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New approach to III-V tandems sets 32.9% efficiency record

A collaboration between the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Australia’s University of New South Wales has yielded a new efficiency record of 32.9% for a tandem cell device utilizing III-V materials. Key to the achievement was a new technique enabling the researchers to take advantage of “quantum wells” in the material that serve to trap charges and enable tuning of the cell bandgap to absorb more of the light spectrum.

Oxford PV retakes tandem cell efficiency record

Perovskite developer Oxford PV has set a new world record for perovskite-silicon tandem cell efficiency at 29.52%, edging out the previous record set less than a year ago by Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin. The new record has been certified by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

New PV installations to reach 158 GW next year, says IHS Markit

Market observer IHS Markit has shared its forecast installation figures for 2021, where they expect a ‘wild ride’ for the PV industry to install 158 GW of new generation capacity. This figure amounts to 34% growth on 2020 installations, driven by completion of delayed projects from this year, as well as a generally increased appetite for PV and renewables around the world.

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Another decade of PERC

A new paper from scientists at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) examines the entire history of PERC technology, from its beginnings in laboratories more than 40 years ago to today, where it represents the majority of all PV cell production. And this story is far from over, as ISE lays out a pathway to efficiencies of 26% as well as use as the bottom cell in a tandem device that it believes will keep PERC technology in mass production to 2030 and beyond.

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Focus on stability as tandem cells approach 30% efficiency

The Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin set a world record for perovskite-silicon tandem cell efficiency last year at 29.15%. The group has delved further into the cell materials, looking to better understand mechanisms behind the impressive efficiencies achieved so far. Their latest work shows that with the current cell design, long term stability at efficiencies up to 32.4% should be possible.

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The weekend read: Big, and then bigger

Throughout this year, a fast-moving story has played out in PV module technology, with the introduction of larger wafers and subsequently larger module formats seeing the industry break into two camps, backing either 182 mm or 210 mm wafers. It remains to be seen whether one or the other will become a new industry standard, and both sizes will likely be plentiful on the market for the next few years at least. pv magazine takes a look at how we got to this point.

Scaling up solid-state batteries

U.S. battery developer Solid Power has begun pilot production of lithium metal all solid-state batteries at its Colorado facility. The company says it has also sent out prototype battery cells for independent evaluation, and expects to begin formal testing to qualify its batteries for integration into electric vehicles by early 2022.

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A closer look at perovskite degradation

Scientists in Japan put perovskite solar cells under the microscope, aiming to observe at the molecular level the degradation mechanisms that can occur during operation. Their findings offer an improved understanding of performance loss in perovskite thin films, as well as several pathways towards mitigation.

Seraphim announces new module production in Vietnam

Chinese tier-1 manufacturer Seraphim announced plans for a new factory in Vietnam. The module assembly facility will have 750 MW total capacity and is expected to serve both local and international demand.

A 26.5% efficient perovskite-silicon tandem cell

Scientists in Switzerland achieved 26.5% efficiency on a perovskite-silicon tandem cell measuring 4cm² and relying on industry-standard screen-printed metallization, further demonstrating the technology’s potential for large-scale production and low-cost electricity generation.

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