Monolithic Si/perovskite tandem solar cells: advanced designs towards high-efficiency at low-cost

Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) R&D Project (2020 - 2022)

Investigators

  • The Australian National University: Prof. Kylie Catchpole, Dr. Heping Shen, A/Prof. Klaus Weber, Dr. Kean Chern Fong

Research Fellows

  • Dr. The Duong

Industry Partner

  • University of Melbourne, Risen Energy, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne

Summary

Mass-market conventional silicon (Si) solar cells are approaching their limit of what is possible in terms of their efficiency. There is a risk that the cost of solar energy will plateau within the next 5-10 years if a clear technology pathway is not developed. A combination of silicon and perovskite to form Si/perovskite tandems can make better use of blue light in the solar spectrum, offering higher efficiency potential and thus increasing energy yield per unit area of installation.

Demonstrated Si/perovskite tandems currently use complex device architecture and expensive materials that can add to the cell manufacturing cost, affecting the potential viability of Si-tandem commercialisation.

This project will develop a set of new technologies (cell architecture, materials and processes) to produce cost-effective, stable, high-efficiency Si/perovskite tandem cells that are industrially feasible. This has potential to reduce the cost of mass-market photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.

This project will also produce cost analysis reports to accelerate the commercialisation of silicon-tandem technology.

Photo of a 4 square centimetre monolithic perovskite-silicon tandem solar cell fabricated at ANU (Y. Wu, ANU).

Perovskite Photovoltaic Research at the Australian National University