High-purity silicon is needed in making photovoltaic and solar cells. However, the solar market has seen a limited supply of such silicon. Elkem Solar addressed this need by building a new facility in Kristiansand to produce 6,000 metric tons of high-purity silicon for solar cell panels a year. The plant became operational in July 2009.
In this new factory, energy consumption is 75% lower than in a similar factory with traditional technology. It accomplishes this by using ABB’s compressive automation and power solution, integrated on the common System 800xA platform.
The new plant utilizes a new and energy saving metallurgical process for producing solar-grade silicon, Elkem Solar Silicon®, a future-oriented product that helps contribute to lower global CO2 levels.
The new production line consists of five independent process steps for purifying silicon. System 800xA provides precise control of two of the processes, while ensuring safe and reliable operations and optimizing production and energy efficiency.