Wed, 04 Aug 2021

To optimize efficiency in the tandem solar cell market, companies have begun shifting from single-junction limits to a multi-junction configuration. Tandem solar cell are a new type of thin-film photovoltaic cells that consist of two or more cells that absorb the bulk of sunlight. Tandem-junction cells provide a higher module efficiency over their single-junction alternative as they can split the solar spectrum into multiple bands that are covered separately. This enables the surpassing of efficiency of single-junction solar cells that have nearly reached their theoretical limit.

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Tandem Solar Cell Modules Raise Efficiency of Single Junction Devices by Several Notches

A desire to move away from fossil fuels coupled with greater investments in cleaner energy systems is expected to be the biggest driver in the tandem solar cell market. Although single junction devices are close to achieving the peak of photovoltaic efficiency, tandem solar cell modules can provide a significant boost. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the automotive, oil & gas, chemical, transportation, and aviation industries and they have either reduced production or halted it entirely in some cases. Even renewable energy projects did not get the attention they deserve due to the focus of policymakers being elsewhere. Naturally, this had had a cascading effect on R&D investment in the tandem solar cell market.

Precise Manufacturing Sequence Compound Challenges Faced in Tandem Solar Market

While undoubtedly an exciting prospect, manufacturing complexities resulting in high costs remain a major challenge to be overcome in the tandem solar cell market. Tandem solar cell comprise a parallel connection of more than two cells. To manufacture a solar tandem cell, the technological sequence must be so precise that each succeeding step does not tamper with the previous one. When it comes to mass production, tandem solar cell have to navigate the limits of single cell efficiency.

Hybrid Cells Hold Promise but Held Back in Tandem Solar Cell Market By Lower Efficiency

Tandem solar cell with silicone are more efficient than hybrid, organic, and non-organic cells. Silicon mixed in tandem with CIGS, CZTS, polymers, and perovskites produce highly promising results, boosting overall efficiency of the tandem solar cell. Hybrid tandem solar cell are created by fusing layers or elements of various PV technologies to convert energy across a wider spectral range. Hybrid tandem solar cell are ideal for flexible and semi-transparent modules but are still in the early commercialization stage on account of a lower efficiency.

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Collaborations Underway to Make Perovskite-silicon Viable in Tandem Solar Cell Market

In North America, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is researching multiple hybrid tandem solar cell ventures in order to build viable and commercially ready prototypes. In 2020, NREL scientists collaborated with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology to develop commercial perovskite-silicon solar tandem cells over the next few years. Similar efforts are underway in Europe, especially in Germany as it seeks to bring perovskite-silicon into industrial production. Some companies profiled in this report on the tandem solar cell market are Saule Technologies, Tandem PV, Fraunhofer ISE, GreatCell Solar, Frontier Energy Solution, Oxford Photovoltaics, Xiamen Weihua Solar Co.,Ltd, Toshiba Corporation, Dyesol, and FrontMaterials.

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