- Princeton University has developed a perovskite solar cell that can have a commercially long life of around 30 years
- The team used an ultra-thin 2D Cs2PbI2Cl2 capping layer made up of cupric salt and other substances
- The ultra-thin layer helped extend the above 80% peak efficiency despite being exposed to accelerated aging
Researchers with the Princeton University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science claim to have developed the world’s ‘1st’ perovskite solar cell with a ‘commercially viable lifetime’ of around 30 years when it can perform above industry standards.
While they further add that this is the 1st of its kind to rival the performance of silicon-based solar cells, lifetimes for silicon solar cells are much longer. For glass-glass modules, a 30-year performance warranty is standard, and recently the first 40-year warranty was introduced (see IBC Solar Panels With Impressive 40-Year Warranty).
However, 30 years lifetime for Perovskite solar cells would be a big thing. The team used various permutations and combinations, layering different materials with an ultra-thin 2D Cs2PbI2Cl2 capping layer between the absorbing perovskite layer and a charge carrying layer. The latter was made up of cupric salt and other substances and is only a few atoms thick.
After nearly half a year of continuous working, one of the devices was running near its peak efficiency, ‘basically zero drop’. Power conversion efficiency of the all-inorganic perovskite solar cell increased from 14.9% to 17.4%.
They put the said combination under a new testing method whereby the aging process was accelerated by illuminating the device and blasting it with heat at varying degrees, to be able to see the degradation.
“The results showed a device that would perform above 80% of its peak efficiency under continuous illumination for at least five years at an average temperature of 95° F,” reads the research.
Stressing the importance of accelerated aging tests and the need for more, one of the research team members Lynn Loo stated, “We might have the record today, but someone else is going to come along with a better record tomorrow. The really exciting thing is that we now have a way to test these devices and know how they will perform in the long term.”
Due to their high efficiencies and the ability to be tuned to suit specific applications, perovskites are an interesting subject, however their durability has been the worrying point. Compared to silicon that needs be prepared at around 3,0000 F, perovskites can be manufactured at room temperature, thus saving electricity costs.
According to Senior Fellow at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), “Because scientists can tune perovskite properties easily and broadly, they allow disparate platforms to work smoothly together. That could be key in wedding silicon with emerging platforms such as thin-film and organic photovoltaics, which have also made great progress in recent years.”
The paper with the title Accelerated aging of all-inorganic, interface-stabilized perovskite solar cells is now published in scientific journal Science Daily.
Recently, NREL reported 25.5% efficiency for a tin-lead perovskite tandem solar cell that retained 80% maximum efficiency after more than 62 days under accelerated aging lab test (see 25.5% Efficiency For Perovskite Tandem Cell).