- Services & Solutions
- Clients & Partners
Low-Cost Process for Solar-Grade Silicon
Demand for solar energy is growing rapidly due to concerns about energy independence and the environment. Propelled by consumer interest and favorable public policy, there is a growing need for ample and affordable sources of silicon to create solar cells.
SRI has developed a low-cost process for solar-grade silicon that is available for license. The highly pure solar silicon comes in versatile forms (single crystal, polycrystalline, or film ribbon). With this process, silicon feedstock can be manufactured in an affordable, scalable operation.
The process relies on readily available starting materials that are inexpensive and can be processed without high power demands. The solar-grade silicon is produced in high-throughput batches or in near-continuous operation.
In a bench-scale reactor, SRI has demonstrated growth of single-crystal solar cells with efficiencies of more than 15 percent. SRI has also designed a production reactor capable of producing approximately 1,000 metric tons per year of silicon.
In going from pilot-scale to full-production capacity, SRI anticipates that licensing partners can fully bring this technology online within two to three years.