Project: SME collaboration on new processes and products for advanced solar cells and modules

The CO objective of the SolarTeam project is to jointly develop new low-cost processes and products for advanced solar cells and modules. The three SMEs participating in this project are complementary to each other, and need the critical mass gathered in this proposal to come to their individual competing edge in their specific markets: _x000D_1. CleanSi: Norwegian start-up company specialised in the production of high quality silicon at a low cost for the solar industry. CleanSi developed and patented a method for where aluminium melt will be used to purify metallurgical grade silicon (MG-Si) or quartz or kerf. CleanSi aims to demonstrate its patented process, resulting in the consistent high-quality solar grade silicon (SGS) as feedstock for solar cells with production cost below €15/kg._x000D_2. TSC: relatively new Dutch company, build on 20+ years of experience, that was specially set-up to realise an integrated solar PV production facility of 250-500MWp in 2013. A small-scale production unit of 20MWp will be operational in the Netherlands in 2011. TSC aims to assess CleanSi’s material while in parallel further develop its own, proprietary process for making low-cost high-efficiency solar cells, based on SGS, hence demonstrating modules for 0.70 €/Wp (compared to current market standard: 1 €/Wp). _x000D_3. Solartec: Czech company has specialized in the PV area since its foundation in 1993. Solartec aims to assess CleanSi’s material (SGS) while developing together with ISC a low-cost solar cells process focused mostly on customized applications (solar cells for BIPV). Solartec wants to expand its current capacity based on the demonstration of cost-effective above 17% efficiency customized mc-Si solar cells, and consequently conquer this new market segment._x000D__x000D_CleanSi will further develop the proprietary process at the facilities of TotenMetall (TM), an investor and potential customer of the CleanSi technology. TM is a medium sized Norwegian enterprise, which produces aluminium foundry alloys using scrap as raw material. With an investment contract with CleanSi, TM aims to retrieve technology that allows the company to achieve:_x000D_a. Better specification and higher quality of aluminium alloys by reducing silicon content, as the by-product after producing the solar grade silicon will be a high quality sellable product for TotenMetall._x000D_b. A high-purity silicon material that additionally can be sold to the market for solar cells_x000D_It is agreed that for the SolarTeam project, CleanSi will use TM’s production facilities to demonstrate the potential for producing consistent high-quality solar grade silicon (SGS) silicon as cost-effective feedstock for solar cells. However, TM will not be a P in the project, as all agreements are in place with CleanSi._x000D_To realise the consistent quality needed for SGS, the purification process developed by CleanSi needs to be extended with a refining step, which will be developed in this project together with SINTEF, which is Scandinavian largest non-profit research institute situated in Norway. SINTEF will also support CleanSi with subsequent directional solidification (mc-Si) and Czochralski (mono) crystal pulling to be optimized with respect to efficiency and yield for SGS._x000D__x000D_The produced cheap high-quality material will be delivered to ISC Konstanz, a German research institute, which will support the development of advanced solar cell processing techniques based on SGS material. To proof its economic value for use in solar cells, CleanSi’s material should enable solar costs at least € 0.70/Wp, which entails cell efficiencies higher than 17% (for multi-crystalline) and 20% (for mono-crystalline)._x000D_TSC focuses on the high-end of the solar market: n-type mono-crystalline material leading to very high efficiencies. Together with ISC Konstanz, TSC will focus on further developing its own, proprietary process of cost-effectively making high-efficiency solar cells. CleanSi material can support TSC’s goals for cost-effectiveness, but to gain full benefit of the material, it needs ISC-Konstanz’ knowledge on advanced solar cell processing._x000D__x000D_Solartec aims to develop technology to decrease production costs using low-cost mc-silicon substrates in combination with the highest possible solar cell efficiency on this material. Also Solartec requires know-how and support from ISC-Konstanz to make full benefit of CleanSi material within their production facilities._x000D__x000D_TSC and Solartec will judge applicability of CleanSi Silicon feedstock material by comparing solar cells made from regular silicon feedstock and silicon feedstock produced with the new materials from CleanSi._x000D_Based on positive results from SINTEF and ISC but also based on their own processing of the material into solar cells, TSC and Solartec will become launching customers for CleanSi-silicon. ISC will support these companies where necessary with its in-depth knowledge of adapting solar cell processes to alternative sources of silicon._x000D_

Acronym SolarTeam (Reference Number: 6406)
Duration 01/10/2011 - 30/09/2013
Project Topic SMEs will collaborate to develop new low-cost processes and products for advanced solar products. CleanSi will transfer technology to TotenMetall to produce cheap high-quality material that can be used for monocrystalline (TSC) and multicrystalline silicon solar cells/modules (Solartec).
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 6

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
5 Solartec s.r.o. Partner Czech Republic
5 International Solar Energy Research Center Konstanz Partner Germany
5 CleanSi Coordinator Norway
5 Stiftelsen SINTEF Partner Norway
5 TSC Solar BV Partner Netherlands