New efficiency record for solar cell technology

Source:National University of Singapore

A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has set a new record in the power conversion efficiency of solar cells made using perovskite and organic materials. This technological breakthrough paves the way for flexible, light-weight, low cost and ultra-thin photovoltaic cells which are ideal for powering vehicles, boats, blinds and other applications.

“Technologies for clean and renewable energy are extremely important for carbon reduction. Solar cells that directly convert solar energy into electricity are among the most promising clean energy technologies. High power conversion efficiency of solar cells is critical for generating more electrical power using a limited area and this, in turn, reduces the total cost of generating solar energy,” explained lead researcher Presidential Young Professor Hou Yi, who is from the NUS Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and also leading a “Perovskite-based Multi-junction Solar Cells group” at the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore at NUS.

“The main motivation of this study is to improve the power conversion efficiency of perovskite/organic tandem solar cells. In our latest work, we have demonstrated a power conversion efficiency of 23.6% — this is the best performance for this type of solar cells to date,” added Dr Chen Wei, Research Fellow at the NUS Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the first author of this work.

This achievement is significant leap from the current power conversion rate of about 20% reported by other studies on perovskite/organic tandem solar cells, and is approaching the power conversion rate of 26.7% of silicon solar cells, which is the dominating solar technology in the current solar photovoltaic (PV) market.

This innovation was published in Nature Energy on 20 January 2022. The research was conducted in collaboration with scientists from the University of Hong Kong and Southern University of Science and Technology.

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