A Monash University-led project, aimed at making it easier, cheaper and more efficient to capture solar energy through building windows and walls, has recently been awarded funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

Associate Professor Jacek Jasieniak, Director of the Monash Energy Materials and Systems Institute, will receive 0.75 million Australian dollars (almost $0.6 million USD) to develop highly efficient and extremely thin perovskites-based solar cells.

Monash was among four institutes to receive the funding focused on supporting early-stage research to reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of solar PV cells and modules.

Assoc Prof Jasieniak said the challenge was making the cell layers thin enough to allow light through without compromising the quality of those layers. “Eventually this type of perovskite device will be around 15% more efficient and significantly cheaper than current amorphous silicon technologies,” he said. “It will create a cost-competitive option for building-integrated PV windows, which doesn’t exist at the moment.”