Our String Ribbon® Wafers—Genius in its Simplicity
Silicon wafers form the basis of solar cells and the bulk of all solar panels made today. Conventional technologies for producing silicon wafers are based on energy-intensive casting and oil-based machining and cutting of large silicon blocks. Not something you’d expect from a hi-tech, clean energy product. Our cutting-edge wafer technology in contrast is genius in its simplicity, efficiency and cleanliness.
Our String Ribbon® wafers originate from the natural science of “surface tension.” In simple terms the making of a String Ribbon® wafer is just like the making of a soap bubble—the surface tension between the soapy bubble solution and the wand creates the bubble.
The only difference is that instead of the “ring” inside which a bubble forms, we use two parallel high-temperature filaments between which a thin film of silicon is formed. With our proprietary technique, two high-temperature filaments are pulled vertically through a silicon melt, and the molten silicon spans and solidifies between the filaments.
The process is continuous, silent and clean: long high-temperature filaments unwind from spools, run through the molten silicon and pull a long strip of silicon out of the melt. At the top of the furnace, the wafer strips are cut into smaller pieces for further processing into solar cells.
All this happens in our state-of-the-art, Quad furnaces. Our current furnaces grow four 3.2-inch (80mm) wide strips of wafer material at a time.
Wafers, Cells and Panels—All Under One Roof
When we started in this business more than fourteen years ago, we made a conscious decision to become a fully integrated manufacturer of solar panels producing wafers, cells and panels all under one roof. This allows us to have the utmost in quality control at every step from growing the first wafer to assembling the last panel. But just as important, it promotes a strong sense of teamwork and the sharing of ideas throughout the entire manufacturing process. A process we are proud to say is more innovative and environmentally responsible than any other company in our class.
Watch Our Wafers Grow