For more than 100 years, Elkem has utilised clean Norwegian hydropower for industrial production. Since 2009, we have used the same renewable energy to manufacture Elkem Solar Silicon® (ESS®) for the solar industry.
ESS® is produced at Fiskaa in Kristiansand, Norway. The unique energy efficient metallurgical production process requires approximately 25 percent of the traditional production technologies (Siemens) and avoids chlorosilanes or other silicon gases. This provides the most cost-efficient solar silicon and reduces the carbon footprint by 75%.
Elkem Solar is currently developing a new, even more energy efficient process that will reduce energy consumption by an additional 50%. This new process will requires 85-90% less energy than traditional production technologies (Siemens).
The most important component in solar cells is silicon. Elkem Solar's technology contributes to making solar energy competitive with conventional energy sources by reducing costs and emissions without reducing the quality of the end product. Independent tests also show that ESS® produces more electricity than competing materials in areas with high temperature and solar irradiation
ESS® is used as feedstock in both multi crystalline silicon (mc-Si) and mono crystalline silicon (cz-Si) processes.
The main activity of the product group is application development and understanding the behavior of compensated silicon in cell and module operation. Together with Elkem’s customers and external research institutes such as ISC Konstanz, Fraunehofer ISE, INES, IFE, Sintef and Teknova the group works on ingot and resistivity modeling and cell process development for both Mono and multicrystalline wafers and cells.