Saturday, January 05, 2019

Power From Commercial Perovskite Solar Cells Is Coming Soon

In December, Oxford PV announced that its tandem perovskite-silicon solar cells had achieved 28 percent efficiency. (Photo Credit: Oxford PV) Click to Enlarge.
At a factory on the outskirts of Brandenburg en der Havel, Germany, bunny-suited technicians are manufacturing the future.  The shiny, thin squares they’re assembling into flat modules promise to outperform the best solar panels on the market.

The pilot factory is owned by Oxford PV—a spinout from the University of Oxford, in England—which since 2012 has worked on commercializing solar cells made from a type of crystal known as a perovskite.  The first perovskite solar cells were announced just 10 years ago, by the research team of Tsutomu Miyasaka at Toin University, in Yokohama, Japan.  But those early lab prototypes were incredibly unstable and had an efficiency of just 3.8 percent.

Since then, researchers and manufacturers have made steep gains in efficiency, and they’ve also addressed the devices’ stability and scalability.  In December, for example, Oxford PV posted its latest efficiency milestone of 28 percent.  By contrast, the current record for silicon PV is 26.7 percent, and commercial silicon panels are far less efficient.

Now the company is getting ready to introduce the world’s first commercial tandem silicon-perovskite solar modules, which combine a thin-film layer of perovskite material with a silicon solar device.  The solar modules look and behave very much like traditional silicon solar panels, says Chris Case, Oxford PV’s chief technology officer.  The main difference is that they produce more power.

Read more at Power From Commercial Perovskite Solar Cells Is Coming Soon

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