Scientists from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) have planned a comprehensive road-map for bringing perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells into the commercial market, marking a significant stride toward accessible and sustainable energy. Led by Professor Stefaan De Wolf and his team at the KAUST Solar Center, this breakthrough aligns seamlessly with Saudi Arabia’s solar energy objectives.
The technology efficiently integrates perovskite’s effective light absorption capabilities with silicon’s stability, achieving record-breaking power conversion efficiency. As per reports, five global records were established in 2023, showcasing rapid advancements in this field.
The road-map emphasizes the crucial transition from laboratory success to practical application, underscoring the need for testing in diverse environmental conditions and assessing long-term stability through accelerated aging tests. These measures play a pivotal role in establishing competitive pricing and warranties.
The road-map proposes innovative manufacturing paradigms with a focus on cost reduction and safety to address challenges in the current production processes, such as high material costs and the use of potentially hazardous chemicals.
Professor De Wolf hoped that such tandem cells will have the market value exceeding $10 billion within the next decade, highlighting KAUST’s leading role in this energy revolution and its commitment to providing universally accessible clean energy.
It may be noted that King Saud University operates a Center for Sustainable Energy Technologies dedicated to solar energy research. The Solar PV group focuses on developing new materials for solar PV applications and enhancing the performance of existing materials. Additionally, the Solar Thermal Group utilizes solar thermal energy for power generation, desalination, and other applications, spanning from high-temperature concentrating technologies to novel point focus Fresnel technology with potential for high efficiency, low cost, and local manufacturing.
The KAUST Solar Center, another prominent research facility in Saudi Arabia, concentrates on advancing science and technology in solar energy conversion. Its expertise lies in photovoltaic applications based on organic, hybrid, and perovskite materials.