March 2 (SeeNews) - The EUR-5-million (USD 5.4m) CHEOPS project, which officially started in February 2016, aims to upscale promising initial trials of the perovskite photovoltaics (PV) technology to industrial and commercial levels.
One of the 12 partners in the project, the University of Salford in Manchester, will be employing atmospheric pressure chemical vapour deposition (APCVD) to produce large-scale thin films which make up the perovskite cell, said Heather Yates, principal investigator for the Salford CHEOPS project. The research team at the university will also consider how to produce films using tools, techniques and procedures that can readily be implemented in an industrial environment.
“As researchers, we may get excited when we achieve a new efficiency record with a small cell of about 1cm2 but to prove this technology we need modules of at least 15cm2 and we need them to be stable,” Yates pointed out.
Perovskite PV offers a very low cost and high efficiency. In addition to upscaling the technology, the CHEOPS project also involves the production of tandem cells in which a perovskite cell is placed on top of a conventional silicon-based cell. These tandem cells can harvest a broader spectrum of light so that their efficiency goes up, approaching the 30% range.
CHEOPS is led by Switzerland’s Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique (CSEM) and co-funded by the European research and innovation program Horizon 2020. The project will run through January 2019. The list of partnering organisations includes also the University of Oxford, La Universita degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research and Oxford Photovoltaics Ltd, among others.