Moscow State University Develops New Generation Unique Solar Cells facilitated by support from En+ Group

ESG news


november, 2018

Moscow, November 27, 2018 – Researchers of Lomonosov Moscow State University together with their colleagues from the Japan National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) developed unique perovskite solar panels of new generation. The Russian scientists proposed a unique method for producing perovskite solar cells of potentially unlimited area; the test samples of solar cells showed an efficiency of more than 17%. All of this was facilitated by financial support of En+ Group.

The MSU and Japanese scientists managed to solve one of the key problems of using perovskite solar cells and eliminate the efficiency drop usually associated with scaling-up of the panels. The new and innovative method allows the production of solar panels of unlimited area and with high efficiency. The lab samples having the standard area were shown to have an efficiency of more than 17%. The research is implemented within the federal program of the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education, co-financed by EuroSibEnergo (a subsidary of En+ Group).

The results of the research were recently disclosed in Nature Nanotechnology, one of the most globally significant nanoscience journals.

The research paper published in the journal demonstrates that one of the main problems hindering the large-scale introduction of perovskite solar cells was an efficiency decrease relating to large surfaces of the solar cells – a 10 panel was extremely complicated to manufacture, with the maximum efficiency of the produced cell being 6-8% lower compared to 0.1 cells.

Reactive Polyiodide Melts (RPM), a new unique class of substances was discovered by the researchers of the Laboratory of New Materials for Solar Energetics at MSU at the initial first stage of research. RPMs are used to produce hybrid perovskites without any by-products and without the necessity to use any solvents.

The next and subsequent step was to develop a new method where RPMs react with a bilayer base of preset parameters (composition, thickness of the layers and area). As a result, a homogeneous film of the light-absorbing layer is formed, which can have any technologically required dimensions without any major decrease in efficiency. In addition, the new synthesizing method requires only minimal heating of the components (just up to 40° C) and only a few minutes to complete.

This R&D effort to create a method of producing high-efficiency perovskite solar cells is done in Russia within the Federal Special-Purpose Program of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education by the researchers of the Laboratory of New Materials for Solar Energetics at Lomonosov University. The laboratory maintains contacts with scientific bodies of similar profile both in Russia and other countries, with the most renowned photovoltaic researchers all over the world, and presents their findings during international scientific forums.

Since 2016, EuroSibEnergo (part of En+ Group) has been participating in the project as the industry partner that co-finances the acquisition of special-purpose equipment required for the high-level research. The modern equipment ensures the full cycle of perovskite solar cell production and also allows a global-level research on improvement the composition and features of the components of the new type of photovoltaic modules.

The prototypes of perovskite solar cells will be tested at the En+ Group’s solar power plant in Abakan. The scientific research comes along with the commercialization effort, in particular, through integration of solar cells into building and finishing materials to use the surfaces of buildings and structures to generate green electricity.

En+ Group focuses its R&D effort on the development and industrial manufacture of new-gen perovskite solar panels. This most dynamically developing solar energy technology may radically enhance the use of renewable energy sources in the future.

The immediate plan for the joint research to be done by Lomonosov University and En+ Group include the creation of a A5 solar module (14.8 cm by 21 cm), and further experimenting to raise efficiency and lifespan of the perovskite cells. The latter is the last major restriction of getting the technology commercialized both in the Russia and global markets.

Alexey Tarasov, Ph.D., Head of the Laboratory of New Materials for Solar Energetics, Department of Materials Science, MSU, commented:

“Perovskite solar cells are the most promising candidates for the large-scale use of solar panels. In just a few years since the creation of the first such element in 2009, an unprecedented increase in record-breaking efficiency values ​​has been observed, which now surpass 23% and exceed record values ​​for silicon solar cells.”

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