A team of researchers at the NTU Singapore has created a perovskite solar mini module that has recorded the highest power conversion efficiency of any perovskite-based device larger than 10 cm2.
Perovskites are new materials that have emerged as promising alternatives to silicon in solar cell applications. The material offers power conversion efficiencies similar to silicon solar cells but can also be used to create light-weight flexible and semi-transparent cells ideal for applications in buildings and a variety of urban spaces. Perovskite technologies are progressing rapidly towards industrialisation, with stability and scalability to larger sizes seen by researchers as the last hurdles to overcome.
Now NTU researchers report that they have adopted a common industrial coating technique called ‘thermal co-evaporation’ and found that it can fabricate solar cell modules of 21 cm2 size with record power conversion efficiencies of 18.1 per cent. These are the highest recorded values reported for scalable perovskite solar cells.
Thermal evaporation is an established coating technique currently used to produce electronics including Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) TVs.
Dr Annalisa Bruno, lead author of the research findings published on the cover page of scientific journal Joule, and Senior Scientist at the Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) explained the roadblock in the large-scale adoption of perovskite solar modules.
“By using thermal evaporation to form the perovskite layer, our team successfully developed perovskite solar cells with the highest recorded power conversion efficiency reported for modules larger than 10 cm2.
“Our work demonstrates the compatibility of perovskite technology with industrial processes, and its potential for market entry. This is good news for Singapore, which is looking to ramp up the use of solar energy for its power needs.”