Solar research agency Solliance demonstrated this week scaled perovskite solar modules which have passed three lifetime tests, a critical step forward for the highly efficient solar technology as it moves towards commercial delivery and application.
Solliance and its partners – TNO, imec, and the Eindhoven University of Technology – revealed this week that it had conducted three lifetime tests on encapsulated perovskite solar modules fabricated using industrial processes – a light soak test, a damp-heat test, and a thermal cycling test. The tested perovskite modules were prepared on 6 x 6 inch² glass substrates with an initial performance of above 10%.
The applied stress tests included 1,000 hours of continuous illumination at an intensity equal to one sun for the light soak test, 1,000 hours exposed to high humidity of 85% combined with exposure to a temperature of 85°C for the damp-heat test, and 50 thermal cycles from 40°C to 85°C for the thermal cycling test.
Stress testing results for the light soak test saw performance increase over the first 100 hours before stabilising, while after the damp-heat test the perovskite module performance retained 95% of its initial performance. The thermal cycling test saw no efficiency loss indicating excellent stability under harsh conditions.
Solliance believes the successful results to these stress tests puts perovskite thin film solar PV technology “one step closer to commercialization” and sets itself up as being in a leading position to bring this technology to commercialization.
Perovskite solar cells and modules represent a potential leap forward in solar efficiency and applicability, boasting high efficiency values of up to 25.2% (in recent laboratory testing, according to Solliance) combined with low-cost manufacturing and materials. Further, and most importantly for the future development and expansion of solar, perovskite solar cells can be made either rigid or flexible, opaque or semi-transparent, creating a range of new applications.
Of particular interest is the possibility of combining semi-transparent perovskite solar cells over the top of conventional solar cells could dramatically increase efficiency and power generation of traditional solar modules. Conversely, on their own, perovskite solar cells could be integrated into windows, roof tiles, building facades, roads, noise barriers, car roofs – really, all types of applications are being envisioned which could further increase the social acceptability of solar energy.
Research into perovskite solar cells is not limited to overseas, either, with the Australian National University announcing in August of 2019 a solar efficiency record of 21.6% for a single junction perovskite solar cell measuring 1 cm².
A year earlier, Oxford PV announced a certified record for its perovskite-based solar cell of 27.3%. Solar efficiency records often vary like this based on the specific design and make of each company or organisation’s recipe, but the future is bright for this technology and the variety of applications being made available.