Researchers develop lead-absorbing tapes for sustainable perovskite solar cells

Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Northern Illinois University (NIU) have developed a way to prevent lead from escaping damaged perovskite solar cells. This could go a long way in addressing concerns about potential lead toxicity.

New film is intended to keep lead from escaping damaged perovskite solar cells imageImage by NREL, from Phys.org

The light-absorbing layer in perovskite solar cells contains a small amount of lead. Simply encapsulating solar cells does not stop lead from leaking if the device is damaged. Instead, chemical absorption may hold the key. The researchers report being able to capture more than 99.9% of the leakage.

The DoE awards $1.25 million to perovskite research projects, issues an RFI for perovskite efficiency targets

The US Department of Energy (DoE) awarded nearly $40 Million for grid-decarbonizing solar technologies projects. The DoE awarded the funds to 40 research projects, several of which are perovskite related. We'll list the perovskite projects (which were awarded a total of $1.25 million) below.

The DoE also issued a request for information (RFI) to gather input on efficiency, stability and replicability performance targets for perovskite photovoltaic devices that could be utilized to demonstrate technical and commercial readiness for future funding programs.

NREL and NASA test perovskite solar cells in space

Researchers at NREL, working with teams from NASA, are testing ways to bring production costs of solar cells down and transforming how PV technologies could work in space as well.

The latest test will evaluate the potential use of perovskite solar cells in space and assess the durability of materials used in those cells. NASA's Dr. Kaitlyn VanSant worked with Ahmad Kirmani, Joey Luther, Severin Habisreutinger, Rosie Bramante, Dave Ostrowski, Brian Wieliczka, and Bill Nemeth at NREL to prepare the perovskite cells and materials. Eight of these samples are scheduled to launch to the space station in August and another set of 25 samples will be launched in the spring of 2022. The samples, each of which are a square inch in size, are part of the Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) program and will be fastened to the outside of the orbiting platform.

New additive enables perovskite solar modules with 19.2% efficiency

Researchers from the University of North Carolina have developed a mini perovskite solar module with a power conversion efficiency of up to 19.3% efficiency based on a novel approach for interface engineering.

The new device was created using a new technique for stabilizing the embedded perovskite-substrate interfaces in the solar cells. Common approaches, the researchers explained, had previously focused on stabilizing perovskite-metal electrode interfaces through surface passivation or post-fabrication treatment. “Degradation of perovskite solar cells starts from the interfaces, including both perovskite-metal electrodes and perovskites-substrates, where defects enrich,” the team stated in the new paper. “Stabilizing the embedded bottom interfaces is as important as that of [the] top interface.”

DoE awards $14 million to form a new center to promote perovskite photovoltaics

The Department of Energy recently awarded $14 million to form a center, led by Sandia National Laboratories, to improve the understanding of perovskite-based photovoltaic technologies and determine the best tests to evaluate the new solar panels’ lifetimes.

Perovskite-based photovoltaic technologies still have several challenges to overcome before they can compete against conventional solar panels. The Perovskite Photovoltaic Accelerator for Commercializing Technologies Center aims to offer solutions to these challenges.