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Ore Processing

Polycrystalline Silicon Reactors

The viability of cost competitive photovoltaic power for large-scale electric production has been made possible by the use of new fluidized bed reactor technology.  Previously, the production of ultra-high-purity silicon could only be done in a slow, batch mode process.  However, new two-stage reactor technology has enabled continuous processing with tremendous cost savings, hence enabling wide spread PV usage.  Barracuda has been successfully employed for both reactor types: the trichlorosilane (SiHCl3) reactor, and the 'deposition' reactor.  In the deposition reactor a gas-phase reaction produces silicon (Si) as a solid  -  hence the Barracuda chemical reaction model of the fluidized bed causes the silicon particles to grow in size.  The reactor is often a spouted bed design and Barracuda can therefore capture all of the important physics of gas-solids fluidization, mixing from side jets, quantify reaction zones and the growth rate of silicon particles, and predict the movement of Si solids from the vessel.