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Tuning out the defects for more powerful perovskite solar cells

Scientists in the UK and Japan used the latest imaging techniques to observe the inner workings of a perovskite solar cell at the scale of a few nanometers. Their findings suggest that a single defect is responsible for both limiting initial performance and causing degradation of the cell. By altering chemical compositions and process parameters, the appearance of this defect can be quickly reduced, and the group is confident that its finding could quickly be applied in large-scale processing as well.

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Gallium doping and solar cell degradation

German scientists have conducted a series of experiments on gallium-doped silicon solar cells to understand the causes of degradation in PV cells and modules treated with gallium rather than boron. They confirmed that the performance losses are caused by a bulk defect in the material, and found that the right combination of light and temperature can “heal” earlier damage and even lead to small improvements in overall cell efficiency.

Quantum well superlattices for a new world record cell efficiency of 39.5%

Scientists in the United States have fabricated a triple-junction solar cell that reached 39.5% efficiency – a world record for any type of cell under one-sun illumination. Though relying on materials and processes that are still too costly for most commercial uses, the concept could soon see actual applications in powering satellites and other space-bound technology.

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Smarter E Products: C&I battery from BYD

Chinese battery manufacturer BYD will this week introduce an expanded portfolio of energy storage systems designed for the commercial and industrial solar markets. At The smarter E, the company will also offer a sneak peak at a new high-voltage storage system expected to be launched later this year.

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Scientists, industry players reveal plans for new LETID testing standard

An international research group has published the details of a two-year project to develop reliable ways to assess light-elevated temperature-induced degradation in operational PV modules.

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Atomic layer deposition tool for perovskite cell pilot line

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.

EPFL achieves 29.2% efficiency for tandem solar cell with fully textured silicon

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.

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Electron blocking for 18.5%-efficient carbon-electrode perovskite solar cell

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.

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The weekend read: Plans for a fully fledged European PV supply chain

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.

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Quantum adjustments for 23.9%-efficient inverted perovskite solar cell

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.

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