A brief look explaining silicon manufacturing utilized by the solar and semiconductor industries and how Silrec is committed to supporting them by not only being a top supplier of raw materials, but also through recycling their byproducts.
Polysilicon is the base raw product which is manufactured from processes of varying degrees.
Multicrystalline ingots are created from a silicon crystal seed which is placed into a vat of molten silicon whereby the vat is allowed to cool. It is here where the distinctive polycrystalline structure takes on its form and where any leftover material can be recycled. Polycrystalline solar panels may now have a slight edge over monocrystalline solar panels due to the manufactured square shape, along with other factors, it is considered more cost-effective and less wasteful to create solar modules using this technique.
Monocrystalline requires additional processing of poly-Si via the Czochralski method in which a single crystal silicon seed is used in a vat of molten silicon. A silicon ingot is formed when the seed is drawn up slowly and continuously rotated from the molten silicon in order to maintain the single crystal structure. Once a solid ingot is formed it is then ready to be sliced into silicon wafers which can become photovoltaic cells, computer chips or circuits. While more efficient at converting sunlight energy into electricity, the heavy manufacturing cost is considered to be a hindering factor, as well as wafers must be cut square in order to fit on a solar panel or module. Both the melt and finish processes present recycling opportunities.