• A team of researchers have launched a project called Capitano under which they plan to explore the potential of perovskite and CIGS tandem solar cells to report efficiency of more than 30%
  • The three-year project will have KIT and ZSW researchers develop the technology to be evaluated by NICE Solar Energy on an industrial scale
  • Costs can reduce significantly by pairing perovskite with CIGS technology which will also ehelp help achieve high efficiency, according to the team

Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has launched a new project called Capitano  with project partners Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and CIGS solar module maker NICE Solar Energy to develop perovskite tandem cells that can achieve efficiency levels of over 30%.   

The researchers plan to use thin-film solar modules based on perovskite semiconductors with CIGS semiconductors to create tandem solar cells with KIT developing new materials and processes as well as protoypes for the production of semitransparent perovskite solar cells and solar modules with an adapted absorption spectrum, high efficiency and high transparency. The project will focus on scalable production methods such as slot casting or deposition from the gas phase in vacuum.

ZSW will develop CIGS modules with adaption absorption spectrum and optimized surface to create perovskite coating with optimized intermediate layers and adapted transparent contact layers. Finally, the tandem solar modules will be evaluated by industrial partner NICE for production on an industrial scale and to evaluate the costs on its CIGS innovation line for which it assumes an annual production capacity of 300 MW.

“We are developing the next generation of high-efficiency thin-film tandem solar modules with an efficiency above 30%. Promising fields of application are, for example, highly efficient solar modules for building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) solutions,” said KIT Junior Research Group Leader, Ulrich W. Paetzold.

The team believes bringing together perovskite with CIGS technology can help bring down costs significantly while also achieving high efficiencies.

Financially supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy with €5.2 million ($5.75 million), the project started in July 2019 and will run for 3 years.

In September 2018, Belgian research institute Imec reported 24.6% power conversion efficiency for perovskite CIGS tandem cell (see Higher Efficiency For Imec’s nPERT & Tandem CIGS Cell).

KIT is also working with nickle oxide layers to increase power conversion efficiency for perovskite PV cells, it shared in July 2019 (see German Researchers Using NiOX To Improve Cell Efficiency).