Silicon Applications: Photovoltaics

A photovoltaic cell or solar cell, is an electrical device that converts the energy of light directly into electricity. There are several different types of photovoltaic cells which are made up of a silicon-base polymer.

HPQ Silicon, with its strategic partner Apollon Solar, is developing a metallurgical pathway of producing Solar Grade Silicon Metal (SoG Si) that will take full advantage of the PUREVAP™ QRR one-step production of Silicon (Si) material of 4N+ purity with low boron count (< 1 ppm). This will help HPQ produce A GREEN AND LOW-COST Solar Grade Silicon Metal.


Manufacturers of solar cells will be able to build green and low-cost solar panels that perform as well and produce electricity than higher price conventional panels.

The Different Solar Industry Markets

There are three main types of markets in the solar industry with diverse size businesses serving them: the residential solar market, commercial solar market, and the utility solar market. 
Residential solar is generally less than 10 kW total capacity and is installed on the roof or on the ground. These systems provide ample supply during summer months for most households.

Electricity generated by the solar panels is used to replace or offset other supply sources, which saves the homeowner on their electrical bill. Its a low carbon source of electricity, especially when compared to fossil fuel sources. Solar energy producers thus not only protect the environment, they save resources, including not only fuels but also water, from being consumed in other applications. Also, solar installations have minimal maintenance costs. 

Commercial solar is generally from 10 kW to 1000 kW, although sometimes even larger systems that are roof-mounted, or that involve net metering, are still classified as commercial.

Commercial facilities can be a great way to use unused space on the roof of a shopping mall, farm building, factory, or storage facility. It can help supplement the site’s power demand, and be set up to provide backup power in case of grid failure. The panels also act to block the sun from beating down on the roof, thus helping to lower cooling needs for the building.

Utility solar represents an extraordinary opportunity to deploy solar energy. Utility-scale solar is sometimes defined by a minimum size (which may be from 1,000 kW to 50,000 kW), and are invariably usually ground mounted.

Utility-scale facilities are owned and operated by the utility itself and can help them meet mandatory GHG reduction targets. Solar helps utilities to virtually and instantaneous dispatch energy, which is highly effective in regulating voltages and transmission, and in enabling more integration of variable renewable power.   





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