Solar energy hopeful Dyesol has been around for many years, in part because its technology and commercialization plan are so ambitious and, more importantly, because it continues to make progress. The latest news is that its partner Solliance has achieved a world record for perovskite solar cell photovoltaic (PV) technology on a flexible roll-to-roll process that can be used industrially. The record was 12.6 per cent conversion efficiency at the solar cell level.
Solliance is a Dutch-Flemish-German thin-film photovoltaics research initiative into the development of perovskite-based PV modules and applications. The industrial partners are Solartek, Dyesol and Panasonic.
The partners said the results pave the way towards accelerating the market introduction of this new source of renewable energy.
Perovskite microcrystals are a promising material to make high-yield, thin-film solar cells for built-in photovoltaics. They can be processed into thin, light-weight and potentially semitransparent modules that could eventually be integrated in building windows or curved construction sections.
Solliance and partners are focusing on using scalable, industrial processes to fabricate large-area modules. The roll-to-roll (R2R) coating, drying and annealing processes were done at a speed of 5 metres per minute on a 30 cm wide commercial PET/ITO foil under ambient conditions and using low cost materials. This shows the high volume production potential of this new emerging thin film PV technology, they said.
Individual solar cells of 0.1 cm2 achieved efficiencies of up to 12.6 per cent when measured under maximum power point tracking conditions over five minutes.
Dyesol’s managing director, Richard Caldwell, said “We are committed to developing the industry standard for R2R perovskite solar cell PV manufacturing in conjunction with Solliance and this result is an important step along this route. This pioneering work confirms that Dyesol and its partners retain a global leadership position in the industrialization of perovskite solar cell technology, and in particular, its continuous R2R processing for flexible built-in photo voltaic applications – a core element of its commercialization strategy.”
The current world record efficiency of a small, lab scale perovskite-based PV cell is 22.1 per cent. “The challenge is to upscale perovskite cells to larger size, industrially-manufacturable modules with high efficiency and long lifetime at low cost. These 12.6 per cent R2R up-scaled perovskite-based solar cells are a first and important step in this development. With this result, we are confident to quickly boost the upscaled perovskite based PV module efficiency above 15 per cent by using low cost materials and processes.”
The consortium is also working to improve the stability of the devices in real life conditions.
Ronn Andriessen, Program Director at Solliance, said “Combining the industrially-applicable manufacturing processes with Solliance’s proprietary back-end interconnection process allows the creation of perovskite-based PV modules with any form and shape and any desired current-voltage output. These properties will enable customized and aesthetic integration of solar modules for infrastructure, building and vehicle-integrated PV products.”
Dyesol’s commercialization plan is to have a pilot production line up this year and to commence production of its first commercial product next year. The company has refined its strategy and is now looking at supplying utility scale PV for solar farms, roof top solar panels and built-in photovoltaics for roofs, windows and facades. (ASX: DYE)