Researchers from Arizona State University’s Fulton Schools of Engineering have calculated that a 32% efficient perovskite-silicon tandem cell could produce electricity at the same price as cutting-edge 22% efficient panels in the most cost-competitive of situations.

ASU team finds that a 32% tandem cell solar still competitive at triple the price

The paper specifies: “…a large cost benefit will not necessarily be needed to prefer tandem systems over single-junction systems, because higher efficiencies bring additional perceived benefits such as reduced installation area. It is, however, necessary that the path leading to such a tandem be continuously profitable.”

The research authors determined that a perovskite/silicon tandem solar module – with a similar lifetime and long term productivity of standard silicon panels – could in fact compete in the most cost competitive U.S. residential market with a price as low as (roughly) US$0.69/W in 2020. A key factor used to determine this pricing viability is a broad balance of system analysis – noting that less roof space, less wiring, less labor, is needed to get the same output with higher wattage modules.

The authors suggested that a mature technology, similar to modern silicon modules, will be in the 0.9 coupling efficiency range (making use of 90% of the theoretical electricity generation potential). Additionally, the paper notes that 1.5 eV or 1.7 eV modules are most likely to be competitive in the market.

The paper goes deeper into how the various pricing levels were chosen, what potential technologies were viable, what the probable pricing levels in 2020 would be, how the balance of system would be affected by almost doubling the efficiency of the panel, and further.