Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have managed to produce perovskite solar panels for commercial applications with minimum scaling loss.
Perovskite photovoltaic modules are potentially a highly efficient and low-cost solar technology that could be a future replacement of traditional solar panels. Perovskite material has a unique crystallographic structure that makes it highly effective at converting photons of light from the sun into usable electricity. The material can react to various different wavelengths of light which allows it to convert more light to electricity as compared to conventional solar panels.
Perovskite solar panels work similarly as conventional solar panels. The semiconductor material absorbs the photons, and initiates a flow of electrons which is then converted to usable electricity. Perovskite solar panels or thin film solar panels are assembled on a large scale monolithic series interconnection. The perovskite material is low-cost and the processing cost for making PV modules is also relatively low. Therefore, perovskite semiconductors are a potential future for solar technology.
Over time, there have been a lot of advancements in perovskite PV modules. The solar efficiency of these materials have been recorded to be more than 25% in laboratories in 2020. The task now is to upscale the perovskite panels for industrial applications. BUt due to upscaling , perovskite solar panels have suffered a significant efficiency loss due to interconnects and other aspects.
In upscaling, the series interconnections between the adjacent solar modules produce the dead-zones in between. The dead-zones are useless for power generation and thus, limit the maximum achievable efficiency per unit area. Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany have identified a way to minimize the impact of these losses.
“A key challenge is to transfer the efficiency levels achieved on areas of a few square millimeters to typical solar module surfaces of several hundred square centimeters,” says Dr. Tobias Abzieher, Head of development of vacuum-deposited perovskite solar cells at the Light Technology Institute (LTI) of KIT.
The scientists used a vapor-deposition process for all layers of the solar modules. In this process, a material is converted into its vapor phase in a vacuum chamber and then condensed onto a substrate surface. The researchers combined this process with high-precision structuring and series interconnection by engraving lines with a laser to achieve a perovskite solar module with nearly no scaling loss.
The researchers achieved efficiency levels of up to 16.6 percent on a component area of over 50 square centimeters and even 18 percent on an area of four square centimeters.