There is often intriguing development when combining silicon solar panels, which currently possess the best cost-performance ratio, with the rising star of PV material, perovskite solar. Researchers from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) have recently attained an all-time high in efficiency for tandem solar cells at 33.2% through these two aforementioned materials.
Silicon is currently the most common type of solar cells, which has an excellent conversion efficiency, and is dropping in cost each year amidst increasing capacity of installations. However, silicon is on the verge of reaching the ceiling in terms of efficiency, and it would require a change in formula for further and larger improvement, which led to the emergence of perovskite solar that climbed in efficiency from below 4% back in 2019 to more than 25% in 2021.
These two types of materials, when combined together, would yield a much higher efficiency at more than 30%. KAUST has managed to exceed such figure from the perovskite-silicon tandem solar cell that was developed by engineers of the solar center, which arrived at 32% in efficiency under 1 sun illumination that leads all bifacial solar cells.
The record has been independently certified by solar testing devices in Europe, and is included in the best efficiency table by the NREL. The previous record holder was HZB from Germany that attained a conversion efficiency of 32.5% during December last year. Conversion efficiency has been elevating alongside constant technical advancement over past several years, though the KAUST team has yet to explain details behind its success, and will continue to focus on further studies, including the expansion of cell sizes to the commercial level of more than 240m2.
(Cover photo source: KAUST)