A Hasselt University-led consortium is the first to develop a thin-film solar cell that matches the energy efficiency of a traditional silicon solar cell, ie 25 percent. “We’ll really be able to compete with traditional solar panels with this. Our solar cells are made from a wafer-thin, flexible material, so that you can develop solar panels in all colors and sizes that you can integrate into the facades or roofs of homes. And because the solar cells are so thin, less material is needed to make solar panels. This will make these solar panels even cheaper than the traditional ones,” comments Bart Vermang of Hasselt University.
The record-breaking solar cell measures about 1 square centimeter and combines perovskite and CIGS technology, which were initially developed separately by members of the EU-funded Percistand consortium. These members include Imec and TNO, who team up in Solliance, and Swiss research institute Empa. The consortium thinks it’s possible to reach 30 percent efficiency within the next three years. Percistand is also working on industrialization of the technology.