Researchers claim record efficiency for roll-to-roll fabricated perovskite PV cell


An international team of researchers led by Australia’s CSIRO have claimed record-breaking efficiency when producing fully roll-to-roll printed, flexible solar cells.

When testing under ambient conditions, the team recorded an efficiency of 11% for 50 cm² large-scale solar panels consisting of optimized roll-to-roll fabricated hybrid perovskite solar cells and up to 15.5% efficiency on individual small-area cells.

CSIRO said scaling up production while maintaining efficiency has long been a hurdle for printed solar cell technology, with many researchers achieving efficiency levels of 1% to 2% for fully printed flexible solar panels.

The researchers’ hybrid perovskite solar cell modules consist of serially-interconnected cells, produced entirely using industrial roll-to-roll printing tools akin to how a newspaper is printed, and replacing metal electrodes with perovskite-friendly carbon electrodes.

The team used automated fabricated and screening systems capable of producing and testing more than 10,000 solar cells per day. They said this allowed them to quickly pinpoint the ideal settings for various parameters, leading to a substantial increase in efficiency outcomes.

The CSIRO said the results are the culmination of more than a decade of research and development. It it is now actively seeking industry partners to further develop and commercialize the technology.

The researchers said the flexible printed solar cells could be used in industries such as defense, emergency management, construction, agriculture, mining, space exploration and urban infrastructure.

It said their solar cells’ shorter energy payback time and projected low costs make them an economical and environmentally attractive renewable energy solution. The researchers estimate a cost of around $0.70 for a production rate of 1,000,000 m² per year in Australia, with potential for further significant cost reductions.

CSIRO’s project has been completed in collaboration with researchers from the University of Cambridge, Monash University, the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales.

The research, “The first demonstration of entirely roll-to-roll fabricated perovskite solar cell modules under ambient room conditions”, has been published in the 15th edition of the Nature Communications journal.

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