It is common knowledge that ceramics and graphite are hard and brittle. However, with fibre-reinforced ceramic composites, a ceramic material can withstand being dropped against the floor or even being nailed to a wall.
Unfortunately, these advanced ceramics has a limited use and applications due to challenges related to oxidation of fibre/matrix boundary face.
Due to its relatively inert argon atmosphere, solar industry’s crystallization processes becomes the application that will open up the market for new developments of CMCs. By developing a new Silicon Carbide Fiber-Reinforced Silicon Nitride Matrix Composite (SiC/Si3N4), a Kera Solar project will introduce a new material that will outperform traditional graphite and advanced carbon/carbon fibre composites.
These materials will demonstrate higher toughness, non-catastrophic failure, better damage tolerance, non-oxidation, ultra low carbon atmosphere, reduced hot-zone mass and substantial improved lifetime and thereby reduced consumable cost.
In a competitive Solar Industry, new technologies are introduced that could change the outcome of ongoing technology war between Cz mono and DS multi process. During last years, “Cast-Mono” have demonstrated substantial improvements that could result in a change in market paradigm.
Especially for the new Cast- Mono process, Steuler Solar crucibles will give substantial improvements. This is mainly due to following factors:
The solar industry have during several years experienced a strong process development that have resulted in increased competiveness towards other energy sources. However, one fundamental factor have not changed since solar industry’s initial start; the access to high temperature consumables that are not having a negative impact on the fundamental property of solar cell efficiency.
With the introduction of high-purity Advanced Ceramics, Kera Solar have since 2006 given the solar industry the tools needed to develop new processes and technology improvements.