• For perovskites, ANU researchers have announced achieving power conversion efficiency of 21.6%
  • They used a novel nanostructured material for the cell to produce both high voltage and high current
  • CSIRO Photovoltaics Performance Lab has independently verified the claims of the team

The research team of Dr Jun Peng and Associate Professor Thomas While from the Australian National University (ANU) College of Engineering and Computer Science have announced a 21.6% power conversion efficiency for perovskite solar cells, claiming this is the highest ever achieved for this category of cells above a certain size.

This 21.6% efficiency is higher than 17% to 18% being generated by typical rooftop solar cells, they said. The world record lab cell (1.1 cm2) for Perovskite cells has been held by KRIC at 20.9%. An even higher efficient cell though at a smaller size (0.7 cm2) was reached by ISCAS Beijing at 23.7%.

To achieve these results, the Australian team developed a novel nanostructured material for the cell to produce both high voltage and high current. Their findings have been independently verified by the CSIRO Photovoltaics Performance Lab.

Funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the study found that perovskite solar cells can produce 216 W of electrical power per m2.

“When they’re very small it’s difficult to measure them accurately, and it’s not necessarily representative of what would happen if you scaled up,” said White. “So our result is the highest on a scale that many consider the minimum – 1 cm2.”

He explained that ultimately the aim is to combine perovskites with silicon in a tandem solar cell which can result in higher efficiencies altogether. “To be able to make a really good tandem solar cell you’ve got to have both of your cells operating as efficiently as possible. Because silicon can’t get much better, we’ve been focusing on the perovskite half,” explained White.

Previously in December 2018, ANU researchers along with the California Institute of Technology achieved 24% conversion efficiency for tandem cells using silicon and perovskite without an interlayer (see Tandem Cells Without Interlayer). The world record is being held by Oxford PV at 28% for a 1cm2 Si/Perovskite tandem cell.

In July 2019, researchers at Saudi Arabia’s KAUST reported about reaching 21.09% efficiency for perovskite single-crystal solar cells using single-crystal films (see 21.09% Efficiency For Perovskite Solar Cells).