LONDON Dow Corning Corp. has announced that it has started shipping solar-grade (SoG) silicon material made from "metallurgical" silicon blended with polycrystalline silicon feedstock. Dow Corning describes the material as PV 1101 SoG silicon.
Usually solar cells are constructed from high-purity polysilicon originally intended for the semiconductor industry, and as a result the solar industry has been subject to resource restraint, Dow Corning (Midland, Mich.) said. The launch of PV 1101 would alleviate that restraint, the company asserted.
The PV 1101 blend material has been tested in independent institutes and at several customer production sites worldwide, the company said. The tests showed that performance characteristics were similar to polysilicon in terms of solar cell manufacturing and efficiency, Dow Corning said.
Dow Corning began bulk production of PV 1101 earlier this summer, and bulk customer shipments began in August. PV 1101 SoG silicon is the first product manufactured at Dow Corning Solar Solutions Group's new production facility in Santos Dumont, Brazil.