Environmentally Benign Silicon Solar Cell Manufacturing

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The manufacturing of silicon devices - from polysilicon production, crystal growth, ingot slicing, wafer cleaning, device processing, to encapsulation - requires many steps that are energy intensive and use large amounts of water and toxic chemicals. In the past two years, the silicon integrated-circuit (IC) industry has initiated several programs to promote environmentally benign manufacturing,i.e., manufacturing practices that recover, recycle, and reuse materials resources with a minimal consumption of energy. Crystalline-silicon solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, which accounted for 87% of the worldwide module shipments in 1997, are large-area devices with many manufacturing steps similar to those used in the IC industry. Obviously, there are significant opportunities for the PVindustry to implement more environmentally benign manufacturing approaches. Such approaches often have the potential for significant cost reduction by reducing energy use and/or the purchase volume of new chemicals and by cutting the amount of used chemicals that must be discarded. This paper will review recent accomplishments of the IC industry initiatives and discuss new processes forenvironmentally benign silicon solar-cell manufacturing.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 1998
Event2nd World Conference on Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conversion - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 6 Jul 199810 Jul 1998


Conference2nd World Conference on Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conversion
CityVienna, Austria

Bibliographical note

Work performed by National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado; Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico; National Agency for New Technologies in Energy & Environment, Naples, Italy; and Intersolarcenter, Moscow, Russia

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-590-23902


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