This project develops equipment and procedures to accurately measure the performance of multi-junction (tandem) solar cells. It creates new Australian capability to support growth in tandem solar cell research, which is expected to underpin the next wave of performance improvements for solar PV.
How the project works
Lastek will work with the CSIRO PV Performance Laboratory to develop a new, high-performance, LED-based solar simulator. The simulator will be used to create procedures aligned with the new international standards for tandem cell measurement, and may then be commercialised. CSIRO will implement the new procedures in its commercial and research services. The work will also include a study of the measurement behaviour of tandem solar cells based on perovskite materials.
As tandem solar cells become a significant part of the worldwide effort to bring down the cost of renewable energy, the new capability developed in this project will help keep Australian PV research competitive with overseas efforts. Looking forward, it will help ensure the quality of imported tandem PV products. If successfully commercialised, the new solar simulator will be an Australian technology with a worldwide market.
Area of innovation
Multi-junction solar cells use multiple layers of photovoltaic absorbers to capture more of the solar spectrum, thus improving the efficiency of solar energy collection beyond the fundamental limits that apply to single junction cells. Multi-junction cells are particularly challenging to characterise, due to a complex response to changes in the solar spectrum and the angle of incident light. Standardised methods are crucial to understanding improvements in the laboratory, as well as fair reporting of product performance. The successful undertaking of this project will enable Australia to maintain a leading position in this field and provides the opportunity to commercialise a solar simulator well in advance of comparable instruments currently available on the world market.