A location for a second site, as part of the development, is currently on and the project hopes to generate between 700 to 1,000 megawatts (MW) of silicon-based wafers annually. The manufacturing process is called Direct Wafer and condenses four manufacturing steps into one, which is claimed to reduce silicon waste, "by forming individual wafers directly from a pool of molten silicon," reads the statement announcing the loan guarantee.
When put into full production it is hoped that the wafer formation process can be completed in a fraction of the time of conventional batch processing. Direct Wafer manufacturing is also said to require 90 percent less energy and produces an industry-standard product that can be used in all standard multicrystalline cell manufacture.
The initial stages of Direct Wafering development was supported by $4 million and $3 million grants from two Department of Energy programs. The department has already offered commitments for loan guarantees amounting to $33 billion in the U.S., including some of the worlds largest solar power plants.
Announcing the loan guarantee, Secretarty Steven Chu said that this technology could help American photovoltaic manufacturers to increase their market share. "As global demand for solar cells increases, this kind of technology will help the US increase its market share and be more competitive with other countries such as China, which currently accounts for 60 percent of the world supply of multicrystalline wafers."
This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: email@example.com.
By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.
Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.
You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.
Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.