New Breakthrough in Solar Cell Performance

Q CELLS, along with Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, achieved a new world record efficiency for a 2-terminal tandem solar cell that combines a mass-production ready silicon bottom cell based on Q.ANTUM technology and a top-cell based on perovskite technology. An efficiency of 28.7% was achieved.

New Breakthrough in Solar Cell Performance Likely to Reach the Market.
In the HySPRINT lab at HZB, the team of Steve Albrecht developed a perovskite technology that can now be combined with mass produced silicon solar cells by QCELLS to make highly efficient tandem cells. Image Credit: Amran Al-Ashouri/Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Q CELLS, a renowned overall energy services provider in solar, power storage, downstream project business and energy retail, has achieved a new world-record tandem cell performance of 28.7% in partnership with Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) scientists, using a Q.ANTUM-based silicon bottom cell in conjunction with a perovskite-based top cell.

Over the past three years, Q CELLS’ R&D team in Thalheim, Germany, has collaborated with Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin to develop a tandem solar cell comprised of a silicon-based Q.ANTUM bottom cell and a perovskite-based top cell. This latest record performance result of 28.7% is an advancement with almost 1% point contrasted with the 2020 record value of 27.8% (which was solely confirmed by the Fraunhofer ISE Callab).

This increase in tandem performance has been made possible by advancements in both the perovskite and silicon sub cells. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) along with the state of Saxony-Anhalt contributed to the research and progression.

While the solar research group has seen even greater perovskite-tandem cell efficiency levels, these records were set using a research facility that is not easily transferable to mass production. The accomplishment of Q CELLS and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is noteworthy primarily since the 28.7% efficiency was achieved using an industry-viable and cost-efficient bottom cell structure based on Q.ANTUM technology.

Q CELLS officially confirmed last year that it will increase its R&D investment in Germany to €125 million within the next three years. A significant portion of that sum is set aside for Q CELLS’ R&D department’s ongoing assistance with the commercial production of perovskite-silicon tandem technology.

Our experts have achieved several world records for tandem cells combining perovskite top cells with other bottom cells on a laboratory scale. We promote knowledge and technology transfer and welcome the fruitful collaboration with Q CELLS. It is remarkable how close the jointly achieved efficiency with a mass production ready bottom cell already comes to what we can reach at a lab scale.

Dr. Bernd Rech, Professor and Scientific Director, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin

Dr. Steve Albrecht, group leader at HZB and Junior Professor at Technische Universität Berlin added, “It is highly exciting that we enable this high tandem efficiency utilizing industry relevant bottom cells with a high market share, so there might be fast impact of the tandem technology to revolutionize the PV market.”

Q CELLS is excited to announce this joint new world-record in tandem cell efficiency together with Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. Both teams of researchers have collaborated closely to develop a tandem cell technology, which would be able to accelerate the commercialization process and, ultimately, deliver to the industry a genuine leap forward in photovoltaic performance.

Dr. Daniel Jeong, Chief Technology Officer, Q CELLS

Q CELLS is confident that it can once again shape the next-generation of solar cells, and will continue to invest heavily in supporting research and development in this field,” Dr. Jeong added.


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