Creating a better low-cost solar cell

Solar cells made with the mineral perovskite are very attractive as a means of producing green energy, largely because of their low cost. An EU-funded project set out to optimise these potentially revolutionary components to help bring renewable energy to a broader market.

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Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czechia
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia


 

Published: 8 May 2019  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
EnergyRenewable energy sources
Industrial research
Innovation
Research policyHorizon 2020
SMEs
Countries involved in the project described in the article
France  |  Germany  |  Poland  |  Portugal  |  Switzerland  |  United Kingdom
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Creating a better low-cost solar cell

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© Eaknarin #175556195, 2019 source: stock.adobe.com

Solar energy has a key role to play as Europe and rest of the world transition towards a more sustainable, cleaner and renewable energy supply. Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) show great promise for harnessing that energy, although their design still needs to be refined.

The EU-funded GOTSOLAR project focused on better understanding and optimising the performance of PSCs, thereby helping to realise their full market potential.

Perovskite is applied over a glass substrate in a layer 350-400 nm thick which absorbs most of the sunlight converting it into electricity. This layer can display different colours, depending on its composition, but for the most efficient devices it is normally brown/black.

The resulting solar cells are low cost, both in the materials needed and because the deposition process used in their production – slot-die coating technology which uses a blade to apply the perovskite solution – is very simple and cheap.

The GOTSOLAR team set out to identify the best combination of materials and cell architectures, producing and testing a number of PSC variants, with the aim of maximising their energy-delivering performance and stability. The project also developed a unique laser-assisted glass-encapsulation system, which enables unprecedented stable and leak-free devices.

For research purposes, GOTSOLAR produced PSCs in relatively small quantities, but the project team also looked at how best to scale up the manufacturing process once optimal cell design has been achieved.

The project’s ultimate goal was to produce a high-performance solar cell that will help to accelerate the deployment of solar cells across Europe, bringing affordable renewable energy to a mass market that has so far remained beyond the reach of conventional silicon-based solar cells.

Project details

  • Project acronym: GOTSOLAR
  • Participants: Portugal (Coordinator), Switzerland, UK, Poland, France, Germany
  • Project N°: 687008
  • Total costs: € 2 993 403
  • EU contribution: € 2 993 403
  • Duration: January 2016 to December 2018

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