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Apparatus and Method of Direct Electric Melting a Feedstock

United States Patent Application

View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
National Renewable Energy Laboratory - Visit the NREL Technology Transfer Website
This invention relates to an apparatus and a method of direct electric melting a feedstock, such as high purity silicon for use in solar cells or solar modules. The continuous melting apparatus includes a first electrode opposite a second electrode and forming a melting zone. The electric current passes from the first electrode through a feedstock and enters the second electrode. The apparatus also includes an opening for draining a molten feedstock from the melting zones and a catch pan for receiving the molten feedstock from the opening.
Stoddard, Nathan G. (Gettysburg, PA), Von Dollen, Paul (Frederick, MD)
BP Corporation North America Inc. (Warrenville IL)
12/ 548,015
August 26, 2009
[0002] This invention was made with U.S. Government support under Cooperative Agreement No.: DE-FC36-07G017049 under prime contract with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.