11 April 2017
Imec and Solliance boost efficiency for 4cm x 4cm perovskite PV module to 12.4%
As a partner in Solliance - a cross-border Dutch-Flemish-German thin-film photovoltaic (TFPV) solar energy R&D consortium in the ELAT (Eindhoven-Leuven-Aachen) region - nanoelectronics research center imec of Leuven, Belgium has improved its 4cm x 4cm perovskite PV module, achieving a certified solar energy conversion efficiency of 12.4% (amongst the highest for this size of perovskite module). The module efficiency was measured under long-term maximum power point (MPP) tracking, testifying to its stability. At Solliance, this perovskite technology is developed with industrially applicable processes and with a view towards rapid market introduction.
Perovskite microcrystals are promising materials for making high-yielding thin-film solar cells. They can be processed into thin, light-weight, semi-transparent modules that could eventually be integrated into building materials such as windows or curved construction elements. Solliance and its research partners focus on using scalable, industrial processes towards the fabrication of large-area modules, eventually suitable for integration into customized PV systems.
The perovskite modules were made at imec using an advanced recipe for the active layer and a process that achieves a very high aperture-area efficiency in combination with high operational device stability. In the existing design, eight cells are connected in series by using a low-area-loss interconnection technology based on laser and mechanical patterning. Due to this optimization, about 90% of the designated illumination area of 16cm2 contributes to energy generation. The device stability and performance is exhibited by the 12.4% power conversion efficiency under more than 10 minutes maximum power point tracking, as certified by Fraunhofer ISE.
“This breakthrough achievement confirms that we are able to steadily improve the conversion efficiency of perovskite solar modules,” says Tom Aernouts, Solliance program manager and group leader for thin-film photovoltaics at imec. “In a few years time, we have made rapid progress not only on conversion efficiencies for single cells but are now also consolidating this at module level for this type of thin-film photovoltaics,” he adds. “Looking ahead, within Solliance we’ve set an aggressive roadmap for larger-area low-cost processing and long-term stability that will advance this technology beyond the lab.”
Imec is developing its industrial R&D platform for perovskite modules in the framework of Solliance, which conducts research on the development of perovskite-based PV modules and its applications, with industrial partners Solartek Ltd of Troitsk, Moscow, Russia, Dyesol Ltd of Sydney, Australia and Panasonic of Japan.
Imec is showcasing its silicon and perovskite photovoltaic technologies in booth E2.573 at the SNEC 11th International Photovoltaic Power Generation conference & exhibition (PV Power 2017) in Shanghai, China (19-21 April).