Solar PV R&DProject Monash University Building Integrated PV Study
This report discusses the project results and lessons learnt to date for the Monash University Project, Developing a New Type of High Efficiency Building Integrated PV Cell.
Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) can take the form of semi-transparent solar cells integrated into a framing system – essentially a tinted window that can generate electricity with the light that it absorbs. To date, there has not been a solar cell technology that combines suitable levels of efficiency and light transmission at an adequate price point to allow for broad adoption. The objective of this project is to demonstrate that perovskites, a rapidly emerging class of photoabsorber material, can be incorporated into semi-transparent solar cells at a scale, efficiency and lifetime that make them suitable for building integrated applications.
The first phase of this project demonstrated the fabrication of semi-transparent perovskite solar cells that had an efficiency comparable to commercially available silicon solar cells, while still allowing for the transmission of 10% of light over the visible range. This level of light transmission can already be found in some non-automotive tinted window products. The materials that comprise the key components of the solar cell were selected to give a high efficiency and good long-term stability, while not compromising the level of light transmission. This solar cell can be fabricated using deposition techniques that can be translated to larger scales using commercially available manufacturing technologies.
The next phase of this project is to use the computation models that were previously developed to simulate the efficiency and optical properties of these solar cells on a large scale, and to then work in conjunction with our commercial partners to incorporate them into their integrated window frameworks. By the conclusion of this project, we will have fabricated a demonstrator module that demonstrates to the marketplace the viability of using this technology in building integrated applications.