A collaboration of researchers from several institutes in the Netherlands broke the 30% barrier in solar energy absorption by solar cells. The Interesting Engineering he says:
Their achievement will help absorb solar energy around the world and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, a press release said.
To do this, researchers in the Netherlands focused on creating a four-terminal perovskite/silicon junction device. The device with the tandem collectors could make better use of the solar spectrum, with a mix of silicon and perovskite-based solar cells.
While the first solar cell array works well with light in the visible and infrared spectrum, perovskites can use wavelengths in the ultraviolet and visible light while being transparent to infrared light.
With a four-pin tandem device, the top and bottom cells can operate independently, further enhancing the architecture's power efficiency.
The press release said the researchers improved the efficiency of a semi-transparent perovskite cell with an area of 3×3 square mm by up to 19,7%. Underneath these cells, a silicon solar cell, 20x20 sq mm in width, was placed.
The dual device also had an ultra-transparent rear contact that allowed 93% of near-infrared light to reach the bottom of the device.
The silicon device was optimized using a series of tweaks and its performance improved to 10,4%.
Together with the perovskite solar cell, the device delivered a combined power conversion efficiency of 30,1%, making it the best performance achieved so far.