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FOXY — Result In Brief

Project ID: 19811
Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV
Country: Norway

Enhancing silicon materials for solar energy needs

Solar energy has in recent years emerged as one of the most feasible alternatives for renewable energy. Demand for such options is increasing, and reliable and economic alternatives to the high, long-term costs of materials currently used for solar cell manufacture are in the pipeline.
Enhancing silicon materials for solar energy needs
The 'Development of solar-grade silicon feedstock for crystalline wafers and cells by purification and crystallisation' (FOXY) project worked to support European goals for the photovoltaic (PV) industry based on indications that silicon (Si)-wafer based PV modules will dominate the market over the next 10 years. Goals included reducing module costs, realising specific PV installations and responding to market needs for low-price and high-quality solar-grade silicon (SoG-Si) feedstock.

The EU-funded project aimed at enhanced development and optimisation of refining, purification and crystallisation processes for metallurgical SoG-Si feedstock, as well as optimisation of related cell and module processes. The consortium set its sights on setting input criteria for the use of metallurgical and electronic n-type silicon as raw materials for SoG-Si feedstock, and on transferring technology from laboratory to industrial pilot tests.

Versatile refining techniques for SoG-Si production from the direct route and refining/recycling of scrap material from the wafering process were developed. Experimental work was supported through sample characterisation and feedback on targeted optimisation of processes. Results and measurements of properties such as resistivity reveal that most of the material developed in early project efforts is suitable for solar cells.

Other project achievements include work on large area solar cells that returned increased efficiency of more than 17 % as well as groundbreaking efficiencies achieved in the screen-printing process on specific materials.

Project results have been disseminated and provide a starting point for discussions on a SoG-Si standard that can be worked on beyond the scope of this project.

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