Crystalline silicon is the dominant technology in solar module production with more than 90% of the PV panels being made using polysilicon as feedstock – and that won’t change. As for silicon production technology, Siemens-type Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) reactors remain the state of the art, while the Fluidized Bed Reactor (FBR) is another technology in commercial production.
Our TaiyangNews Market Survey on Silicon CVD Reactors 2017 provides an overview on the manufacturers of silicon CVD reactors and its products and looks at alternative silicon manufacturing technologies.
The survey includes technical specs of the Siemens-reactors from the leading 7 equipment vendors in this field from Asia, Europe and the US:
• GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT)
• Schmid Silicon Technology (SST)
• Silicon Products Bitterfeld (SPB)
The products listed in the survey are based on different philosophies, representing various levels of productivity and energy consumption. Reactor size, to be specific, the number of seed rods a CVD reactor can host also has a great influence on the productivity of the tool. Other factors are cycle time and harvest per production cycle.
In addition to improving standard features, the CVD reactor suppliers are also working on advanced concepts. One such approach is to coat the inner walls of the bell jar with reflective materials. Such coatings not only help in reducing power consumption by blocking heat energy from going into cooling water, it also improves heat distribution within the process chamber, thereby resulting better quality of the final polysilicon rod.
Tubular seed rods are yet another innovative approach.
We also provide an overview on developments of alternative technologies. A slight deviation from the standard approach is using silane as feed gas instead of TCS in CVD. SST has been offering such a solution with a boasted advantage of reducing power consumption. Start-up Dynatec has made considerable progress with its innovative centrifuge CVD.
Finally, we look at Fluidized Bed Reactor (FBR), the only alternative to incumbent high-quality Siemens-based polysilicon production, that so far is being made only based on in-house designed reactors. Now one equipment vendor has developed an FBR reactor.
The TaiyangNews Market Survey on Polysilicon CVD Reactors 2017 can be downloaded free of charge by clicking the button below.