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MANUFACTURING OF SOLAR CELLS (PHOTOVOLTAIC MODULS) FROM SAND TO ELECTRICITY Dr. Mahmoud El-Sherif Expert of Nano-Electronics and Smart Materials, USA Member of Government Expert Panels in Technology/R&D, Canada President & CEO, PHOTONICS, INC., USA Past: Member of the Presidential Business Advisory Council, NRCC, USA Past: Prof. of Material and Electrical & Computer Eng. Founder and Director of “Photonics and Laser” Center of Excellence Drexel University, USA THE AIM OF THIS PROJECT IS TO ESTABLISH A STAT OF THE ART MANUFACTURING FACILITIES FOR SOLAR CELLS AND SOLAR MODULES. USING SUN ENERGY AND SILICA-SAND TO GENERATE ELECTRICITY. HOWEVER, BECAUSE THE MANUFACTURING WORK WILL BE EXTENDED TO SILICA-SAND PURIFICATIONS, WHICH CAN MAKE PROFITS RANGING FROM 300% TO 400%, A SHORT INTRODUCTION TO THE APPLICATION OF THIS HIGHLY PURIFIED SILICA IN MANUFACTURING MICRO AND NANO ELECTRONICS IS INCLUDED IN THIS PRESENTATION - WITH AN OVERVIEW OF THE COSTS IN CASE OF FUTURE INTEREST IN EXPANDING THIS PROJECT TO MANUFACTURING OF MICRO AND NANO ELECTRONIC. THIS PRESENTATION IS PREPARED IN TWO MAJOR PARTS PART I VALUE ADDED TO SILICA-SAND AND QUARTZ BY CRUSHING, MILLING AND PURIFICATION PART II INTRODUCTION TO SOLAR CELLS MANUFACTURING PART I CONTENTS: 1. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO SILICA-SAND AND QUATRZ AVAILABLE IN SAUDI ARABIA/EGYPT. 2. WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO PROCESS SILICA-SAND AND QUATRZ, VALUE ADDED PROCESS. 3. SUMMARY OF THE PROJECT AND THE VALUE OF TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER. 4. OVERVIEW OF THE PROJECT BUSINESS PLAN. 1. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO SILICA-SAND AND QUATRZ AVAILABLE IN SAUDI ARABIA/EGYPT. • For the past 60-70 years, the Middle East countries are in control of a large percentage of the world energy resources (gas and oil). • Also, during the past half century, advances in most developed countries were mainly based on silicon applications in manufacturing of electronic devices and systems. Wherein, this silicon is extracted from silica-sand and quartz, available with high degree of purification in middle east countries, mainly Egypt and Saudi Arabia. • We can not imagine that the value of one ton of silica-sand which is exported now for less than $20 USD, will be sold, after treatment and purification for about 0.50M USD, before it is used in manufacturing of electronic components. • Because of advances in worldwide technology development, it is known that by year 2050 the production of electricity from gas and oil will not be enough to cover more than 30-40% of the world energy needs. • Recent innovations in silicon technologies, has developed a technique for modifying silicon wafers to be photodetectors, which means that, these detectors can detect sun light/energy and transfer it to electricity, in a simple and cheap process. which can be used to generate electricity much cheaper than that generated by oil or gas, and even cheaper that electricity generated by atomic power stations, because of the expensive maintenance fee for atomic power station. • Also, because of the solar irradiation in Egypt and Saudi Arabia are the highest worldwide, and at least double the irradiation in Europe the generation of electricity using solar cells in Saudi Arabia and Egypt will be much cheaper (at less than 50%) of that generated in Europe, using the same solar cells. • Based on what mentioned above, the manufacturing and application of solar cells to generate electricity in Saudi Arabia and/or Egypt is a must, because of the available valuable resources sun energy and pure silica-sand and quartz. • The manufacturing of solar cells and using them in large size solar farm in the middle east can also enhance the national economy by massive generation of electricity and exporting it to Europe. 2. How to Add Value to Silica Sand and Quartz, to be ready for applications? A- Crushing and Milling, then purification can be conducted after that. B- Silicon Extraction of low grade silica quartz (which has high impurity levels) by mixing it with carbon and other ingredients then heating the mixture to 3000°C in a melting furnace to produce low-grade metallurgical grade (MG) silicon metal (98%-99.99% pure metal). C- Silicon Metal is then further purified via an expensive, complicated process (Siemens method) to create poly-silicon metal (99.99999% pure metal) used to make photovoltaic cells used in solar panels. The Siemens process is used for the production of poly-silicon, by gasification of metallurgical-grade (producing trichlorosilane = HSiCl3), distillation, and deposition of ultra- pure silicon. D- Multi-Crystalline Silicon is made by melting poly-silicon in a large square quartz crucible. When it is cooled an ingot of multi-crystalline silicon metal is produced. Depending upon requirements these ingots can weigh up to 1200 kilograms. E- Mono-Crystalline Silicon is made by melting poly-silicon in a round crucible. A small piece of silicon metal is dipped, as a seed, into the molten poly-silicon and withdrawn slowly while rotating. This process is the Czochralski Process. It produces a large round cylindrical ingot that is a single crystal of silicon. 3. SUMMARY OF THE PROJECT AND THE VALUE OF TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER • The proposed project is focusing on value added to silica sand and quartz ore in order to maximize the benefits to the country and the investors. • The proposed project is directed to transfer state-of-the-art technologies in collaboration with a number of leading worldwide foreign companies in this field, in a joint venture and partnership. • The proposed project includes major strategic directions on how value added can improve ROI by at least 300-400%, with minimal expenses. • It is intended to process very large quantities of pure silicon for future expansion in the market, on photo-voltaic (PV) manufacturing. • In latest phases of the project, very high purification of silicon wafers will be processed for manufacturing micro/nano electronic, if needed. • Maximizing the value add to silica sand and quartz for broad spectrum of applications is the major focus of this project, to maximize the return on the investment. The proposed value added process has five major phases: Phase I: Mining and extraction of Silica sand and Quartz Ore Crushing to different sizes based on the application Milling of high percentage of the crushed quartz silica to various particle size. Phase II: Processing of crushed silica quartz to Metallurgical-Grade Silicon at 3000o C and with purification up to 99.99%. Phase III: Processing of metallurgical-grade silicon to Poly-Silicon metal (99.99999% pure metal – by (Siemens method) used to make photovoltaic cells used in solar panels. Phase IV: Processing of poly-silicon to Multi and Mono Crystalline silicon ingots by melting and Czochralski techniques, respectively, as well as wafer dicing and preparation. Phase V: (Application to PV - WHICH IS PART II OF THIS PROJECT) Application to solar cells and microelectronics manufacturing. • Based on the proposed phases of the project, the intended processing capabilities for each phase are as follow: 1 Quartz Crushing / Milling (tons/yr out) 150000 2 Metallurgical Silicon (tons/yr in) 15000 3 PV Silicon Refinement (tons/yr in) 10000 4 Ingot/Wafer Processing (MW/yr) 1000 5 Cell & Modules Processing (MW/yr) 1000 • A new company will be established and registered، focusing on the first and second phases. • The start capital needed is $10 million USD. • A full “Execution Plan" will be prepared including all fab designs, equipment, supplies, technical and operation teams, staff training, daily operation regulations and costs. The “Execution Plan” will be developed by two first class German organizations (one industrial and the second academic), as well as American First Class Company. • A highly qualified team of expert is selected to take the challenge in collaboration with foreign companies in a joint venture partnership. 4. OVERVIEW OF THE PROJECT BUSINESS PLAN Until the "Execution Plan" is completed, we can present the value added and ROI in a simple way by a comparison of the market prices before and after the value added is completed, as follow: • PV process requires quartz nuggets in a size of 10-80 mm, as resulted by crushing - prices are $30-50 USD per ton. • Metallurgical Silicon prices are about $2 USD per kg ($2000 per ton) Quartz powder is used for different applications such as glass production etc: • Prices vary from $40.00 USD/ton to $3000.00 USD/ton (for nano particles) depending on final grain size after milling. • A typical value would be $500 USD/ton for a 30-40 micron grain size. To maximize the added value, the silica quartz is processed all the way to manufacturing of solar cell panels and micro/nano electronics. This is an example on manufacturing solar cell panels: • In case of manufacturing solar panels for the production of 200 MWp. • This requires processing 2000 ton of silica quartz raw material, which is sold as raw material for about total $60k USD. • We can establish solar farms with 200 MWp solar panels every year. • This panel produces 100 MW electricity every hour exposed to the sun. • Total number of sun hours per year in Egypt/Said Arabia >3000 hours. • Therefore, the total generated electricity per years is 600 GW.hr. • Annual revenue of generated electricity $60-70 M USD/Y (for 30 years).
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