Printed perovskite solar cells aim for buildings and windows

January 23, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Printed perovskite solar cells aim for buildings and windows
European researchers in the PRINTPERO project are aiming to develop digitally printed, highly efficient and stable perovskite solar modules that can be integrated into roofs, facades and windows.

The project is coordinated at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), German and Greek scientists along with industrial partners are demonstrating the technological feasibility of solar modules based on perovskite absorbers. They are working on prototypes that can be freely designed in size, shape and colour. 

Perovskite semiconductors are among the most promising materials for the next generation of highly efficient and cost-effective solar modules. Thin-film solar cells on this basis already achieve efficiencies of more than 23 % in the laboratory. However, the processes currently used in research to perovskite solar cells cannot be transferred to the industrial scale. One goal of the PRINTPERO (Printed Perovskite Modules for Building Integrated Photovoltaics) project is therefore to replace laboratory processes with digital printing processes that run at low temperatures and are suitable for industrial production, explains Dr. Ulrich W. Paetzold, head of the Advanced Optics and Materials for Next Generation Photovoltaics research group at the Light Technology Institute (LTI) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and coordinator of the research project.

In the project, researchers and industrial partners from Germany and Greece are cooperating to develop digitally printed solar modules based on perovskite semiconductors. These modules should not only be highly efficient and stable, but also meet a wide range of architectural requirements for integration into buildings. Prototypes can be tailored in size and freely designed in shape and color. The scientists involved are using the potential of digital inkjet printing for this purpose. They are also developing printable luminescent layers to create different color impressions and protect solar cells from harmful UV radiation (see photo).

Together with the project partners, the Karlsruhe researchers are also working on improving the stability of perovskite solar cells, connecting several of these cells in series to form large-area solar modules, and encapsulating the modules to protect them from moisture and the resulting decay.


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