Researchers Driving Tandem Solar Cells to Mass Production by Reaching 30% Efficiency

Feb 13, 2023 11:19 AM ET
  • Researchers from Australia and Germany set a new record with a 30.3% efficient perovskite and silicon tandem solar cell, funding by ARENA. Stay up to date with the latest Solar Energy news.

What happened?

A team of researchers from Monash University, The Australian National University (ANU), Flinders University, The University of Sydney, and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology achieved a record-breaking 30.3% efficiency in a perovskite and silicon tandem solar cell. They improved the operational stability of the cell while enhancing its efficiency. In their recent work, the team added 4-methylphenethylammonium chloride (4M-PEACl) to a methylammonium (MA)-free perovskite precursor, which greatly improved its bulk quality. The team's novel approach led to a steady state efficiency of 23.7% and an encapsulated tandem efficiency of 30.3%. (Source: Monash University)

Why does it matter?

The development of MA-free perovskite solar cells has the potential for better thermal stability compared to their MA-containing counterparts. However, the efficiency of these cells has lagged behind, primarily due to inferior bulk quality. With the addition of 4M-PEACl, the researchers were able to significantly enlarge the perovskite crystal grains and suppress defects, leading to a record-breaking efficiency of 30.3%. The efficiency threshold for the commercialization of tandem technology is currently considered to be 30%, and this achievement puts tandem technology closer to mass production, which is predicted to occur by 2026.

What's next?

Although the team has surpassed the 30% efficiency threshold, more work is still needed to upscale and ensure the technology's stability in the field over 25 to 30 years. The ANU team is now focused on improving the efficiency and stability of the solar cells. The potential for highly efficient and thermally stable perovskite solar cells is a promising step towards a more sustainable energy future. This latest development in Photovoltaic technology, along with the continued advancements in sustainable energy sources, highlights the importance of investing in renewable energy research.

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