Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Clean Power

NREL Research Boosts Stability of Perovskites, Helps Silicon Solar Cells

A change in chemical composition enabled scientists to boost the longevity and efficiency of a perovskite solar cell developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The new formula enabled the solar cell to resist a stability problem that has so far thwarted the commercialization of perovskites.

Originally published on NREL’s website.

A change in chemical composition enabled scientists to boost the longevity and efficiency of a perovskite solar cell developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

The new formula enabled the solar cell to resist a stability problem that has so far thwarted the commercialization of perovskites. The problem is known as light-induced phase-segregation, which occurs when the alloys that make up the solar cells break down under exposure to continuous light.

Perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells Perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells are contenders for the next-generation photovoltaic technology, with the potential to deliver module efficiency gains at minimal cost. Researchers developed a new triple-halide perovskite alloy that enabled increased power conversion efficiency and photo stability. Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL

“Now that we have shown that we are immune to this short-term, reversible phase-segregation, the next step is to continue to develop stable contact layers and architectures to achieve long-term reliability goals, allowing modules to last in the field for 25 years or more,” said Caleb Boyd, lead author of a newly published paper in Science titled “Triple-halide wide-bandgap perovskites with suppressed phase-segregation for efficient tandems.” Boyd and co-author Jixian Xu are associated with University of Colorado-Boulder Professor Michael McGehee’s research group, which investigates perovskites at NREL.

Additional NREL scientists who contributed to the paper are Axel Palmstrom, Daniel Witter, Bryon Larson, Ryan France, Jérémie Werner, Steven Harvey, Eli Wolf, Maikel van Hest, Joseph Berry, and Joseph Luther.

Perovskite solar cells are typically made using a combination of iodine and bromine, or bromine and chlorine, but the researchers improved upon the formula by including all three types of halides. The research proved the feasibility of alloying the three materials.

Adding chlorine to iodine and bromine created a triple-halide perovskite phase and suppressed the light-induced phase-segregation even at an illumination of 100 suns. What degradation occurred was slight, at less than 4% after 1,000 hours of operation at 60 degrees Celsius. At 85 degrees and after operating for 500 hours, the solar cell lost only about 3% of its initial efficiency.

“The next step is to further demonstrate accelerated stability testing to really prove what might happen in 10 or 20 years in the field,” Boyd said.

The new formula created a solar cell with an efficiency of 20.3%.

Silicon remains the dominant material used in solar cells, but the technology is approaching its theoretical maximum efficiency of 29.1%, with a record 26.7% established to date. But putting perovskites atop a silicon solar cell to create a multijunction solar cell could boost efficiency and bring down the cost of solar electricity. NREL scientists were able to create a tandem perovskite/silicon solar cell with an efficiency of 27%. By itself, the silicon solar cell had an efficiency of about 21%.

DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office funded the research.

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy’s primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for the Energy Department by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.

Featured photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

We publish a number of guest posts from experts in a large variety of fields. This is our contributor account for those special people, organizations, agencies, and companies.

Comments

You May Also Like

Clean Power

Whether or not Minority Leader McConnell is 100% focused on obstructing the Biden agenda, more offshore wind energy jobs are coming to the US.

Clean Power

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and six leading industry organizations have joined forces in developing a national Wind Cybersecurity Consortium. The goal of...

Clean Power

Participants Gained Blue Economy Connections and Real-World Experience in the NREL-Managed Competition

Clean Power

If all goes according to plan, the iconic coal state of West Virginia could lead the eastern US into the sparkling green geothermal energy...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.