New Process for Producing Mono2(TM) Wafers for Higher Efficiency Solar Cells
AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group N.V. announces the granting of U.S. Patent No. 8,048,221 for mono-crystalline growth methods. The patent was granted to AMG IdealCast Solar Corporation, (“AMG IdealCast”) a wholly owned subsidiary of AMG’s Engineering Systems Division, ALD Vacuum Technologies GmbH (“ALD”).
AMG IdealCast believes that its intellectual property position is well established with this patent and four additional core patents that are pending. Mono2(TM) licensable technology gives AMG IdealCast’s customers a competitive advantage now and in the future, as wafer manufacturers upgrade to larger size ingots. AMG IdealCast has completed testing with key customers and is refining ingot growth conditions to fit customer-specific cell processes.
Increasing solar cell efficiencies are the primary method for reducing cost per watt in today’s solar market. Mono2(TM) wafers have average cell efficiencies that are 1% (absolute) greater than that of standard multi-crystalline wafers. AMG IdealCast is offering customers this new production technology with its long-term reliability, stability, and dependability. “Despite the near term challenges faced by the solar industry, there is increased interest for higher efficiency ‘quasi-monocrystalline’ product from a cast-in-place furnace. AMG IdealCast can deliver the Mono2(TM) technology in a stable, production-ready, and cost-effective manner,” said Roger Clark, Chief Operating Officer of AMG IdealCast.
Customers can produce Mono2(TM) Gen 5 (450kg) test ingots on full-scale operating equipment using a SCU450 furnace from ALD at AMG IdealCast’s facilities.
AMG creates and applies innovative metallurgical solutions to the global trend of sustainable development of natural resources and CO2 reduction. AMG produces highly engineered specialty metal products and advanced vacuum furnace systems for the Energy, Aerospace, Infrastructure and Specialty Metals and Chemicals end markets. AMG consists of two operating divisions, Advanced Materials and Engineering Systems, and owns interests in publicly-listed companies Graphit KropfmÃ¼hl AG (Deutsche BÃ¶rse: GKR.DE) and Timminco Limited (TSX: “TIM”).
The Advanced Materials Division develops and produces specialty metals, alloys and high performance materials. AMG is a significant producer of specialty metals, such as ferrovanadium, ferronickel-molybdenum, aluminum master alloys and additives, chromium metal and ferrotitanium, for Energy, Aerospace, Infrastructure and Specialty Metal and Chemicals applications. Other key products include specialty alloys for titanium and superalloys, coating materials, tantalum and niobium oxides, vanadium chemicals and antimony trioxide.
The Engineering Systems Division designs, engineers and produces advanced vacuum furnace systems and operates vacuum heat treatment facilities, primarily for the Aerospace and Energy (including solar and nuclear) industries. Furnace systems produced by AMG include vacuum remelting, solar silicon melting and crystallization, vacuum induction melting, vacuum heat treatment and high pressure gas quenching, turbine blade coating and sintering. AMG also provides vacuum case-hardening heat treatment services on a tolling basis.
Graphit KropfmÃ¼hl AG is a majority controlled, publicly listed subsidiary of AMG. Based on its secure raw material sources in Africa, Asia and Europe, Graphit KropfmÃ¼hl is a specialist in the production of silicon metal and the extraction, processing and refining of natural crystalline graphite for a wide range of energy saving industrial applications.
Timminco Limited is a publicly listed affiliate of AMG. Timminco produces silicon metal for the chemical, aluminum, electronic and solar industries. Timminco also produces solar grade silicon, using its proprietary technology for purifying silicon metal, for the solar energy industry.
With over 3,000 employees, AMG operates globally with production facilities in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Czech Republic, United States, China, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, Poland, India and Sri Lanka and also has sales and customer service offices in Belgium, Russia and Japan (www.amg-nv.com).solar cells, solar efficiency, solar industry, solar modules, solar power, solar process
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