Any glass surface in a building could be a next-generation solar panel – a new business model made possible by the photovoltaic innovation of the Fraunhofer Institute. The production of PV in perovskite is very simple.
German scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Power Systems (ISE) have developed a business model for perovskite photovoltaics that has the potential to revolutionize the entire global solar market. If the lab’s successes were validated on a large scale, virtually any glass surface could one day have low-cost perovskite solar cells. And production would be more sustainable than today.
Indeed, a research group led by Dr Andreas Hinsch has created an innovative on-site manufacturing process, in a more decentralized manner and encouraging local industry. The system drastically reduces the number of steps required and uses more sustainable and resource-efficient methods.
The research project started with a question:It is possible to first manufacture the solar module and then fill it with photovoltaic material and then activate it directly on site? The answer is yes.
The team developed a system that “simply” requires pouring molten perovskite into the solar cell and then crystallizing it. The quantity shown in the picture (2ml) is sufficient to produce a module of four square meters.
“With perovskite and a photoactive salt, we succeeded for the first time in producing a printed solar cell with an efficiency of 12.6%,” says Hinsch, satisfied with the project. “With this success, we have taken an important first step in the development of this technology and a step towards production on an industrial scale. In addition, the efficiency achieved is also a new record for printed solar cells in general ”.
A decisive factor for the efficiency of the solar cell is being able to control the deposition process of perovskite crystals within the nanoporous electrode of the cell, which is made of metal oxides and micronized graphite. The methods tested so far have led to uncontrolled growth of the crystals. Instead, the German researchers found a way to convert perovskite to molten salt at room temperature using polarized gas: in this way, they were able to fill the pores of the electrode and achieve growth. homogeneous crystalline.
The photoactive layers produced showed high photovoltaic (1 volt) and a certified stable solar yield of 12.6%. The steps used are similar to those used in the glass industry. Therefore, the researchers explain, it is also possible to produce this new technology in a decentralized manner in local production plants with simple infrastructure, rather than exclusively in high-tech industries. By using low cost graphite and thanks to the easy synthesis of the perovskite material, the costs are greatly reduced.
And it is not only useful in architecture, this technology is ideal for its application in the new generation of electric vehicles which will flood the market in the years to come.