New Michigan plant expands offering to solar industry
Midland, Mich.: Dow Corning has begun production of high-purity monosilane gas – a key material used as an anti-reflective solar cell coating and as a feedstock for photovoltaics.
The gas is being manufactured in a state-of-the-art Dow Corning facility in Thomas Township, Mich., adjacent to the polysilicon manufacturing plant of Hemlock Semiconductor Group, of which Dow Corning is majority shareholder.
“Technology and innovation can only grow as fast as manufacturers are supplied raw materials,” said Eric Peeters, vice president, Dow Corning Solar Solutions. “The solar energy market depends on a reliable supply of high-purity monosilane gas as one of those key raw materials. There are only a few major manufacturers of monosilane, and most of them use much of their supply for their own downstream processing. So up until now, monosilane hasn’t always been available when customers needed it.”
Dow Corning’s monosilane plant has a capacity of 4,000 metric tons per year. Purity levels of the monosilane produced in the plant have consistently matched that of the leading supplier, and are above industry specifications.
“We have always said that we aim to be the material house for the solar industry,” said Peeters. “By going online with a high-capacity plant dedicated to serving customers, Dow Corning is offering customers a very competitive choice to help boost their productivity”
“The plant’s consistent purity and our track record of quality in silicon-based products make monosilane from Dow Corning a switch customers can make with confidence. This is a great opportunity to either change primary sources or add a secondary one.”
As one of the only companies in the world that provides silicon-based solutions throughout the entire photovoltaic value chain, Dow Corning is investing to expand its portfolio of total solution packages. Solution packages are built on high-performance silicone products such as encapsulants, adhesives, coatings, potting agents and sealants, as well as next-generation solar grade silicon.
Dow Corning and its joint ventures at the Hemlock Semiconductor Group have announced investments of more than $5 billion over the past six years to research and develop as well as to expand production of materials critical to the solar industry.
Dow Corning’s solar experts will be available to discuss this and other product developments at the following upcoming tradeshows:
- European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, September 5-8, Hamburg, Germany, Hall B6, Stand B28
- Solar Power International, October 17-20, Dallas, Texas, Hall C, Booth 2543
About Dow Corning
Dow Corning (dowcorning.com) provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000 products and services via the company’s Dow Corning® and XIAMETER® (www.xiameter.com) brands. Dow Corning is equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning’s annual sales are outside the United States. Dow Corning’s global operations adhere to the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care® initiative, a stringent set of standards designed to advance the safe and secure management of chemical products and processes.