NREL studies durability of perovskite solar cells in outdoor conditions.

By Oliver Townsend Jul 8, 2024
NREL Research Explores Durability of Perovskite Solar Cells Outdoors.jpegOrginal image from: https://solarquarter.com/2024/07/08/nrel-research-explores-durability-of-perovskite-solar-cells-outdoors/

Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) have emerged as a promising alternative to traditional silicon-based solar cells due to their high performance and lower production costs. However, challenges related to stability and durability have hindered their widespread adoption. Recent research funded by the U.S. Department of Energy has delved into the durability of PSCs when exposed to outdoor conditions, shedding light on potential solutions to enhance their performance.

Examining PSC Degradation Outdoors

The study focused on investigating the degradation of PSCs under outdoor sunlight compared to LED light sources. Researchers analyzed the impact of UV radiation on PSCs with a p-i-n structure and hybrid hole transport materials (HTMs). Weak chemical bonds between the perovskite layer, polymer HTM, and transparent conducting oxide (TCO) layers were identified as a key factor contributing to degradation.

By developing a method to strengthen these bonds using a synthesized polymer, the research team was able to improve the stability and durability of the PSCs. The optimized PSC module maintained an efficiency of over 16% after 29 weeks of outdoor testing, highlighting the potential for enhanced outdoor performance of PSCs.

Enhancing UV Stability and Efficiency

The introduction of a hybrid polymer material proved to be instrumental in enhancing the UV stability and efficiency of the PSCs during outdoor testing. By addressing the weak chemical bonds identified in the structure of the cells, the researchers were able to mitigate degradation and maintain performance levels over an extended period.

This breakthrough, published in the journal Science, marks a significant step towards improving the commercial viability of PSCs by demonstrating their durability and reliability in real-world conditions. The findings offer valuable insights for researchers and companies looking to leverage PSC technology for sustainable energy solutions.

Real-World Demonstration and Future Prospects

Laura Schelhas, a chemistry researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and deputy director of the PACT center, emphasized the importance of real-world demonstrations in advancing the commercialization of PSCs. The successful outdoor performance of perovskite mini modules with an efficiency above 16% after nearly seven months of testing is a significant achievement that paves the way for future innovations in the field.

By leveraging the data and capabilities offered by the PACT center, researchers and industry players can further refine and optimize PSC technology for enhanced reliability and performance. The study’s outcomes underscore the potential of perovskite solar cells as a key player in the transition towards cleaner and more sustainable energy solutions.

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