chain from the manufacture of PV silicon to the wafer, prepared for manufacture of the cell. A glimpse is provided of the various market dynamics that exist in the supply chain, as well as the technology trends that influence or threaten the supply of wafers. Although the manufacturing routes are mature and well established, we also take a look at the possibility of novel and disruptive technologies altering the overall supply landscape.

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The eleventh edition of Photovoltaics International was published in February 2011 and features a special focus on PV modules from Fraunhofer CSP, SunPower and Heriot-Watt University. In addition, China Sunergy studies dark lines on mc-Si cells in Cell Processing and TU Freiburg looks at the challenges of the wire saw wafering process in Materials.

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