Another breakthrough has been made for perovskite-GIGS PV cell, as the Imec, an Belgian laboratory, has succeeded in boosting its conversion rate to 24.6%, breaking the previous record of 22.4% just unveiled by UCLA earlier this month.
Thanks to the advantages of low cost and easy manufacturing, perovskite PV cell has emerged as one of the most promising PV-cell technologies, with its conversion rate having shot up by six-fold to 22.7% now since its rollout nine years ago. Meanwhile, CIGS boasts the highest conversion rate among commercialized thin-film PV cells, on top of lower material cost than traditional models. The combination of the two technologies offers a new option for pliable high-performance PV cell.
The Imec's new PV cell, a four-terminal model, consists of a perovskite solar panel on the top, capable of absorbing most visible light, and a CIGS PV cell at the bottom, for absorbing infrared light, resulting in a conversion rate higher than that of the two constituent cells.
Tom Aernouts, thin-film PV cell project leader at the Imec, noted that the research team decided to embrace perovskite-CIGS connection technology, instead of perovskite-silicon, the other option under consideration, due to the rosy outlook of CIGS thin-film PV cell.
The research team employed perovksite developed by Energy Ville and Slliance of Europe and CIGS PV cell measuring only 0.5 square centimeters in size offered by ZSW, with addition of optical coupling layer and optimal transparent electrode, greatly boosting transmittance of perovksite for infrared light.
Moreover, the researchers improved 1.72eVwide bandgap of perovksite, further boosting the PV conversion rate of perovksite-CIGS cell. Michael Powalla, chief executive of ZSW's PV power division, credited the high PV power conversion rate of the new PV cell to optimal permutation for various parameters of CIGS PV power.
The research team has forged a prototype for the new PV cell and a two-terminal version of the cell. It has aimed to boost the conversion rate to 30%.
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(First photo courtesy of Imec, written by Daisy Chuang)