Wacker SCHOTT Solar Co., Ltd., a joint venture between Wacker Chemie AG and SCHOTT Solar Co., Ltd., started production on April 16, 2008 at the industrial silicon wafer production plant for solar power generation in Jena. The construction time of the production plant is only 6 months, and silicon wafers are now being produced. By the autumn of 2008, the new plant has an annual production capacity of 50MW, and will gradually increase to a final production capacity of 120MW as planned. The investment in the new production plant is approximately 50 million euros, creating 140 new jobs. The new production device uses mature technology for producing silicon wafers, including the technology of cutting multi-product silicon blocks to produce a single wafer. Solar power generation equipment is also installed on the roof of the new production plant, which is one of the largest solar power generation installations in Thuringia. The solar cell module has a power generation capacity of 82kW, which is produced and supplied by SCHOTT. The commissioning of the new production plant is an important milestone in Wackershot’s development history. It has made an important contribution to Wackershot’s improvement of production capacity and meeting the high demand of solar power customers.
SMA is the world’s largest manufacturer of solar power inverters. Inverter is the core power facility of photovoltaic cell solar system. SMA is headquartered in Niestetal, Germany, and has subsidiaries in the United States, China, South Korea, France, Italy and Spain. It has 1,200 employees worldwide and annual operating income of more than 250 million US dollars.
WACKER has built a new granular polysilicon production plant for the solar energy industry at its Burghausen production site in Germany, which was completed and put into operation at the end of 2008. The production plant uses fluidized bed technology to produce 6,501 granular solar-grade polysilicon annually. Granular multi-product silicon has processing advantages for manufacturing solar silicon wafers.
A new generation of ultra-thin solar cell modules can be combined on the surface of buildings at low cost. This ultra-thin solar cell module was produced by Germany in 2008. The German Schueco company cooperated with Germany’s largest energy company E.ON with an investment of 100 million. Euro (US$136 million) develops and produces this new ultra-thin solar cell module technology, which can reduce the demand for silicon, which is a costly raw material for solar cells. This ultra-thin solar cell module was produced in the Saxony An halt production site in Germany in the second half of 2008. It is said that the high light absorption rate of amorphous silicon allows solar cells to be produced with a thickness of several microns, which is higher than that of conventional single crystals. Silicon and polycrystalline silicon solar cells are much thinner and can be used for glass panels of different sizes, with an area of up to 5.7 square meters and an output of 450W/h.
German Solar-Fabrik announced on March 24, 2009 that its new solar photovoltaic module plant in Freiburg has been put into operation. The plant has increased the company’s total photovoltaic module production capacity by 60MW, reaching a total capacity of 180MW. The new plant covering an area of 15,000m2 will eventually expand the production of photovoltaic modules by 200MW.
In late December 2009, Evonik Industries Group and its partner Japan TNSC laid the foundation stone for a production base invested and constructed in Yokkaichi, Japan. The project focuses on the solar energy utilization field with great development potential. The main body of the project is an integrated production base of monosilane and fumed silica products with a total investment of 150 million euros. In spite of the global economic recession, the two sides still signed an agreement on project implementation in May 2009 as scheduled. Evonik Industries Group stated that the on-time construction of the project will promote Evonik’s development in the solar and electronics markets and help it seize opportunities in the Asian market. Evonik is currently a leading producer in the global chlorosilane market and one of the main suppliers in the global monosilane market. Both are the main raw materials for accelerating the development of the solar market. The future solar market has immeasurable development potential. It is predicted that from now to 2020, the global monosilane market will grow at a rate of 20% every year. Evonik has signed a long-term supply agreement with TNSC for monosilane products. TNSC is one of the most important distributors of global industrial and specialty gas products, such as silane, and has been providing products to important manufacturers in the electronics industry in Asia for many years. Monosilane is the main ingredient in the manufacture of ultra-pure silicon, and the latter is one of the important raw materials required by the solar and electronic industries. The silicon tetrachloride produced in the process of producing monosilane will be processed into silicon dioxide and sold separately For the application fields of adhesives and sealants related to the plastics, paint and coating industries. Lei Chuang independently developed the production process of monosilane products and has applied the process in its plant in Rheinfelden, Germany. The new plant in Yokkaichi will be able to produce electronics-grade monosilane products, which are mainly used in thin-film optoelectronics, flat screens, semiconductor electronics and other fields.