Semi-transparent perovskite solar cells: the recipe for innovative photovoltaics created by Exciton Science and Monash University. Towards the production of photovoltaic windows with a conversion efficiency of 17%.

Semi-transparent solar cells that can be incorporated into glass windows could transform architecture, town planning and power generation, Australian scientists say.

The researchers, led by Professor Jacek Jasieniak of Monash University, have made a breakthrough for the next generation of perovskite solar cells. They are currently investigating how this new technology could be incorporated into commercial products with Viridian Glass, Australia’s largest glassmaker.

The researchers claim that two square meters of solar window will produce almost as much electricity as a conventional solar panel on the roof. The research, supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is described in an article published in Nano Energy.

Anthony Chesman, CSIRO co-author and researcher, said the group is currently working on manufacturing. “We will try to develop a large-scale glass manufacturing process that can be easily transferred to industry so that manufacturers can easily adopt the technology. Photovoltaic windows will benefit buildings and residents alike, bringing new challenges and opportunities to architects, builders, engineers and designers.

Previous designs failed because they were too expensive, unstable, or inefficient.

“The solar roof has a conversion efficiency of 15-20%,” Professor Jasieniak said in a press release. “Semi-transparent cells have a conversion efficiency of 17%, while still transmitting more than 10% of the incoming light. It has long been a dream to have windows that generate electricity, and now it seems possible.“.

Solar cells can be more or less transparent. The more transparent they are, the less electricity they generate, which therefore becomes something to consider for architects.

These solar windows tinted to the same degree as today’s commercial glass windows would generate around 140 W / m2.

Jasieniak estimates that the first commercially available solar cells for windows based on this technology will be launched within 10 years.

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