National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s all-perovskite tandem technology could open up an entirely new solar-energy application: vehicles powered directly by photovoltaics (PV). No previous PV technology achieves the combined flexibility, low cost and high specific power needed for PV-powered vehicles. All-perovskite tandems have a specific power 10x higher than flexible PV technologies of similar cost, and they cost 200x less than flexible PV technologies of similar specific power. This performance/cost “sweet spot” was attained through NREL’s unique solutions to two previously unsolved problems. Specifically, they produced a stable, high-performance wide-bandgap perovskite cell, and then created a recombination layer that offers protection during cell processing and provides an effective optical and electrical connection between the two main layers in the tandem. Combining these technological solutions increased the efficiency of all-perovskite tandems by 30% while exhibiting high voltage and superior stability. As this all-perovskite tandem technology matures, its high-throughput production may accelerate the clean-energy transition as it enables additional applications that include portable/wearable power, building-integrated PV, and rooftop and utility-scale arrays.
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