NorSun manufactures ultra-thin single-crystal semiconductors for premium niche market solar cells. The production facility in Årdalstangen uses electricity from the local hydropower plants and we work closely with customer to minimize silicon consumption and maximize solar cell efficiency. Due to this, our silicon wafers are certified with the lowest CO2 footprint in the world. The solar cell market is expected to grow exponentially during the next decade. Moreover, experience indicates that the solar module price will continue to fall according to the learning curve (>99.7% price drop since 1976). It is also believed that the increased attention on the climate situation will enforce additional regulations that will favour sustainable solar modules from NorSun’s market niche. We are also confident that, as in other energy related segments, value creation and employment will not only take place in China. NorSun will continue to leverage its competent workforce, CO2 footprint, competitive electricity price, very cheap cooling water, and long-term relationships with high-tech solar cell companies. We are confident that we can meet the competition, as proven through 12 years of continuous operation, and thus realise our opportunities in the fast expanding solar industry and do our part in the green transition of Norwegian industry. In the USS project, NorSun together with SINTEF and international customers and suppliers will carry out a series of joint innovation activities related to manufacturing of semiconductor substrates, ultra-thin wafers, from dislocation free single-crystal Czochralski silicon ingots. New knowledge and technology related to (i) materials and design of diamond wire, (ii) new wafer formats, (iii) more advanced wafer inspection systems including machine learning and artificial intelligence concepts, and (iv) new cutting fluid chemistry and systems will be developed and demonstrated in small scale production tests.
Project leader: Øyvind Nielsen
Institution: NORSUN AS