Tandem Solar Cells Could Boost Energy Conversion by 50% in 2021

Oxford PV will commercially launch a perovskite tandem solar cell that is integrated with standard silicon solar cells in mid-2021 and it will dramatically to improve solar cell performance. They will be built into industry-standard solar PV panels, the tandem cells significantly increase power output and provide more affordable clean energy. In 2018, they had a tandem cell with 28% solar conversion efficiency versus about 22% for regular solar cells. Oxford PV believes they can reach over 40% solar conversion efficiency.

A perovskite-on-silicon tandem cell has a theoretical efficiency limit of 43% vs 29% for silicon cells. The 2021 commercial product will likely reach 30% energy conversion efficiency.

Perovskites can be printed using an inkjet printer.

Perovskite could be sprayed or rolled onto flexible surfaces. Semitransparent solar coatings will be wrapped around whole buildings.

Transparent high efficiency, spray-on solar could added all over every car. Windows could generate solar power. Doubling the area of surfaces for generating power and doubling the efficiency would enable four times the energy generation.

Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

11 thoughts on “Tandem Solar Cells Could Boost Energy Conversion by 50% in 2021”

  1. Expect the next good green administration to mandate such tech to the detriment of more productive technology which is less harmful to the economy.
    Should be trials in LA or Phoenix first.
    Blatant boondogglery.

  2. Very interesting. I have the feeling that something very cheap and easy to produce will be first, as the initial cost will be so high for anything, let alone something efficient like we make currently on Earth. Any power will be extremely valuable, so the market looks quite different, and a *camp fire* is better than nothing. Now, esp in Space, we may soon be making the high grade cells for export down to Earth, or Moon. "rare elements like lead or tin." may be more avail in lunar craters than on Earth, we need to see. 0 g , free vacuum and energy help for these sort of things. $$$

  3. Thanx for careful thoughts! We are suddenly in clear need of actually doing something along the lines of powering lunar bases and water extraction at the pole(s). Short power beaming is already being proposed, altho I believe with lasers. If we are thinking of powering Earth too, the money starts to look totally different, in a very advantageous way.

  4. Space-grade solar cells already use triple-layer designs with 32% efficiency:


    If you are using off-planet resources, you can consider silicon, which is very abundant (21% of lunar soil) or thermal cycles (up to 40% efficiency). Perovskites use relatively rare elements like lead or tin.

  5. Go back and reread the article. If the technology allows us to coat everything in sight, we don't need anymore open land or construction work.

  6. Efficiency of solar panels matters because many solar plant costs scale with area.

    Land, grading, foundations, fences, etc.

    The costs of solar energy is driven by a million small components. Increasing efficiency helps with a bunch of them.

  7. If money is no object you probably would not use this type of solar cell anyway as it is only 30% efficient and the best non-concentrating cells are 40% efficient. Most of the weight will be structural materials and cooling (radiative fins, if not active liquid cooling or something of that nature if you have a use for lowgrade heat on a moonbase). I don't see a great weight saving or reason to go with this type of solar PV.

    If you're making the cells on moon you need fairly advanced processing. You can make whatever is cheaper and more stable. Perovskite-only cells might be the low hanging fruit, but you still need to make lots of stuff to have a functioning system. If you're making a permanent base it's an endless laundry list of stuff you need. You need cooling and electrical conductors; that's possibly a whole lot of aluminium. You're going to need to cover the solar cells so the radiation does not degrade them very quickly (how is perovskite with ionizing radiation?); borosilicate glass is ideal, but is there a good boron source? You're going to need not just the aluminium refining and smelting, but deposition, 3D-printing, casting, wire-pulling, winding etc. You're going to need insulation for cables etc. that can withstand those conditions for a long period of time; probably it should be burried under the surface so the UV doesn't destroy whatever type of plastic-like substance you choose. It's a lot of capital, people and power required.

  8. Perovskite has large unsolved problems with stability (in air, moisture etc) and it does not appear to be as easy to solve as "just coat it with something" or it would have been solved long ago.

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