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New Silicon Growth Process Yields Higher Efficiency

BP Solar has developed a new silicon growth process that significantly increases cell efficiency July 20, 2006, Frederick, Maryland: A pioneer in silicon casting for solar photovoltaic cell applications, BP Solar has developed a new silicon growth process that significantly increases cell efficiency over traditional multi-crystalline-based solar cells. The new technique, named Mono2, enhances BP Solar's technological expertise in the silicon growth and wafering arenas where silicon ingots and wafering technology are key to future growth.

21 July 2006 - Solar cells made with these wafers, in combination with other BP Solar advances in cell process technology, will be able to produce in excess of five to eight percent more power than solar cells made with conventional processes. This translates into an equivalent module power increase and hence a substantial cost reduction at the installed system level.

BP Solar plans to implement the Mono2 technique in its existing equipment at the Frederick facility with the goal to achieve large-scale production. According to Eric Daniels, vice president of technology for BP Solar, “BP Solar’s implementation of this new growth technique will greatly improve wafer quality. This development is a great advance on the pioneering work conducted by BP Solar scientists when the first successful multi-crystal wafers were introduced more than 20 years ago.”

The first modules to incorporate this process will be available in 2007. The development of Mono² is funded in part through a manufacturing contract with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.