SBIR Phase I: Continuous Production of Crystalline Silicon Sheet for Solar Cell
National Science Foundation
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Small Business Information
Industrial Learning Systems
4244 Yarmouth Drive, Allison Park, PA, 15101-1568
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Kwong Ho Chan
Kwong Ho Chan
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to develop a design concept and demonstrate the feasibility of a continuous process to produce low-cost silicon wafers for solar cells. The approach is to cool a molten bath of silicon from the top to be below its melting point, producing a thin silicon sheet directly from the molten silicon bath. This technique allows the monocrystalline or highly textured silicon sheets to be continuously produced. A liquid or solid layer will be used to support the silicon and ensure uniformity. The broader/commercial impact of this project will be the potential to significantly reduce the cost of silicon wafers for solar cells. Today, the cost of silicon wafers is about 45% of the total cost of a complete solar panel. This process is expected to reduce the cost of silicon wafer by 40-65%, and thus, greatly reduce overall cost per watt of electricity generated from solar cells.
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