Researchers design a 15.2%-efficient foldable perovskite solar cell with a carbon nanotube electrode

Scientists from South Korea have developed a foldable thin-film device with promising characteristics. Integrating a perovskite cell material and a carbon nanotube electrode, the group fabricated a device that achieved 15.2% efficiency and could be folded more than 10,000 times at a bending radius of 0.5mm.

A 15.2%-efficient solar cell that you can fold in half image

Solar cell materials tend to be quite sensitive. Designing and manufacturing devices that can withstand the stress of being folded and bent is challenging, and many of even the most promising solutions are still quite limited in their flexibility. The scientists at Pusan National University in South Korea took a major step forward in solving this problem, fabricating a device that can be folded down to a ‘bending radius’ – the minimum size of fold possible without causing damage – of 0.5mm.

Flexible semi-transparent tandem perovskite/CIGS solar cell with 26.5% efficiency reported by Solliance and MiaSolé

Solliance and U.S-based MiaSolé announced a new record - power conversion efficiency of 26.5% on a tandem solar cell that combined a top rigid semi-transparent perovskite solar cell with a bottom flexible copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) cell.

Solliance and Miasole's 23%efficiency tandem perovskite/CIGS cells image

This impressive efficiency was achieved by optimizing the bandgap and the efficiency of both the rigid semi-transparent perovskite top cell and the flexible CIGS bottom cell. The CIGS was roll to roll produced on steel foil, with a power conversion efficiency of 20.0%.

CITYSOLAR project to develop perovskite/OPV hybrids for photovoltaic windows

A new EU project called "CITYSOLAR" aims to revolutionize the market for transparent solar cells for windows by combining two photovoltaic (PV) technologies in a tandem configuration. The project has received 3,779,242 EUR in support from the H2020 framework programme. Transparent solar cells for windows have been known for several years, but are still not sufficiently efficient - which is what the new project will attempt to change.

“We develop new innovative concepts within light management and solar module integration that are specifically targeted at new promising organic and hybrid thin film PV technologies, and by that we go significantly beyond state-of-the-art in terms of efficiency for transparent photovoltaics. It’s a revolutionary new concept,” says Professor Aldo di Carlo, Cnr-Ism, who is coordinator of the new project and is thrilled about the support of "CITYSOLAR" from the H2020 framework.

Two-sided perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells can collect scattered light to gather more energy

An international team of scientists, including ones from King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) and University of Toronto, set out to increase the performance of solar panels by creating a bifacial (two-sided) tandem solar cell, made of perovskite and silicon materials.

Two-sided solar cells can collect scattered light to gather more energy imageImage credit: U of T

In outdoor environments, light primarily comes directly from the sun. Conventional tandem solar cells can already convert this light into electricity more efficiently compared to traditional silicon-only solar cells by absorbing additional wavelengths of light. Now, the researchers have realized that even more energy can be gathered using a two-sided tandem configuration. Light reflected and scattered from the ground — referred to as “albedo” — can also be collected to significantly increase the current of a tandem solar cell. The new research outlines how the team engineered the perovskite/silicon device to exceed the currently accepted performance limits for the tandem configuration.

HZB team reports perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells on the threshold of 30% efficiency

Researchers at HZB have published their recent work, reporting its current world record of 29.15% efficiency for a tandem solar cell made of perovskite and silicon. The tandem cell provided stable performance for 300 hours – even without encapsulation. To accomplish this, the group, headed by Prof. Steve Albrecht, investigated physical processes at the interfaces to improve the transport of the charge carriers.

The composition of the tandem solar cell image

In the beginning of 2020, a team headed by Prof. Steve Albrecht at the HZB broke the previous world record for tandem solar cells made of perovskite and silicon (28.0%, Oxford PV), setting a new world record of 29.15%. Compared to the highest certified and scientifically published efficiency, this is a significant step forward. The new value has been certified at Fraunhofer ISE and listed in the NREL chart. Now, the results have been published in the journal Science with a detailed explanation of the fabrication process and underlying physics.