Greatcell Solar has been awarded a grant by ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency) to continue their research into producing perovskite cells for solar power generation. We’ve written about perovskite solar cells a few times this year – with the technology showing great potential and shaping up as an inexpensive alternative to conventional silicon cell technology.
Greatcell and Perovskite
Queanbeyan-based Greatcell, formerly Dyesol, will spend $17.3m on developing a world-class plant which will scale up their manufacturing capability of high quality, large-area perovskite devices. ARENA will fund $6m of the project following a successful previous grant of $450,000 to continue work on the technology.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht released a statement on Tuesday about the second grant:
“This has the potential to expand the applications for which solar can be used and to reduce costs,” Frischknecht said.
“We want to move perovskites closer towards commercialisation. This will help accelerate solar PV innovation in Australia, which is one of our key priorities.”
Greatcell Solar MD Richard Caldwell told RenewEconomy that they are confident in the long-term viability of perovskite in practical situations in the near future:
“It has the compelling attributes of lower cost and greater versatility than existing PV technologies. In particular, it is suited to real world solar conditions,”
“In the long term, this technology has the potential to provide a cost competitive and clean energy solution,” Caldwell was quoted as saying.
Greatcell and Jinko Solar
Greatcell signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Jinko Solar earlier this year, which gives Jinko access to Greatcell’s perovskite solar technology. Their goal is to partner up and start manufacturing and selling perovskite-based solar on a large scale.
Perovskite solar cells and Guanidinium
According to Nature Energy, there’s been another breakthrough with the perovskite cells – incorporating the large organic cation guanidinium (CH6N3+) into methylammonium lead iodide perovskites has helped improving the stability of the perovskites (which are prone to decomposing over time – one of the main problems researchers are facing).
With the addition of the guanidinium, perovskite solar cells are already working at 19% efficiency for 1000 hours under full-sunlight testing conditions – with silicon solar cells plateauing at around 25% due to the Shockley-Queisser limit. For that reason, we’re pouring money into finding an alternative to silicon solar cells – and it looks like perovskite has the potential to take over. Exciting times – watch this space and we’ll continue following the research and keeping you updated!