They design a perovskite and silicon solar panel that breaks efficiency records with 23.9%

Perovskite continues to score points to become a key part of the solar panels of the future. Its qualities for the absorption of light and its low price do not go unnoticed by researchers, who have turned to this material and who have just announced a world record of efficiency with a cell combining this product and silicon. Specifically, the energy conversion efficiency reached 23.9%.

The realization came from the hands of the Belgian research institute IMEC. This center has been exploring this technology for some time in collaboration with Solliance, a group of Dutch, German and Belgian R&D entities, and with Energy Ville, an association that brings together several research centers specializing in sustainable energy.

In fact, the announcement comes a little over a month after another research group, in this case Korean University UNIST raises efficiency bar to 22.1% for perovskite solar cells. For this breakthrough, which was then described as an unprecedented step, an organic-inorganic hybrid was used.

While Asian researchers obtained this result with a one-square-centimeter cell, the Belgian institute has achieved this level of conversion efficiency with 4 cm² modules. The advance of IMECs, assures the institution, is of incomparable efficiency, which also surpasses that of a silicon cell.

Regardless of who is closest to the goal in this race of terminating one of perovskite’s primary brakes for use in solar energy capture systems – loss of performance – these studies suggest that the time when it can be used on a commercial scale is getting closer and closer. When this point is reached, the industry can recover, especially in terms of production and selling costs, which would be considerably reduced.

Until then, IMEC now holds this record for energy conversion efficiency. He achieved this about a year after presenting a semi-transparent pervoskite module on a crystalline silicon cell which, at the time, had an efficiency of nearly 20% (20.2%).

Now, researchers managed to improve their own results by up to 3.7 points percentage. The key to this lies in two innovations. The first, the use of another type of perovskite (CsFAPbIBr, in the current module) which “Greatly improves the stability and conversion efficiency of perovskite modules”according to Tom Aernouts, researcher in charge of thin-film photovoltaics at IMEC and in charge of the perovskite program at Solliance.

In addition to opting for another perovskite, the new result can be explained by an optimization of the architecture of the stack of panels. Specifically, an anti-reflective texture and a liquid with a refractive index conforming to perovskite and silicon have been incorporated into the module. Thanks to this, it was possible to reduce optical losses.

In addition to the results obtained with this panel, IMEC claims to have achieved energy conversion efficiency of up to 25.3%, but with a smaller size and “Less attractive from an industry perspective.” This is how Aernouts considers it which, however, points out that the improved performance board increases the attractiveness of manufacturing this technology from perovskite, a material cheaper than silicon, dominant today in the industry. industry.

More information in IMEC.