Stanford Increases Solar Cell Production Rates by Four Times and Up to Ten Times Lower Cost

Using rapid-spray plasma processing, the Stanford team was able to produce 40 feet (12 meters) of perovskite film per minute – about four times faster than it takes to manufacture a silicon cell.

“We achieved the highest throughput of any solar technology,” Rolston said. “You can imagine large panels of glass placed on rollers and continuously producing layers of perovskite at speeds never accomplished before.”

The new perovskite cells achieved a power conversion efficiency of 18 percent.

“Conventional processing requires you to bake the perovskite solution for about half an hour,” Rolston said. “Our innovation is to use a plasma high-energy source to rapidly convert liquid perovskite into a thin-film solar cell in a single step.”

They estimate r perovskite modules can be manufactured for about 25 cents per square foot – far less than the $2.50 or so per square foot needed to produce a typical silicon module.

Conventional silicon modules produce electricity at a cost of about 5 cents per kilowatt-hour. If the new solar cells can last for 30 years this will bring the cost down to 2 cents per kilowatt-hour and an unsubsidized price competitive with natural gas power.

Stanford scientists demonstrate a robotic device that manufactures perovskite solar cells at a rate of 40 feet per minute. The record-fast processor uses two nozzles to make thin films of photovoltaic perovskite. One nozzle spray-coats a chemical solution onto a pane of glass, while the other releases a burst of highly reactive ionized gas or plasma. The patented device was invented by Prof. Reinhold Dauskardt and his Stanford Engineering colleagues.

Joule – Rapid Open-Air Fabrication of Perovskite Solar Modules

• Rapid and scalable open-air spray coating of large-area perovskite solar modules
• A 12 m/min continuous in-line production speed without any perovskite post-annealing
• Single-source low-cost fiber laser scribing technique used for monolithic integration
• Cost model for manufacturing demonstrates lowest cost of any solar technology

We report on the open-air fabrication of perovskite solar modules with key advances, including scalable large-area spray deposition, new monolithic integration scribing techniques, advanced photoluminescence characterization, and reproducible high-throughput manufacturability. Perovskite deposition with linear speeds of 12 m/min without post-annealing is demonstrated, with improved device performance, luminescent yield, and greater than 10× carrier lifetimes. Manufacturability using monolithic integration of series-connected modules is accomplished with a new indirect fiber laser ablation scribing method. A stable cell and module power output of 18.0% and 15.5%. A comprehensive supporting technoeconomic analysis details the entire in-line manufacturing process from the glass substrate to the junction box of the encapsulated module. The module manufacturing cost, balance of system costs, and levelized cost of energy for a range of module efficiencies and lifetimes provide insights for the necessary tool speeds, efficiencies, and lifetimes for utility-scale energy generation.

SOURCES- Stanford, Joule
Written By Brian Wang,