A group of researchers from various institutes in the Netherlands worked together to break the 30 per cent barrier associated with solar cells to support the global adoption of solar energy and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
The team worked on the development of a four-terminal perovskite/ silicon tandem device.
A tandem device can make better use of the solar spectrum by combining silicon and perovskite-based solar cells. While the former work well with visible and infrared light, the latter can use ultraviolet and visible light while remaining transparent to infrared light.
The top and bottom cells of a four-terminal tandem can work independently of each other, allowing bifacial tandems to be used and increasing the performance of the architecture.
The researchers increased the efficiency of a semi-transparent perovskite cell of 3×3 sqm by 19.7 per cent. This included a silicon solar cell 20X20 sq. mm wide was placed beneath this. In addition, the tandem device had a highly transparent back contact through which 93 per cent of the near-infrared light could reach the bottom of the device.
The silicon device has been optimized with a variety of features and its efficiency has been increased to 10.4%. In combination with the perovskite solar cell, the device achieved a combined energy conversion efficiency of 30.1 percent, the highest efficiency to date.
If the 30% mark is broken, more electricity can be produced on the same property at a lower cost per unit, increasing energy availability while lowering customer costs. Governments around the world are promoting solar energy in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions, but their efforts are now at 22%.
The sources for this piece include an article in IntrestingEngineering.