Scientists from Hasselt University (Belgium), imec, VITO, EnergyVille and international partners within the PERCISTAND consortium have become the first to achieve an energy efficiency of 25% with a thin-film solar cell. This advancement shows that thin-film solar can generate as much energy as a traditional silicon solar cell.
“We’ve achieved an energy efficiency of 25% for the first time, which is just as much energy as a traditional solar cell can generate on a day-to-day basis. And we haven’t yet reached the upper limit of our thin-film solar cells,” said Prof. Bart Vermang, coordinator with PERCISTAND.
The PERCISTAND research project has been awarded 5 million euros of funding from the European Horizon 2020 programme under grant agreement No 850937. The consortium consists of 12 international partners: Hasselt University, imec, VITO, TNO, Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Empa Switzerland, National Centre for Scientific Research – Institute PV France (CNRS-IPVF), Solar Switzerland, NICE Solar Energy, Australian National University, National Renewable Energy Laboratory USA. Imec’s R&D on thin-film photovoltaic solar energy (TFPV) is part of Solliance, a partnership of R&D organizations from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
It was not immediately known what types of thin-film solar cells were used in this test, although supporting image files have “perovskite” and “CIGS” in the descriptions. In 2016, members involved with PERCISTAND used a stack of perovskite and copper/indium/gallium/selenide (CIGS) thin-film to reach 17.8% efficiency on a 3.76-cm2 module. This 25% efficiency announcement results in solar cells approximately 1 cm2.
Vermang expects that perovskite/CIGS panels with 25% efficiency to be available on the market within eight years.