Mass-Printing Highly Efficient and Stable Solar Cells

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Scientists from the City University of Hong Kong developed perovskite solar cells that are highly efficient, stable, and printable, expected to help in achieving carbon neutrality and promote sustainable development.

According to Techxplore, perovskite photovoltaics can absorb energy even under weak indoor light and have mechanical flexibility, and be integrated and applied in different scenarios, from large buildings and farms to various components of the Internet of Things.

These solar cells can be mass-produced like printing a newspaper, with a daily output of up to 1,000 solar panels. Their flexible, semi-transparent characteristics mean they can also be made into light-absorbing glass windows and create “urban solar farms” in cities with many high-rise buildings.

The team of scientists reportedly demonstrated an effective strategy to enhance the long-term stability of perovskite-organic tandem solar cells that can retain over 90% of their initial Power Conversion Efficiency (PCE) after 500 hours of operation. While many scientists struggled to create perovskites, the research team addressed these issues with creative material science solutions, designing a series of organic redox mediators with appropriate chemical potentials to selectively reduce iodine and oxidize metals. The team reported that the panels retained 92% of their efficiency after 500 hours of continuous operation at 45°C, as well as good operational stability in humid air.

The first author of the paper, Dr. Wu Shengfan, said this team was the first to propose the use of redox and chemical synthesis methods to fundamentally solve the problem, effectively ensuring the stability of perovskite solar cells. He adds that in the future, the team plans to set up a pilot production line with an annual output of 25 megawatts in Hong Kong and launch products for industry investors to test applications.

Start-up company HKTech Solar Limited will be the one to turn the results of the research into practical applications.