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article imageSaule Technologies has breakthrough in perovskite solar cell

By Karen Graham     Sep 18, 2017 in Science
Nanotechnology, a science that focuses on understanding materials on an atomic scale, is being utilized to print solar panels using perovskite crystals, a cheap and highly sensitive mineral that was first found in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1839.
In the past few months, technological improvements have made it possible to increase the power conversion efficiency of perovskite solar cells to over 22 percent, making them comparable to silicon. And with researchers finding a way to overcome perovskite's instability when in contact with water or even humidity, it was only a matter of time before a perovskite photovoltaic solar cell was good enough to meet market requirements.
The Polish company, Saule Technologies is presenting a prototype and will answer questions regarding its flexible perovskite photovoltaic modules developed in the company's laboratories at the 3rd International Conference on Perovskite Solar Cells and Optoelectronics (PSCO-2017) that began today and will go through September 20 in Oxford, UK.
Those attending the PSCO Conference will be shown an operating module printed on ultra-thin PET foil. Samples available for public viewing will present the stability of the module and underwater operation for the first time.
Olga Malinkiewicz  Saule Technologies co-founder and CTO  recipient of the European Commission award...
Olga Malinkiewicz, Saule Technologies co-founder and CTO, recipient of the European Commission award Photonics21, and MIT Technology Review’s Innovator of the Year.
Saule Technologies
Olga Malinkiewicz, Ph.D., CTO and co-founder at Saule Technologies has this to say about the technology: "Obtaining the satisfactory stability of our modules is another, and important milestone. We achieved continuous, undisturbed operation of a module which may be fully immersed in water."
Saule Technologies has not only made a breakthrough in its perovskite module achieving stability in water, but they have also succeeded in pioneering the application of ink-jet printing for the fabrication of free-form perovskite solar modules. This means the shapes and areas covered by each layer can be customized according to the requirements.
The ink-jet printing process has little waste and results in a cost-competitive and versatile solar energy technology. Artur Kupczunas, the co-CEO, and co-founder at Saule Technologies said achieving stability in water was very crucial especially for the construction industry.
Saule Technologies delivers revolutionary solar panels in the form of low-cost flexible and lightwei...
Saule Technologies delivers revolutionary solar panels in the form of low-cost flexible and lightweight foil.
Saule Technologies
Explaining that the modules have to work under various atmospheric conditions, he added, "In previous months we proved that our modules may harvest light in a wide range of intensities, now we are presenting a module which does that also under water."
Saule Technologies began as a start-up in 2014, thanks to some help from the National Centre for Research and Development, creating one of the most advanced optoelectronic laboratories in Europe. At first, Saule developed an independent lab-scale production line. Now, its 20 scientists and engineers are working on upscaling production to industry level.
"Saule Technologies is currently the beneficiary of three projects co-financed with a total of nearly PLN 45 million, with a total value of PLN 61 million," said engineer Magdalena Garlińska, coordinator of the National Center for Research and Development.
The prototype large-scale production line capable of fabricating solar modules with a nominal power output of 100W/m2 is expected to be operational in fall of 2018.
More about perovskite, solar cell, Photovoltaic, inkjet printing, Nanotechnology
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