Imec’s perovskite-based PV module reaches 12.4% efficiency

Imec, a Belgium-based research center of nano-electronics, and the Solliance consortium, an international R&D organization from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany working in thin film solar PV energy, announced that their 4x4cm² perovskite module has reached a conversion efficiency of 12.4%. This improves the previous record of 11.3%, which was also set be the two entities in July 2015.

The result was confirmed by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE.

Imec claims that the module has a very high aperture area efficiency and, at the same time, a high operational device stability. The panel consists of eight solar cells connected in series by using a low area loss interconnection technology based on laser and mechanical patterning. Thanks to this technology, Imec said, around 90% of the module’s designated illumination area of 16cm2 is used to produce power.

“In a few years’ time,” said Tom Aernouts, Solliance program manager and group leader for thin-film photovoltaics at Imec, “we have made rapid progress not only on conversion efficiencies for single cells but are now also consolidating this at module level for this type of thin-film photovoltaics. Looking ahead, within Solliance we’ve set an aggressive roadmap for larger-area low cost processing and long-term stability that will advance this technology beyond the lab.”

Imec and Solliance said that this module will eventually be suitable for seamless integration in customized PV systems.

Incremental power conversion efficiencies over the past few years have been the hallmark of perovskite development, with further improvements required to make thin-film perovskite PV applications a viable option at large scale for the solar industry.

Imec has itself stated that it is targeting conversion efficiencies in the region of 20% for perovskite thin film PV cells, and so still has a way to go before the technology can be scalable for industrial applications such as building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).