Renewable Energy Research Paper for Environmental & Occupational Health Engineering Technology
In recent times, several companies have resorted to production of renewable energy. Renewable energy simply means generating power from natural resources which are not scarce such as water, geothermal heat, sunlight and tides and can be used repeatedly. These companies have resorted to renewable energy so that they can sell it to high energy using companies (1366 Technologies n.p). One such company that has invested in this new field is 1366 Technologies based in Massachusetts.
The ultimate goal of 1366 Technologies is to make solar wafers more affordable as compared to coal. Over the years, the costs and capital required to break solar wafers has been high bearing in mind that they are crucial elements of solar energy (1366 Technologies n.p). The silicon were cut into larger parts referred as ingots which further cut and polished into wafers. The processes were very costly and required large amount of capital (Lorenz 1). However, 1366 Tech have invented a technology called Direct Wafer Technology machine that that makes a high standard and effective silicon wafer straight from pure molten silicon in approximately 20 seconds (Lorenz 1).
The Direct Wafer Technology is an ultra low cost that produces crystalline silicon wafers well-matched with the existing dominant silicon PV supply chain and reduced wasteful production of silicon. 1366 Tech has doubled the use of silicon and simplified wafering process and equipment, as a result, the Direct Wafers has lead to reductions in wafer cost and enable module manufacturing costs one dollar per watt (Lorenz 2). After breaking ground, the company Direct Wafer process exceeded the standard multi crystalline efficiency and indeed the first prototype demonstration of Direct Wafers was done in less than five months. The remarkable progress meant that matching the performance of standard multicrystalline wafers at less than half the cost would result to costly bargain of photovoltaic. The company successfully achieved its goal of making kerfless silicon wafers. Furthermore, if the company increases the grain size and fabricate large wafers, the cost of producing standard multi crystalline wafer would reduce tremendously.
Although 1366 Tech has been experiencing challenges mainly due to high capital costs, the company has been awarded several agreements for instance to create a proprietary Self-Aligned Cell Technology by the government. The funds have proved worthy especially in manufacturing of multi-crystalline solar cells. This is a positive aspect as it will help the national government adequately provide energy at lower costs to industries and homes. Environmentally, the company activities have resulted to reduction in green house emissions, less noise, improved water resources and reclamation of degraded land (Lorenz 3).
The locals have expressed dissatisfaction that the project has been expanding at higher rate; this means that most of the fertile lands used for agriculture has been explored by 1366 Technologies. As such food production has reduced and the price of land has increased which has direct impact on the amount of tax payable.
The company has faced challenges from other solar producing companies but has managed to keep afloat (1366 Technologies n.p). The company has affected the coal industry because of the lower costs which would have an impact on jobs (1366 Technologies n.p). Environmentally, the company activities have resulted to air pollution, accidental pollutants, waste management issues and effect on the ecosystem; flora and fauna.
1366 Technologies. http://1366tech.com/technology-2/#directwafer.
Lorenz, Adam. Kerfless Silicon Precursor Wafer Formed by Rapid Solidification. 1366 Technologies, Inc. North Lexington, Massachusetts. 2015.