Ben-Gurion University researchers propose new standards for solar cells

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Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Technion believe that an innovative light trap allows for a 30% increase in energy production suitable for ultra-thin solar

A house covered in solar cells. From Wikipedia

An international team of researchers (Israel-Netherlands-Belgium-Denmark-Italy-Spain), led by a group of researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Dr. Mark Hankin, Dr. Iris Wisoli-Fischer and Prof. Eugene Katz from the Institute for Desert Research Blaustein, Department of Solar Energy and Environmental Physics), recently reported significant advances in the analysis of cell activity dynamics, by proposing a new set of solar cell measurement standards.

The new standards are based on measurements made under realistic working conditions at the University’s Solar Energy Center on the Sde Boker campus, and include the momentary efficiency of the cell, its daytime variability and long-term dynamics, allowing comparison of different photovoltaic energy conversion technologies. The analysis was published in the prestigious journal Energy and environmental science (http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2018/ee/c7ee02956j#!divAbstract), in which Henkin, Wisoli-Fischer, Katz and other research partners challenge the accepted view. To characterize the efficiency and stability of solar cells. This work is the result of a collaboration within the EU in the COST program on the stability of solar cells, Schatz and Wisoli-Fischer are members of its Executive Committee.

Prof. Katz: “Metlo-lead probes are semiconductors with excellent physical properties for the photovoltaic conversion of solar energy into electricity. Their energy conversion efficiency has already reached 22% and a special interest exists in the development of combined solar cells of silicon and probskites with energy conversion efficiency above 30%. Such combined cells can be manufactured at a marginal cost relative to the silicon solar cells commonly used today and bring about a revolution in the field of photovoltaic energy conversion ”. At the same time, Prof. Katz emphasizes that, unlike silicon solar cells, proboscite solar cells alter their energy conversion efficiency considerably during the day and night and also over long periods of time, a fact that limits their economic application. Such behavior makes it difficult to calculate a standard efficiency and stability of these cells: if the cell’s efficiency decreases during its activity in sunlight during the day but recovers during the night (or vice versa) – how can its long-term efficiency be quantified, and how can it be compared to other cells with different dynamic behavior During the day?.

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The article was cited as one of 24 “hot articles” in the journal Energy and Environmental Science for 2018.

In a follow-up publication to this work https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acsaem.7b00256 The research team analyzed the mechanisms responsible for the daily and long-term dynamics of cell behavior. This research is an important step towards the development of cheap, efficient and stable proboscite-based solar cells.

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