Imec achieves conversion efficiency of 27.1 percent with perovskite solar cell




The Belgian research institute Imec achieved a conversion efficiency of 27.1 percent with a perovskite and silicon-based photovoltaic cell. According to the researchers, this is higher than most solar cells that only use silicon.

The researchers expect that in the future it will be possible to achieve a percentage of more than thirty perovskite, even if the institute does not say when that point is expected to be reached. According to Imec, this percentage is possible by carefully producing the perovskite; the absorption of sunlight in the material then minimizes the heat loss in a solar cell made of silicon. In August last year, Imec achieved a 16.7 percent efficiency with a comparable combination of perovskite and silicon.

The percentage of 27.1 and the 16.7 of last year were achieved in a photovoltaic module in which perovskite and silicon were applied as a tandem. A specially developed perovskite cell of 0.13 cm² is placed on an ibc cell of silicon of 4 cm². When scaling up the tandem, where a 4cm² perovskite module is placed on the ibc cell with the same surface, an efficiency of 25.3 percent has already been achieved. According to the researchers, this is higher than the independent efficiency of the silicon cell.

Imec says that perovskite microcrystals can be used to make semitransparent modules that are cheap to produce and have a high absorption efficiency for sunlight. Because they are semitransparent, perovskite solar cells and these modules can also be used on existing silicon solar cells.

Solar cells that consist of perovskite crystals are in principle just as efficient as regular solar cells, which are based on traditional silicon, but can ultimately lead to lower prices, because perovskite is relatively cheap. The material consists of a crystal-like, fragile structure that resembles that of salt. Perovskite is very unstable and the quality can deteriorate quickly if it is exposed to heat, moisture or mechanical vibrations. Probably the institute used cesium-lead-bromide, a different kind of non-organic perovskite material, with which, among other things, stability has been improved, just like last year.


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