The Solar World as of 2011 - a review

The supply chain

The supply chain of solar voltaic is rather long. It begins with mining operations, chemical production of purified silicon, silicon module fabrication (individual wafer panels), and the assembly of wafers into mountable solar panels. Government and companies buy such modules and have professionals install them on roof tops.

The manufacturers are experiencing tremendous amount of growing pain. The cost of polysilicon has skyrocketed in 2005 (due to high demand) and then crushed to earth when the supply of polysilicon exceeds the production capability. All companies making solar cells are now experiencing tremendous bargaining power. This is a good thing on paper. However, the growth of panels is also exceeding demands. At the present, forward-looking government such as Germany is pulling back on subcidies, while conservative Americans are not using solar in the big way yet.

Along with Solyndra, a number of US companies failed, inlcuding Evergreen and SpectraWatt.  There is a long list of solar panel supplies. 

The world wide demand is growing, but there is a temporary oversupply.

SolarWorld is a German company dedicated to teh manufacturing and marketing of photovoltaic products. It was founded in 1998. It operates a US subscidiary, SolarWorld USA (http://www.wolarworld-usa.com). The US subscidiary is fighting with Suntech and other companies in the US

Videos

 

US DoE Video: Solar Cell Manufacturing

Suntech Sales Video October 2011

Suntech Power: How Suntech Photovoltaic Cells and Modules are made

How Suntech Power Photovoltaic Modules are Made

How PV Cells produce electricy

Installing solar panels on a house

Polysilicon production process

Of course, there are people who help polysilicon wafer manufacturers make their plans. See this view "Polysilicon manufacturing plant for solar cells, semiconductors"