Imec, the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics, energy and digital technologies and partner in EnergyVille, has been named the coordinator of an ambitious 3-year European Union (EU) funded project,“ESPResSo” (Efficient Structures and Processes for Reliable Perovskite Solar Modules), that gathers known leaders in the field of perovskite PV technology to revolutionize Europe’s photovoltaics (PV) industry.
The ESPResSo consortium has been granted over 5M euro by the European Union to overcome the limitations of today’s state-of-the-art perovskite PV technology, bring perovskite solar cells to the next maturity level, and demonstrate their practical application. The members of the consortium include the fundamental research organizations Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland and Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Italy; perovskite solar cell scale-up and industrialization members imec, Belgium, Universita degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata (UNITOV-CHOSE), Italy and Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Germany; and experts in sustainability and renewable energies CSGI (Consorzio Interuniversitario per lo Sviluppo dei Sistemi a Grande Interfase), Italy and University of Cyprus, Cyprus. Members representing materials development include Dycotec Materials LTD, United Kingdom, Dyenamo AB, Sweden and Corning SAS, France; equipment manufacturer, M-Solv LTD, United Kingdom; along with perovskite solar cell technology developers Saule Technologies, Poland, and building-integrated photovoltaics developer, Onyx Solar Energy SL, Spain.
With its low-cost materials and low temperature deposition processes, perovskite-based PV technology has the potential to takes its place in the thin-film PV market. Perovskite solar cells have already demonstrated high efficiencies (above 22%) that rival those of established mainstream thin-film PV technologies like copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) and cadmium-telluride (CdTe). The challenge is now to transfer the unprecedented progress that the perovskite PV cell technology has made in recent years from its cell level into a scalable, stable, low-cost technology on module level.
“Every aspect of our lives from our homes to our workplaces, hospitals, schools and farms - depends on the nonstop availability of energy,” stated Tom Aernouts, imec group leader of thin-film photovoltaics and researcher at EnergyVille. “Perovskite cells demonstrate clear potential to support world’s energy demands cost-effectively. The ultimate aim of the partners of the ESPResSo project is to achieve this by bringing perovskite photovoltaics from the lab to the fab.”
The ESPResSo team targets alternative cost effective materials, novel cell concepts and architectures, and advanced processing know-how and equipment to overcome the current limitations of this technology. The consortium aims to bring the cell performance close to its theoretical limit by demonstrating cell efficiency of more than 24% (on 1cm²) and less than 10% degradation in cell efficiency following thermal stress at 85°C, 85% RH for over 1000h. Scale up activities utilising solution processed slot-die coating and laser processing will additionally deliver modules with more than 17% efficiency showing long-term (>20 years) reliable performance as deduced from IEC-compliant test conditions.
The ESPResSo team also envisions integrating modules in façade elements demonstrating a levelised cost of electricity (LCoE) of ≤ 0.05€/kWh. Prototyping advanced, arbitrary-shaped architectures with specific materials and process combinations will emphasize that new highly innovative applications like on flexible substrates or with high semi-transparency are well accessible in the mid- to longer-term with this very promising thin-film PV technology.
Imec (imec-int.com) is the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics, energy and digital technologies. The combination of our widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology, profound software and ICT expertise is what makes us unique. By leveraging our world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries, we create groundbreaking innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, energy, and education.
As a trusted partner for companies, start-ups and universities, we bring together close to 3,500 brilliant minds from over 70 nationalities. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has distributed R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, and offices in India and Japan. In 2016, imec’s revenue (P&L) totaled 496 million euro.
Imec is a partner in EnergyVille (energyville.be), a collaboration of the Flemish research centers KU Leuven, vito, imec and UHasselt in the field of sustainable energy and intelligent energy systems, as well as in Solliance, a partnership of R&D organizations from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany working in thin-film photovoltaic solar energy (TFPV).
Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC international (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a “stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.) and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics [Shanghai] Co. Ltd.) and imec India (Imec India Private Limited), imec Florida (IMEC USA nanoelectronics design center).