Technology and R&D

A quantum dot solar cell with 16.6% efficiency

Scientists at Australia’s University of Queensland have set a new world record for a quantum dot solar cell. The group fabricated a 0.1cm² device from perovskite and measured power conversion efficiency at 16.6%. The record has been verified by the United States National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Raising crops in PV facades

An international research group has analyzed the visual impact of PV facades on buildings which include crop cultivation. Architects, PV specialists and farmers were surveyed and the results showed broad acceptance of such projects.

Bridging the gap between battery and supercapacitor

By engineering the structure of a hard carbon electrode, scientists at the CIC energIGUNE research center have created an ‘ultrafast battery’ which has been shown to combine the energy density of a lithium device with the fast discharge times normally associated with supercapacitors.

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A nanoparticle-sensitized solar cell with 8.5% efficiency

The record feat compares to usual figures of 2-3% for such devices. The Taiwanese scientists who developed the cell said it was prepared with the Silar method and is based on a ternary metal sulfide-alloyed semiconductor. They claim performance could be further boosted.

French energy giants EDF and Total bet on artificial intelligence

The fossil fuel companies plus electrical systems business Thales have launched a joint research laboratory in Paris-Saclay to develop AI technologies to meet the needs of critical systems such as energy production facilities.

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Assessing the impact of micro-cracks in solar glass

A Turkish research team has analyzed how big changes in temperature can affect absorbance, light transmittance and reflectivity in two types of solar glass. The scientists demonstrated lower efficiency in solar cells and the glass itself were attributable to a large number of micro-cracks and deformations on the glass surface.

Downsizing silicon carbide inverters

Japanese researchers have investigated the effectiveness of SiC devices in sub-kilowatt applications. A 790g device was tested in a mini PV generator system which included a battery and maximum power point tracker circuit in the same housing. Compared to traditional mini inverters the SiC device showed 3% higher efficiency.

New non-fullerene electron acceptor for 17% efficient organic solar cell

Chinese scientists have developed a cell with a new blade-coating method and BTP-4Cl-12, a kind of acceptor that is a derivative of the Y6 acceptor, which is widely used in organic PV applications. The researchers also claim that the cells can maintain good efficiency levels, even if its surface is lightly expanded.

FuturaSun launches glass-glass mono module

The Italian manufacturer said the product has a 30-year performance warranty and strong resistance to adverse weather. The 330 W panel has a claimed efficiency of 19.78% with FuturaSun reporting the 325 W and 320 W versions have efficiencies of 19.48% and 19.18%, respectively.

Healing the cracks for a more stable perovskite

Scientists in the United States have demonstrated simple methods for ‘healing’ the cracks that form in perovskite solar cells. While it is far from clear how the approach could be applied commercially, the work suggests possibilities for maintaining the performance of perovskite cells in long-term operation.

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