Japanese electronics giant Panasonic has reported the production of a lightweight 30cmX30cm perovskite solar module with an efficiency of 16.01%. The result was achieved in a research project by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization.

The device has an area of 802cm² and thickness of 2mm. The manufacturer claims it improved module performance through an inkjet coating method and a reduction in weight by using thin glass substrates.

The module is said to be particularly suitable for locations where the installation of conventional panels is difficult, such as on roofs unable to host PV due to weight restrictions.

Panasonic claims to have achieved what it called record efficiency using an inkjet coating method. It also reduced panel weight using thin glass substrates. It didn’t say, however, if the result was confirmed by an independent entity.

The company’s scientists reportedly improved the crystal structure of the perovskite by replacing methylamine, which affects the thermal stability of the solar cells, with formamidinium, cesium and rubidium.

“By improving the perovskite layer material in the future we aim to achieve high efficiency comparable to that of crystalline silicon solar cells and to establish new technologies for practical use in new markets,” Panasonic said. The company claims the layer material can be produced at a lower cost than in conventional solar manufacturing and said the material is easier to use as it can be applied directly to the substrate of the cell.

Panasonic added that the new module can also be used for solar façades and windows.