KAUST team develops highly stable and industry-ready perovskite-silicon tandem solar cell

Researchers from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) have fabricated efficient, two-terminal monolithic perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells and tested them outdoors. The tandem device that resulted from this research was found to be more stable than conventional perovskite cells and, importantly, optimized for use in industry.

Perovskite/silicon cells under test at KAUST outdoor facility imagePerovskite/silicon cells under test at KAUST outdoor facility

The findings of KAUST Research Scientists Dr. Erkan Aydin and Dr. Thomas Allen, and colleagues in Professor Stefaan De Wolf's group, indicate that the temperature dependence of both the silicon and perovskite bandgaps—which follow opposing trends—shift the current-matching-optimization point away from that for two-terminal tandems under standard test conditions.

South Korean government's roadmap shows strong focus on solar sector

South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) recently released a new roadmap for the domestic solar module industry that puts a strong focus on solar applications.

According to the document, domestic solar manufacturers and research institutes expect tandem solar cell technology based on silicon and perovskite to be the most promising candidates for PV products of the next generation. The Korean semiconductor and display industries, according to the MOTIE, may play a decisive role in this transition by providing its expertise in silicon product and thin film development.

The ’27plus6′ project aims for 33% efficient perovskite-silicon solar cell

The Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH), the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Institute for Materials and Components in Electronics at the University of Hannover, as well as Centrotherm, Singulus, Meyer Burger and Von Ardenne, are involved in a research project aimed at achieving 33%-efficient perovskite-silicon tandem solar cell suitable for mass production.

The new research project is called ’27plus6′ and it brings together the expertise of leading German and Swiss technology companies and research institutes. The consortium said that it aims to achieve the promised conversion efficiency under standard test conditions, and that is also seeking to reach a higher power yield, intended to accelerate industrial implementation.

Printed coatings enable more efficient solar cells

Researchers at Cambridge’s Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, working with Imperial College London and the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore, have developed a method to print ultrathin coatings on perovskite-based solar cells, allowing them to work in tandem with silicon solar cells to boost efficiencies.

New method to print ultrathin coatings to improve PSCs image

Solar cells work by absorbing sunlight to produce clean electricity. But photovoltaics can absorb only a fraction of the solar spectrum, which limits their efficiencies. The typical efficiency of a solar panel is only 18-20%.

New manufacturing process could lead to 30% efficiency tandem devices

Researchers at Arizona State University have demonstrated a perovskite-silicon tandem cell they claim has low reflectance losses and strong potential for commercial production. The ASU team says that this new cell could lead to 30% efficiency tandem devices. The tandem architecture involves a manufacturing process featuring the solution-based blading of perovskites onto textured silicon wafers.

New manufacturing technique for 26%-efficient tandem perovskite solar cell imageImage credit: Joule

The device is manufactured in a nitrogen-assisted blading process which ensures deposition of the perovskite layer onto textured silicon is achieved with typical pyramid heights of 1μm. The manufacture of such tandem devices typically results in perovskite heights of 3-10μm.