Researchers have achieved an energy efficiency of 25 percent with a perovskite thin-film solar cell, reaching the same level as mainstream solar cells.
The team from Hasselt University, imec and VITO along with international partners developed the flexible 1cm² cell as part of the PERCISTAND consortium that combines collaborations within
EnergyVille and Solliance.
"We’ve achieved an energy efficiency of 25 percent for the first time, which is just as much energy as a traditional solar cell can generate on a day-to-day basis," said Professor Bart Vermang of Hasselt University/imec/EnergyVille. "With these thin-film solar cells, we are truly competitive with the traditional solar panel sector for the first time, and we haven’t yet reached the upper limit of our thin-film solar cells."
The thin film perokskite cell uses two layers of different materials, compared to a traditional solar panel with a single layer, usually of silicon. "For our solar cells, we use two different materials that reinforce each other," said Vermang. "Our consortium is a collaboration of what we can safely call the best thin-film solar cell research groups in the world. Some of the partners are working on the bottom cell, while others are working on the top cell. In recent weeks we’ve combined the best bottom and top cells, which is how we have already achieved this high efficiency level of 25 percent. Our ambition now is to generate an energy efficiency of 30 percent within the next three years."
"‘We will really be able to compete with traditional solar panels with this," he said. ‘Our solar cells are made from wafer-thin, flexible material, so that you can develop solar panels in all colours and sizes that you can integrate into the façades or roofs of homes."
Because the perovskite cells are a few microns thick, less material is needed to make the panels. ‘This will make these solar panels even cheaper than the traditional ones," he added. "Within this project we’re also working with economists to analyse the cost of