“Good luck and good timing are the same thing.” - Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
As the saying exists, Greatcell Italia a wholly owned subsidiary of Greatcell Energy secured €400,000 funding for EU Graphene Flagship Core 3 Project, at the same time that it’s Italian research partner announces that the Perovskite tandem cell efficiency can be increased to 26.3% when doped with graphene. This luck and timing continue to open a new arena for the future of solar energy.
What is the Core 3 Project?
In the milieu of European Union's (EU) ambitious sustainability goals, the Graphene Flagship with a budget of €1 billion represents a new form coordinated and jointly researched on an extraordinary scale by bringing together industrial and academic researchers. The Graphene Flagship is investing in evaluating the sustainability of graphene-perovskite photovoltaics cell to gauge more economical way to utilise solar energy.
On similar line Core 3 Project is a third initiative to incorporate scientific and technological partners to take graphene from a state of raw potential to a point where they can revolutionize multiple industries. This is likely to lead to a new dimension for future technology putting Europe at the heart of the process, generating manifold returns on the investment (ROI) ranging from societal benefits, technological innovation and economic exploitation.
Hence, Greatcell Energy Pty Ltd remains a leader in Perovskite Solar Cell (PSC) technology, believed by many experts to be the Future of Solar Power.
A graphene-doped tandem perovskite cell – Conversion Efficiency Of ~26.3%
In recent years, the solar energy conversion efficiency of perovskite has improved rapidly. It had jumped from 3% in 2006 to more than 24% in 2019. And recently Italian scientists have added a new power to perovskite cell with magical material graphene to reach an efficiency of 26.3%.
The Italian researchers namely, the Tor Vergata University of Rome, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, and Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) have added graphene to the titanium dioxide (TiO2) electron selective layer which is used in a perovskite cell to increase durability and chemical stability of the cell. The two-terminal cell fabricated and optimised separately is mechanically stacked at a pressure of around 1kg/cm.
Briefly, the coupling of two cells resulted in high fill factor of 75.6% in which the perovskite solar cells are used on top in tandem with double-side textured crystalline silicon (c-Si) and silicon heterojunction (Si HJT) bottom cells. This combination has boosted the power conversion efficiency (PCE) to as high as 26.3% in reverse voltage scan mode, and 25.7% in forwarding voltage scan mode whereas in stabilised mode PCE rendered approximately 25.9% for over an active area of 1.43cm².
How are Graphene and Cell Assembly Aiding Perovskite Cell Performance?
The doping of graphene flake in perovskite solar cells enhance the mesoscopic performance i.e. the dimensions range increases from nanoscale to micrometers without changing the optical absorption characteristics of the whole device. Whereas assembly of two terminal cells, perovskite as top cell and silicon as bottom cell reduces the reflective optical losses by establishing an ideal thickness of an indium tin oxide counter electrode onto the hole selective layer.
Well, in short, heterojunction formation accompanied by amorphous films in the back-silicon cell permits the cell tension. And graphene advances the perovskite cell performance.
Hence, traditional silicon solar cell reaching its upper-efficiency limits, Perovskite solar cell is the future of solar power meeting the demand load with its improved efficiency. Further, its lower manufacturing cost may aid in reaching the price parity of solar power with fossil fuel.
EU Flagship project target to utilise the unique property of graphene as discussed above to improve perovskite cell performance which will support EU goal of having a stable, efficient and economic cost of energy.
The advancement in the third-generation solar technology is the future of solar power with improved efficiency meeting the base load demand creating huge potential for Greatcell Energy. It may also provide great opportunity for power sourcing for IoT devices with its ability to absorb range of light spectrum to produce electricity.
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