Crystalline silicon solar cells dominate the global PV market with module efficiencies of around 20-22%. However, the field of solar energy you need innovative materials and approaches that produce even greater efficiencies in support of global renewable energy goals.
more efficient solar cells
Achieving greater efficiency in the absorption of solar energy is key to promoting this renewable energy. To this end, the team of researchers at the KAUST Photovoltaic Laboratory has been working on the development of tandem solar cells since 2016. These combine subcells of perovskite and silicon.
Tandem solar cells combining perovskite and silicon subcells are widely regarded as a promising alternativehigh performance and viable to conventional crystalline solar cells.
At KAUST they have produced a perovskite/silicon tandem solar cell with a 33.2% Power Conversion Efficiency (PCE)the world’s highest tandem device efficiency to date, surpassing PCE’s Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin (HZB) record of 32.5%.
This achievement was certified by the European Solar Test Facility (ESTI) and is at the top of the Efficiency Chart of the best research cell from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
The resulting tandem solar cell combines perovskite top cells on industrially compatible two-sided textured silicon bottom cells. The top layer of perovskite absorbs blue light better, while the silicon base absorbs red light better. The combination of these materials maximizes the capture and conversion of sunlight into electricity more efficiently than conventional single junction silicon equivalents.
The future of solar panels
The team has been constantly refining the perovskite/silicon tandem cell concept since 2016, developing new materials, methods, and device structures, and tackling fundamental challenges, such as how to evenly cover the micrometer-sized pyramidal surface of the cells. silicon with perovskite material.
“This new record is the highest PCE of any two-junction solar cell under unconcentrated light, attesting to the tremendous promise of perovskite/silicon tandems in delivering ultra high performance photovoltaic moduleswhich is essential to rapidly achieve renewable energy targets to combat climate change”said Stefaan De Wolf, project manager.
The innovation is a significant advance in the field of solar energy at a time when market predictions estimate that tandem perovskite/silicon technologies will account for more than $10 billion of global photovoltaic market share by 2032. The team is currently exploring scalable methods to produce perovskite/silicon tandem cells on an industrial scale with areas greater than 240 square centimeters, as well as strategies to obtain highly stable tandem devices that exceed critical industrial stability protocols.