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.

Ascent Solar enters agreement with TubeSolar to jointly develop high efficiency CIGS-Perovskite tandem PV cells

Ascent Solar Technologies, a developer and manufacturer of flexible thin-film photovoltaic solutions, has announced the signing of a Joint Development Agreement with German agrivoltaic thin-film solar tube maker, TubeSolar, to pursue the Agricultural-photovoltaics/Agrivoltaics (APV) market.

It was indicated that this JDA is a multi-million-dollar, long-term supply agreement, forming a strategic partnership between Ascent Solar and TubeSolar. This JDA includes (i) long-term supplier of customized PV (“PV Foils”) for TubeSolar, (ii) Non-Recurring Engineering Fee (“NRE Fee”) of up to $4 Million, payable by TubeSolar to Ascent Solar in three parts, (iii) establishment of a joint venture entity to develop a new manufacturing facility located in Germany (“JV FAB”), (iv) the Company will benefit from milestone payments by TubeSolar of up to $13.5 Million, and (v) joint development efforts in next generation, high efficiency CIGS-Perovskite tandem PV cells.

When will perovskite solar panels hit the market?

Perovskite solar panels have been under intensive R&D, and it seems as if commercial production is right around the corner. Some pilot-scale production lines are already functional, and companies are now ramping up production of perovskite panels, using various technologies.

Perovskite consumer solar panel market poll results (September 2021)

UK-based Oxford PV, for example, recently announced that it has completed the build-out of its 100 MW manufacturing site in Germany, and it is on track to start full production in 2022. China's Microquanta Semiconductor perovskite panel factory is reportedly also nearing production (which should have started late 2020, but updates have not been available since), and another China-based company, GCL, has raised around $15 million USD to expand its pilot-scale production factory to mass production (100 MW).

Researchers demonstrate how a novel cross-linked hole transport layer helps achieve highly efficient perovskite solar cells

Scientists from China's Nanjing University and Chinese Academy of Sciences have found that a change to the hole transport layer material helped reduce voltage loss in a perovskite solar cell. The discovery demonstrates a promising new way to overcome a major challenge for perovskites – particularly those used as the top layer in a tandem device.

The group of scientists noticed that a large part of the problematic voltage loss occurs at the interface between the active perovskite and the hole transport layer (HTL) that helps to carry a charge out of the device, and decided to experiment with alternate materials to try and limit this issue.

Tandem perovskite-silicon solar cells power a highly efficient direct solar hydrogen generation system

Researchers from the Australian National University and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) recently used perovskite solar cells for the development of a novel technology for direct solar hydrogen generation (DSTH), claimed to achieve an impressive solar-to-hydrogen efficiency of around 20%.

In DSTH systems, the electricity generated by a PV unit is used to directly drive water-splitting redox reactions without the need for an electrolyzer or complex power infrastructure. Commercial viability, however, remains unattainable despite efficiencies close to 19%, due to the use of expensive semiconductors and noble-metal catalysts.