Oxford PV, an Oxford University spin-off company, announced a new record efficiency of 29.52% for its perovskite silicon tandem solar cell. This record efficiency has been certified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the United States.
The company said conventional silicon solar cells that are utilized on millions of households globally have an average conversion efficiency of 15-20% and a maximum conversion efficiency of around 26%.
To develop the tandem solar cell, the researchers at Oxford PV utilized the technology that involves coating a thin film of perovskite material on ordinary silicon solar cells to better use photons across the solar spectrum.
The synthetic perovskite material can completely replace silicon as it is sustainable and affordable. Moreover, 35 kilograms of perovskite materials can produce the same amount of energy as seven tons of silicon, Oxford PV said in a press release.
The company said it has a clear roadmap to push the technology beyond 30% of conversion efficiency. It is also expected to begin the sale of its next-generation solar cell to the public in 2022. It designed the initial products for residential rooftops, which would produce 20% more energy from a similar number of solar cells.
“Our solar cells and modules not only demonstrate record efficiency but have passed externally measured industry-standard reliability tests from the International Electrotechnical Commission,” said Chris Case, Chief Technology Officer of Oxford PV.
According to Oxford PV, solar energy is anticipated to provide 50% of global power generation by 2050 and will play a significant role in the decarbonization of the global energy supply.
In August 2020, researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE had announced a new record efficiency of 25.9% for the III-V/Si tandem solar cell grown directly on silicon.
Mercom had earlier reported that scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin developed tandem cells that combine two different semiconductors and convert other light spectrum parts into electrical energy. That perovskite CIGS tandem cell had achieved a record efficiency of 24.16%.
Image credit: Oxford PV