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A breakthrough in photovoltaics?

A breakthrough in photovoltaics?

Young Slovenian researcher Marko Jošt was a key member of the team that developed a new type of highly-efficient solar cell that can achieve over 25 percent conversion efficiency. Most of the solar panels on the market are silicone based and reach a conversion efficiency between 15 and 17 percent.

One of the possible ways to overcome the theoretical limit of the efficiency of silicon solar cells is tandem technology. The new cell developed by Jošt at the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin uses a perskovite-silicon tandem technology as a solution which combines high efficiency with low increase of price. The key element of the cell is a special foil developed by the Institute for Photovoltaics at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Ljubljana.

According to Jošt, the new cell could potentially push efficiency up to 32.5 percent. In addition, the special foil allows for excellent results not only under perpendicularly incident light, but also under diffuse light irradiation. Tandem solar cells with this new foil could therefore also be suitable for incorporation in building-integrated photovoltaics, opening huge new areas for energy generation from large sky scraper facades.

Marko Jošt works as a postdoctoral student at the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin. The team developing the new solar cell was led by Steve Albrecht and consisted of German and Slovenian researchers. An article describing the new technology was published in the Energy and Environmental Science journal, with Jošt as the first credited author.

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