Material Milestone in Brazil
Dow Corning Corp. has achieved a milestone in solar energy technology: a solar-grade (SoG) silicon derived from metallurgical silicon that exhibits good solar cell performance characteristics when blended with traditional polysilicon feedstock. This new silicon feedstock material, called PV 1101 SoG silicon, is the first commercially available feedstock produced from such technology using large-scale manufacturing processes. For several years, the primary obstacle to the growth of solar energy has been the constrained availability of silicon, the key raw material used in the production of solar cells. Until now, the solar industry has relied on the supply of polycrystalline silicon, a high-grade purity product developed for the semiconductor industry. This has meant that the solar industry has been subject to resource restraint. The launch of PV 1101, produced from a very different route, will alleviate that restraint and offer a new source of supply as well as new technical and business options for the solar industry. Dow Corning began bulk production of PV 1101 this summer. It has been the first product manufactured at Dow Corning Solar Solutions Group's new production facility in Santos Dumont, Brazil.