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Downstream PV – Ingots, Wafers & Cells - (MEC)

The Photovoltaic value chain tracks all distinct processes required to build a PV system. In the case of crystalline silicon modules, it involves reducing sand to raw silicon/polysilicon followed by crystallization (ingots manufacturing), wafer cutting, doping, cleaning and coating.

These are cells which are subsequently connected and laminated to form a module, which is to be assembled in array and combined with electrical components to make a system.

Silicon with a single, continuous crystal structure is grown from a small seed crystal that is slowly pulled out of a polysilicon melt into a cylindrical shaped ingot (Czochralski process).

The ingots are then cut into wafers using a diamond saw. Silicon waste from the sawing process can be recycled into polysilicon.

Crystalline cells are made from silicon wafers by cleaning and doping the wafer. In a separate manufacturing process, a number of cells are wired up to form a module.

As such, the manufacturing process of crystalline modules consists of four distinct processes:
a. Upstream Polysilicon production and

b. Downstream Ingot & Wafer, and cell manufacturing.

Downstream -MEC