Information about silicon production
This SolarWorld company covers our silicon production and conditioning:
You can learn about the details of the individual steps in our value chain in our brochure about the Freiberg site.
Informations about SolarWorld’s lithium activities here
Silicon is the starting point of our solar production cycle. It is extracted from sand which is made up primarily of silicon dioxide. As the second most common element of the earth’s crust, there is an almost endless supply.
At the Freiberg/Saxony location, SolarWorld is working hard to step into the future. Since 2002, SolarWorld AG has operated a joint venture together with the Degussa chemical corporation called JSSi GmbH (original name: Joint Solar Silicon GmbH & Co. KG). The company developed a new technological process for manufacturing solar silicon cost-effectively in Rheinfelden: from silane. Silane is a gas made of silicon and hydrogen which is provided by Evonik Degussa GmbH. JSSi GmbH breaks down this gas into silicon in a new type of process.
The Deutsche Solar GmbH analyzes methods for silicon supply
Deutsche Solar GmbH has assumed responsibility for the long-term strategic supply of silicon needed by SolarWorld AG. They meet this goal by developing new production technologies such as, for example the Sunsil process.
Starting in the summer of 2010, the group will pre-process the Sunsil silicon powder for wafer production and refine it to granules at the Freiberg site.
Joint Venture with Qatar Foundation
SolarWorld AG formed another joint venture at the beginning of this year: SolarWorld AG has a 29% holding in the newly formed joint venture, Qatar Solar Technologies (QST) headquartered in the Emirate of Qatar.
The joint venture set up the first production site for polysilicon on the Arabian peninsula. The partners are the Qatar Foundation (70%) and the Qatar Development Bank (1%). Starting in the 3rd quarter of 2012, 3,600 metric tons of polysilicon are to be produced in the new plant per year. Read more in the press release.
During the melting process, monocrystalline silicon produced which can be easily recognized from its uniform external color caused by the homogenous internal crystal structure.
Polycrystalline silicon has a structure in which many crystals grow next to each other during solidification. Polycrystalline cells can be recognized by a visible grain called a "metal flake effect".