SolarWorld is taking a giant step into the future with two joint ventures at its headquarters Freiberg/Saxony. Since 2002 SolarWorld AG has been supporting the joint venture Joint Solar Silicon GmbH & Co. together with the chemical company Degussa. The company is setting up industrial production for the recovery of solar silicon from silane.
SolarWorld AG established another joint venture, Scheuten SolarWorld Solizium GmbH together with Scheuten Solarholding B.V. in the year 2006. It is the first industrial silicon manufacturing unit of Saxony. The joint venture handles the development and construction of a production plant for the manufacture of solar silicon of high purity based on metallurgical silicon.
Parallel to its own raw material activities, the concern also depends on traditional long-term partnerships with reliable external suppliers. In this manner, it has been possible for SolarWorld, despite world-wide scarce capacities of silicon manufacture in the past, to ensure supplies of the raw material even in the future.
Silicon is the main component of a solar cell and is melted from sand that is available endlessly – it is the element with the second largest quantity in the earth's crust. Mono-crystalline silicon is extracted from the earth’s magma. The internal crystal structure is homogenous, which can be recognized from the uniform external colour. Poly-crystalline silicon has a structure in which many crystals grow next to each other during solidification. Polycrystalline cells can be recognized from the transparent corn limits since there is a „Metal Flake Effect“.