Recently, the concept of perovskite batteries has attracted attention. As TOPCon, HJT, IBC and other technologies gradually mature and approach the theoretical limit of their photoelectric conversion efficiency, the industry begins to look for a new generation of solar energy technologies. Perovskite solar cell is given high hopes. Its laboratory photoelectric conversion efficiency has grown rapidly, and the experimental conversion efficiency of tandem cells has surpassed silicon-based solar technology.
1. Introduction of perovskite solar cell
Perovskite solar cell is a new generation of solar technology. Perovskite compounds can be tuned to respond to different colors in the solar spectrum by changing materials, and have great potential in photovoltaic industry applications. In 2012, researchers used lead halide perovskites as light-absorbing layers for the first time to create stable thin-film cells with photoelectric conversion efficiencies exceeding 10 percent. The structure of perovskite thin-film cells is slightly different from the classical structure of crystalline silicon cells.
Perovskite cells can be fabricated using conventional n-i-p or p-i-n structures, with a perovskite absorber layer sandwiched between a hole transport layer (HTL) and an electron transport layer (ETL), followed by a glass covering the transparent layer. The most widespread technique today is one-step deposition, but there are also different fabrication methods using two-step deposition, vapor-assisted or thermal vapor deposition.
Perovskite solar cell is expected to become a strong competitor to crystalline silicon cells in the future. In small-area laboratory equipment, the conversion efficiency of perovskite has increased rapidly in the past five years, surpassing almost all thin-film technologies (except for III-V technology). According to the relevant data, as of January 26, 2022, the efficiency of single-junction perovskite devices was recorded at 25.7%, and the efficiency of tandem perovskite-silicon devices was recorded at 29.8%.
2. What are the advantages of perovskite solar cell?
Compared with traditional crystalline silicon cells and other types of thin-film cells, perovskite solar cell has more potential for development, and the main advantages are high conversion rate improvement rate and low cost. On the one hand, the conversion rate of perovskite batteries is still improving, and the growth slope is significantly higher than that of other types of thin-film batteries. On the one hand, the conversion rate of perovskite batteries is still improving, and the growth slope is significantly higher than that of other types of thin-film batteries.
In terms of cell conversion efficiency, according to data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the United States in July 2022, EPFL's perovskite/silicon tandem cell has a maximum conversion efficiency of 31.3%. The highest conversion efficiency of HZB's perovskite/copper indium gallium selenide tandem cell reaches 24.2%. UNIST's single-junction perovskite cell achieves a maximum conversion efficiency of 25.7%. It can be seen that the conversion efficiency of both single-junction and tandem cells is high, especially the perovskite/silicon tandem cell has the highest conversion efficiency.
When the first perovskite cell was produced in 2009, its conversion efficiency was only 3.8%. In just twelve years, its laboratory conversion efficiency reached more than 30%, which is close to the level of crystalline silicon cells. Behind this development speed, thanks to the far stronger light absorption properties of perovskite materials than crystalline silicon, the extremely low energy loss in the energy conversion process is also related to its wide spectral coverage. In terms of conversion rate, the progress of perovskite cells is far superior to that of thin-film cells such as cadmium telluride and copper indium gallium selenide.
Perovskite batteries, on the other hand, have the advantage of low cost. One of the constraints of thin film battery is the cost. For example, gallium arsenide thin film battery is too expensive and the process of civilian application has almost stalled. However, perovskite battery is relatively cheap because of its abundant raw materials and the preparation of precursor solution does not involve any complex process. According to data released by three companies including Microquanta, GCL Nano, and Oxford PV, the production cost of its perovskite cells is below US$0.4/W, and after expanding to a GW-level production line, the cost can be reduced to US$0.1/W or less.
Compared with commercialized monocrystalline silicon modules, the optimal internal production cost of monocrystalline silicon modules from vertically integrated manufacturers is currently about 0.21-0.22 USD /W. Perovskite cells have a cost advantage over monocrystalline silicon cells in terms of lower production cost data. Due to the advantages of high conversion rate and low cost, perovskite cells are suitable for scenarios such as large-scale power stations.
At the same time, because of its thin, flexible and customizable characteristics, once the key technical problems are broken through, it is expected to be widely used in various scenarios such as photovoltaic building integration, electronic consumer products, sensors, and fabrics in the future. Perovskites and their tandem cells have the potential to replace and complement crystalline silicon products and gain considerable market share.
3. Perovskite solar cell related companies and opportunities
The application scenarios of perovskite are more extensive than the crystalline silicon route, and it may become the mainstream material in the field of BIPV and electric vehicle roof power generation in the future. It is expected that the penetration rate of BIPV will gradually increase in 22-25 years. Chinese companies lead the world in both laboratory and mass production. More than 20 companies have deployed perovskite, mainly in the fields of upstream materials, midstream batteries and equipment, and general technologies.
At the same time, new energy companies are also actively applying for related patents, and the number of related patents has exceeded 4,000. Globally, companies such as FirstSolar and NSG also occupy a place in the field of perovskite photovoltaic cell equipment and materials. It is recommended to pay attention to leading perovskite companies with patents and R&D technology layout. Our website has previously summarized the top 5 perovskite solar cell companies in China in 2022. You can read this article to learn more about the development and opportunities of perovskite solar related companies.