Monday, July 18, 2011

RSi ramping up to Solar Grade Silicon production

RSilogoTurning on the first 500 MT (Metric Ton) arc furnace in Fall 2011.

RSI Silicon rebrands as Renewable Silicon International (RSi).

I have not been able to update RSI Silicon commences Solar Grade Silicon production since March 2009, until now.

In an interview last week with RSi President and CTO Dr. Steve Amendola and Executive Vice President Greg Mandor, I learned RSi plans to start one of two (2) 500 MT arc furnaces at their Easton, Pennsylvania USA, facility in late September or early October 2011 to produce commercial sized 100 to 400 kg (kilogram) customer samples of solar grade silicon. RSi expects to be producing solar grade silicon full time with the first arc furnace by the end of 2011 or early 2012.

Thus far, RSi has produced small batches of 6-7N (six 99.9999% to seven nines 99.99999% pure) solar grade silicon material using the now patented ChemArc process with small experimental sized furnaces.

RSi has not sold any solar grade silicon material to prospective customers, and although RSi has grown a silicon ingot, no silicon solar cells have ever been made from the material. RSi said not enough material had been produced to supply production sized Directional Solidification System (DSS) furnaces. RSi believes their 6N+ quality material will cast 7N multicrystalline silicon (mc-Si) ingots suitable for manufacturing mc-Si solar cells. Dr. Amendola said:

So far results have shown that we can produce a 6N material which when you put it into the multicrystalline direct solidification unit gets better than 7N and will make a very good cell.

RSi claims upward of 30 companies have expressed interest in sampling the material to date with new inquiries arriving weekly. Companies range from global brands to the smallest firms all vying for a limited number of initial samples.

As customers place solar grade silicon orders, RSi plans to ramp the second 500 MT arc furnace around 2Q 2012. the full story: RSi ramping up to Solar Grade Silicon production

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