Solar Power -part I, purifying and making Silicon Chips

Okay, Solar panels intrigue be a bit, so I’ll tell you about them in two posts, purifying and making the chips, and how solar panels work. Here is Solar Power       -part I, purifying and making Silicon Chips. Okay, first Quartz (SiO2 ) pebbles are gathered and sent to the purifying plant, where they are placed into a electric arc furnace (basically a reeaaally hot place) and are applied to a Carbon arc. Heat (as I hope you know) tends to break bonds and so breaks the bonds between the silicon and oxygen, and the oxygen flies off. (I’m pretty sure the molten silicon is then poured into bar molds). The purified silicon is now 99% pure, useful for many things, but not pure enough for solar panels. To purify it further, the silicon is passed through a heated area several times, “dragging” the inpurities towards the rear end. After doing this for a while, the silicon is pure, and the inpure end is cut off. Then the silicon is melted and 100.000% pure silicon “seeds” from the front end of the silicon are dipped into the melted stuff (which is actually around 99.998 pure), then drawn out, dipped back in, drawn out and repeated (just like candle dipping) until a good-sized boule is formed. Dipping it like that draws out only silicon and leaves behind the inpurities (Carbon from the arc, Oxygen left inside, etc.). Now the silicon is sawn into a round ingot or bar, losing about half of the silicon, and then cut into rectangles or hexagons so they can fit together in the panel. Later they are cemented together in a steel or aluminum frame, wired behind with copper to carry electrical currents, and sent off to building companies for houses, or to NASA for sattellites, or other such things. 

 

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