21 Apr 2021 Tandem breakthrough by Solliance partners
Solliance partners TNO, imec/EnergyVille and the Eindhoven University of Technology, realized a 18.6% efficient highly near infrared transparent perovskite solar cell. When combined in a four terminal tandem configuration with an efficient Panasonic crystalline silicon (c-Si) cell or with a Miasolé flexible CIGS cell, delivers new record power conversion efficiencies of 28.7% and 27.0%, respectively.
Tandem technology offers a viable and attractive route to increase the efficiency of commercial solar cells and modules. Four terminal tandems allow to build on experience and practices already available in the industry. In addition, four terminal perovskite/c-Si tandems can be applied broadly and are, for example, very beneficial in combination with bifacial c-Si solar cells which, depending on the actual albedo, can readily achieve a total power generation density as high as 320 W/m².
For this breakthrough, the expertises in perovskite solar cell processing and performance optimization of Solliance partners TNO, imec/EnergyVille and TU/e were combined to develop an efficient and highly near infrared transparent perovskite solar cell with an efficiency of 18.6%.
This perovskite solar cell was combined with different architectures of bottom solar cells and even with different cell technologies, which demonstrates the wide applicability of the 4-terminal tandem approach:
- with a prototype c-Si Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) Silicon Hetero Junction (SHJ) cell of Panasonic, a record tandem efficiency of 28.7% was obtained;
- with a commercial c-Si Metal Wrap Through (MWT) SHJ cell of Choshu Industry and Co, developed by TNO, a tandem efficiency of 28.2% was obtained;
- with a commercial c-Si Passivated Emitter and Rear Contact (PERC) cell of Solarlab Aiko Europe GmbH, a tandem efficiency of 27.7% was achieved;
- with a band gap optimised flexible CIGS cell of MiaSolé, a record tandem efficiency of 27.0% was realized.
All of these results are more than 1.5% absolute efficiency improvements of earlier records obtained within the Solliance collaboration.
Dr. Mehrdad Najafi holding two samples. (photo: Niels van Loon)
The lab scale perovskite solar cell has a size of 9 mm2. The performance measurement of the four terminal tandem was carried out according to a generally accepted procedure (J. Werner et al. ACS Energy Letters, vol. 1, pp. 474, 2016).
“This performance was achieved by tuning the opto-electrical properties of the perovskite solar cell to better match the optical properties of the bottom cell.” says Dr. Dong Zhang of TNO/Solliance. “Next, we determined the loss factors in the four terminal configuration and minimized these step by step” Dr. Zhang continues. “Finally, we optimized the light management of the complete tandem device, in other words, we maximized light absorption in the tandem solar cell.”
“These excellent results form the basis for the next phase in the development, which includes upscaling of the area and the processes.”, says Dr Mehrdad Najafi of TNO/Solliance. “Currently, low-cost upscaling processes for large area modules and maintaining the same performance are being developed by the Solliance partners TNO and imec/EnergyVille.”, concludes Dr. Najafi.
Solliance Solar Research is a partnership of research institutes and universities from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany working in thin-film photovoltaic solar energy. In order to strengthen the region’s position as a world player in solar technology, Solliance offers a platform for alignment of research activities and exchange of information between the partners. Various state-of-the-art laboratories and pilot production lines are jointly used for a common research agenda, which is executed in close cooperation with the solar business community. Solliance’s partners open their lab facilities to new entrants, either from industry or in research.
Contact: Niels van Loon | email@example.com
TNO is an independent research organization of the Netherlands and connects people and knowledge to create innovations that boost the competitive strength of industry and the well-being of society in a sustainable way. This is our mission and it is what drives us, the over 3,200 professionals at TNO, in our work every day. We believe in the joint creation of economic and social value and we work in collaboration with partners and focus on different domains:
- Buildings, Infrastructure & Maritime: ‘Robust constructions, sustainable use’
- The Circular Economy and the Environment: ‘Directing and accelerating sustainability’
- Defense, Safety and Security: ‘We’re putting our knowledge and technology to work for safety and security’
- Energy: ‘Faster towards a sustainable energy supply’
- Healthy living: ‘Focusing on participation, not on the disease’
- Industry: ‘Innovating for employment, welfare and well-being’
- Information & Communication Technology: ‘Interpreting and accelerating digital transformation’
- Strategic Analysis & Policy: ‘Turning complex issues into concrete innovations’
- Traffic and Transport: ‘Helping to create live able, sustainable cities’
Innovation with purpose is what TNO stands for. We develop knowledge not for its own sake, but for practical application.
- Dr. Gianluca Coletti | Photovoltaic Tandem Technology | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr. Sjoerd Veenstra | Perovskite Technology | email@example.com
Imec is a world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics, energy and digital technologies. The combination of our widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology and profound software and ICT expertise is what makes us unique. By leveraging our world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries, we create groundbreaking innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, energy and education.
As a trusted partner for companies, start-ups and universities we bring together more than 4,000 brilliant minds from almost 100 nationalities. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and has distributed R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, and offices in China, India and Japan. In 2019, imec’s revenue (P&L) totalled 640 million euro.
Further information on imec can be found at www.imec-int.com.
Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of imec International (IMEC International, a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a “stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.), imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.), imec India (IMEC India Private Limited), imec San Francisco (IMEC Inc.) and imec Florida (IMEC USA Nanoelectronics Design Center Inc.).
Imec is also a partner in EnergyVille (www.energyville.be), a collaboration of the Flemish research centers KU Leuven, VITO, imec and UHasselt in the field of sustainable energy and intelligent energy systems.
Contact: Jade Liu, Press Officer // T +32 16 28 16 93 // M +32 495 71 74 52 // Jade.Liu@imec.be
Eindhoven University of Technology
TU/e profiles itself as a leading, international university specialized in engineering science & technology, with major research activities in the field of solar energy. Within the field of hybrid perovskite solar cells and in collaboration with Solliance, research is carried out at the departments of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry (Prof. R.A.J. Janssen) and Applied Physics (Prof. M. Creatore). The research encompasses the synthesis and characterization of hybrid perovskite solar cells as well as interface engineering by atomic layer deposition.
MiaSolé Hi-Tech Corp. is a total solution provider of rollable thin film solar technology. MiaSolé’s proprietary turnkey equipment lines, CIGS process technologies, CIG sputtering target technologies, advanced automation and spare parts services provide customers everything they need to produce their own innovative high-efficiency solar products. Founded in 2004, MiaSolé has evolved into the world leader in thin-film solar module efficiency and offers the largest commercially available rollable shatterproof solar modules up to 540w/piece at weight 2.2 kg/m². For more information on MiaSolé, please visit http://www.miasole.com/.