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Photovoltaic Energy – Electricity from the sun

Photovoltaic Energy – Electricity from the sun Photovoltaic (PV) technology encompasses the various processes for converting solar energy into power, thus turning light into electricity. The cost of PV electricity is still largely higher than from non-renewables, so technological developments that bring down solar power costs are a top priority. With its use of advanced non-oxide ceramics, Steuler Solar is an important factor in the PV industry achieving its target of substantially reducing production costs and increasing solar cell efficiency, thereby increasing market penetration.

Most PV systems are based on wafers from crystalline silicon.

Two types of these silicon wafers can be produced, each with a different production technology. Common to both types is the need to transform raw silicon into crystallized wafers so that it can produce electricity when illuminated by sunlight. This restructuring occurs during controlled heating and cooling in crystallization kilns under strictly controlled ambient conditions.

Raw silicon is placed into a crucible. When fired, the silicon melts in the crucible and crystallizes as an ingot while cooling. The ingot is then reduced through several cutting operations to smaller ingots and ultimately to super-thin wafers.

Depending on the crystallization process, the product will be monocrystalline or multi-crystalline wafers. Monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient at converting light into electricity. However, due to their technologically complex production process, mono panels are not the most prevalent.

Despite their lower efficiency, multi-crystalline wafers are currently the growth leader due to their more robust technology, which allows production to be scaled up as needed relatively quickly and easily. Furthermore, there is no theoretical or practical barrier to multi-crystalline technology eventually reaching the same high efficiency as monocrystalline.

By improving the conditions under which crystallization takes place, Steuler Solar reusable ceramic crucibles will contribute significantly to new technology developments. By reducing the costs of producing clean solar energy, our reusable ceramic crucibles will as well contribute to reducing fossil fuel carbon emissions and creating a sustainable future.

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