Dutch equipment supplier SALD has announced delivery of a spatial atomic layer deposition system to an unnamed customer in the United States. The tool will be used in the pilot-scale production of perovskite solar cells. While it has not disclosed the exact function of the tool within the pilot project, it said it will be used to deposit thin coatings to protect cells from damage in later manufacturing stages, and ensure their longer-term stability.
Scientists in Switzerland made significant progress with an approach to perovskite-silicon tandem cell design that they say could eventually be integrated into existing silicon PV manufacturing. They have announced the achievement of a 29.2% cell efficiency – not far from the overall record for tandem cells, and verified by Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE.
Scientists in Germany and Switzerland have developed a perovskite solar cell with a carbon electrode that achieved 18.5% efficiency. It also retained 82% of this after 500 hours of continuous illumination. While a long way behind what has been achieved with other perovskite solar devices, the cell is produced via all low-temperature processes that could likely be scaled into low-cost, large-scale manufacturing – making the approach one worth pursuing further.
While Europe was previously a leader in the manufacturing of solar cells and modules, the plans falling into place this year already represent a scale never before seen on the continent. And they’ll need that scale if Europe is to meet expected demand for new solar over the coming decades, without relying heavily on imported products and components. Many of the technologies at the center of these plans are brand new as well; pv magazine looks at a few of the innovators planning to scale up alongside more mainstream players, and how these fit into plans for a fully fledged European PV supply chain.
Scientists in Canada fabricated a perovskite solar cell based on an inverted structure that achieved 23.9% efficiency, and maintained 92% of its initial performance after 500 hours of accelerated aging tests. By carefully controlling the thickness of the perovskite layer, the group was also able to gain control of “quantum mechanics” properties such as the movement of electrons within the layer and the wavelengths of light absorbed.
UK-based analyst Exawatt and Germany’s Nexwafe published a white paper this week that takes a close look at the current state of PV manufacturing worldwide, and how Nexwafe’s innovative wafer production tech might fit into it. They said that if the potential of its Epiwafer can be realized, the PV industry may yet see “another revolution in wafer manufacturing.”
This week saw more than 300 scientists and PV experts converge in Konstanz, Germany for discussion of the latest development in PV cell technology, and for many the first chance for a face-to-face meeting in quite some time. pv magazine reports from the SiliconPV conference, where the PV research community revealed a strong focus on eliminating or optimizing the use of critical materials like silver and indium from cell production, alongside a wealth of improvements in efficiency and longevity that is still possible for silicon PV technology.
This week sees new technoeconomic analysis published on different aspects/materials for heterojunction: Important to consider as Europe in particular looks to be betting big on this technology for its manufacturing comeback. And a new report from NREL in the United States examines progress in degradation and durability to increase module lifetimes.
This week has seen NASA announce the completion of a new folding array set to power a mission deep into our solar system, while scientists continue to work on new applications to take such explorations even further from the sun. New measurements also promise routes to higher efficiency in cadmium-telluride PV, and details emerge of one of thinnest solar cells seen so far.
The International Energy Agency today published a 10-point plan for Europe to reduce its reliance on natural gas imported from Russia. The plan would see Russian gas imports to EU member states reduced by one third within a year, and notes that further reductions within this timeframe would come with significant tradeoffs, likely to impact both energy prices and Europe’s Green Deal. The plan was presented by Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, in a virtual press conference held earlier today.
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