This is the final knowledge sharing report for this project. UNSW worked with international collaborators to design and develop the new generation of tandem cell technology integrating non-toxic and earth-abundant CZTS-based chalcogenide thin film solar cells and Silicon solar cells.
The power conversion efficiency of silicon (Si) photovoltaic (PV) technology has almost reached its practical limit in the lab, which makes the area-related costs become an increasingly important component of total costs. Reducing Si PV costs is essential and will rely on technological evolution to push the energy conversion efficiency beyond its theoretical Shockley-Queisser limit. The most compelling option for levelized cost of energy (LCOE) reduction is tandem that stack appropriate thin film PV technology on a crystalline Si bottom cell.
This project aims to develop a new generation of PV technology by combining non-toxic and abundant Kesterite copper-zinc-tin sulphide (CZTS) thin film solar cells with conventional crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells. This will further boost the efficiency of c-Si PV technology and thereby reduce the cost. The main challenges of realising this promising next-generation PV technology include: upscaling the manufacturing of high band gap CZTS thin film top cell and exploration of stacking the top cell on Si bottom cell to make full use of the sunlight.