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close this bookBlending of New and Traditional Technologies - Case Studies (ILO - WEP, 1984, 312 p.)
close this folderV. New materials
View the documentA. Ceramics and amorphous silicon
View the documentB. Fibre reinforced composites

A. Ceramics and amorphous silicon

43. Microwave drying of ceramics (China). Ceramics production is a traditional industry in China. Products from the conventional methods of drying (hot-air drying) are susceptible to deformation and cracking. Microwave drying, which has been recently employed, ensures uniform drying resulting in a higher quality ceramic product.34

44. Amorphous silicon in solar cells manufacture (Japan). Amorphous silicon is superior to single-crystal silicon in physical, chemical, mechanical, electrical, magnetic and optical properties. Cells made of single-crystal silicon cost US$ 4,000 to 5,000 per kW of output while those from amorphous silicon are one hundredth or less of the above cost. Developments in amorphous silicon production are thus the key to cost reduction in photovoltaic power conversion.

In Japan, several companies now manufacture watches, radios and calculators which utilise amorphous silicon solar cells. Conversion efficiency as high as 6.9 per cent has been achieved.35