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Comment Processing & Handling

Solar polysilicon

By Chemical Engineering |

Wacker Chemie AG (Munich, Germany; edlinks.chemengonline.com/6898-552) plans to build the first commercial-scale plant for the production of granular polysilicon for the solar industry at its Berghausen, Germany, site. The 650-m.t./yr facility is expected to start up by the end of 2008, and will manufacture solar-grade polysilicon using the so-called fluidized-bed technology, which uses trichlorosilane as a feedstock. “Tests by customers who manufacture solar wafers — the starting material for solar cells — via continuous crystallization show that processing granular polysilicon is far more efficient than conventional techniques using polysilicon chunks,” says Ewald Schindlbeck, president of Wacker Polysilicon. “Moreover, the comparatively low energy consumption vis-à-vis conventional deposition positively impacts the energy balance of solar cells.”
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