Metropolis researchers discover approach to make high-yield ingots for solar panels | Chennai Information
Chennai: Researchers at the SSN College of Engineering in Chennai have developed high-performance solar bars, one of the key components of solar modules. The technology is considered the first of its kind in the country. It has the potential to make India a center for next-generation solar panel manufacturing and has received a 12 rupee grant from the Ministry of Science and Technology through the Make in India initiative.
The research team has successfully developed directional solidification furnaces for growing multicrystalline (mc-Si) silicon blocks. “Multi-crystalline silicon is an important material with the advantages of low production costs and high conversion efficiency of solar cells. The market share of mono- and multicrystalline silicon (mc-Si) is currently more than 90% and will remain so for the foreseeable future, ”said Professor P. Ramasamy, Dean (Research) of the SSN institutions.
The Indian solar cell industry imports silicon cells and converts them into solar modules. Currently, 98% of the silicon cells imported into the country are multicrystalline silicon cells. Very little effort has been made to develop mc-Si crystals in Indian laboratories. The lack of manufacturing capacity has made India dependent on imports, and in 2018-19 alone, India imported solar cells, modules and modules valued at 2.2 billion US dollars.
“There was a lack of technical know-how and skills in the manufacture of solar wafers and blocks. A handful of countries like Japan, Germany, Taiwan, South Korea, Finland and China dominate the market, ”added Ramasamy.
During the test, it was found that the internally developed solar cells are more efficient than commercially available cells. The Science and Technology Department has awarded the team Rs 12 crore for the application of their methods and the design and development of 800 kg silicon multicrystalline solidification furnaces and cutters for industrial scale applications.