Scaled perovskite solar modules pass three critical stability tests.

Eindhoven (Netherlands), Genk (Belgium) January 23, 2020 – Solliance partners TNO, imec and the Eindhoven University of Technology, demonstrated encapsulated perovskite solar modules fabricated using industrial processes that withstand three established lifetime tests, i.e. the light soak test, the damp-heat test and the thermal cycling test. It is for the first time this milestone is passed with scaled perovskite solar modules prepared by research organizations. 

Perovskite solar cells and modules, are nowadays widely acknowledged for their high efficiency values of up to 25.2% for the current latest record lab solar cell. Perovskite solar cells and modules combine high efficiency with low cost processability and are based on low cost and abundant materials. Furthermore, perovskite solar modules can be either rigid or flexible as well as opaque or semi-transparent. This allows a wide range of applications. 

One can think of perovskite modules integrated in windows, roof tiles, facades, roads, noise barriers, car roofs – it is envisioned that these perovskite solar modules can be seamlessly integrated in an aesthetical manner with high social acceptance on any surface which receives light. Additionally, tandem solar modules consisting of a semitransparent perovskite module stacked on top of a conventional CIGS or silicon solar module can boost the overall efficiency to new record values. 

The versatility of perovskite solar modules has generated a lot of interest in this novel solar energy technology. However, concerns have been raised about the stability of perovskite solar modules since the early devices, reported a decade ago, were only stable for minutes. By passing three tortuous aging tests, Solliance and its industrial partners take a major step towards commercialization of this novel solar technology. This will have a major impact on how solar energy can be applied. 

The perovskite modules were prepared on 6x6 inch2 glass substrates using industrial processes (sputter coating, slot die coating, atomic layer deposition and laser based interconnection) and glass/glass encapsulated. The aperture area of these modules is 100 cm2. The initial performance of the modules is above 10% (aperture area efficiency). 

The applied stress tests include 1000 hours continuous illumination at an intensity equal to one sun (light soak test); 1000 hours exposure to a high humidity (relative humidity of 85 %) combined with exposure to a temperature of 85 oC (damp-heat test); 50 thermal cycles from -40 oC to 85 oC (thermal cycling test). 

During the light soak test the performance increased in the first 100 hours after which the performance stabilized. After the damp-heat test the perovskite module performance retained 95% of its initial performance, thus within the restricted efficiency loss limit to achieve a successful damp-heat test. The thermal cycling test did not impose any efficiency loss, indicating the excellent stability of the processed modules and the encapsulation strategy to withstand these harsh conditions. These encouraging results puts the perovskite thin film photovoltaic technology one step closer to commercialization, and puts Solliance in a leading position to achieve this target. 

Sjoerd Veenstra
Program manager perovskite solar cells
Hanne Degans
press communications manager - imec
  • About Solliance Solar Research

    Solliance is public-private partnership of companies, R&D institutes and universities from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, working in thin film photovoltaic solar energy and led by imec and TNO. In order to strengthen the region’s position as a world player in PV, Solliance is creating the required synergy by consolidating and coordinating the activities of 250 researchers in industry, at research institutes and universities. 

    Various state-of-the-art laboratories and pilot production lines are jointly used for dedicated research programs which are executed in close cooperation with the solar business community. 

    Solliance offers participation in its research programs and opens up its lab facilities to new entrants, either from industry or in research. On the basis of clear Intellectual Property (IP) agreements, each industrial partner can participate in this research effort, or alternatively, hire equipment and experts to further develop its own technology.

    About imec

    Imec is the world-leading research and innovation hub in nano-electronics, energy and digital technologies. The combination of our widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology and profound software and ICT expertise is what makes us unique. By leveraging our world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries, we create groundbreaking innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, and energy. 

    As a trusted partner for companies, start-ups and universities we bring together close to 3,500 brilliant minds from over 70 nationalities. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and also has distributed R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, and offices in India and Japan. In 2015, imec's revenue (P&L) totaled 415 million euro and of iMinds which is integrated in imec as of September 21, 2016 52 million euro. Further information on imec can be found at www.imec.be 

    Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a "stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.) and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.) and imec India (Imec India Private Limited), imec Florida (IMEC USA nanoelectronics design center). 

    Imec is also a partner in EnergyVille (www.energyville.be), an association of the Flemish research centers KU Leuven, VITO, imec and UHasselt in the field of sustainable energy and intelligent energy systems. 

    About TNO 

    TNO is an independent research organization of the Netherlands and connects people and knowledge to create innovations that boost the competitive strength of industry and the well-being of society in a sustainable way. This is our mission and it is what drives us, the over 3,200 professionals at TNO, in our work every day. We believe in the joint creation of economic and social value and we work in collaboration with partners and focus on different domains: 

    • • Buildings, Infrastructure & Maritime : 'Robust constructions, sustainable use' 
    • • The Circular Economy and the Environment: 'Directing and accelerating sustainability' 
    • • Defense, Safety and Security: ‘We’re putting our knowledge and technology to work for safety and security’ 
    • • Energy: ‘Faster towards a sustainable energy supply' 
    • • Healthy living: ‘Focusing on participation, not on the disease’ 
    • • Industry: ‘Innovating for employment, welfare and well-being’ 
    • • Information & Communication Technology: 'Interpreting and accelerating digital transformation' 
    • • Strategic Analysis & Policy: 'Turning complex issues into concrete innovations' 
    • • Traffic and Transport: 'Helping to create live able, sustainable cities' 

    Innovation with purpose is what TNO stands for. We develop knowledge not for its own sake, but for practical application. 

    About Eindhoven University of Technology 

    TU/e profiles itself as a leading, international university specialized in engineering science & technology, with major research activities in the field of solar energy. Within the field of hybrid perovskite solar cells and in collaboration with Solliance, research is carried out at the departments of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry (Prof. R.A.J. Janssen) and Applied Physics (Prof. M. Creatore). The research encompasses the synthesis and characterization of hybrid perovskite solar cells as well as interface engineering by atomic layer deposition.

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