Graphene solar panels outperform commercial silicon cells
Graphene Flagship Spearhead Project GRAPES makes cost-effective and stable photovoltaic panels with graphene and layered materials
Thanks to new thin-film technology, perovskites could bring increased efficiency to solar panel manufacturing for a lower cost. Silicon solar cells are gradually reaching their theoretical upper power conversion efficiency limit, and at the same time, perovskite solar cells have emerged as low-cost solutions for photovoltaics, below $0.3 per Watt, with high efficiencies of over 25%.
The GRAPES Spearhead Project aims to combine these two technologies to design, fabricate and characterise perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells based on graphene and layered materials. By exploiting layered materials like graphene, the GRAPES team aims to boost the performance and stability of perovskite cells to record levels, and to fabricate cost-effective, stable photvoltaic panels based on graphene and layered material–perovskite/silicon tandem technology.
These innovative devices will be realised in an industrially relevant environment: a pilot line with a market readiness level above 6. The panels will be tested using accelerated lifetime tests under real outdoor conditions, with a focus on reducing the levelised cost of energy to below €20 per MWh.
GRAPES in a nutshell
GRAPES developed a fully dry-transfer method for single layer graphene on perovskite subcells with high conductivity and transparency.
The industrial partners of GRAPES identified materials for panel lamination compatible with both perovskite and crystalline silicon solar cells. They also defined the inverter requirements by analysing necessary adaptations to the perovskite tandem cells, and upgrading the existing solar farm infrastructure.
Working towards a sustainable future
GRAPES focuses on improving the stability and efficiency of solar cells when deployed on a large scale. In turn, this will play an essential role in boosting Europe’s uptake of solar energy projects.
About the Spearhead Projects
The Spearhead Projects are initiatives designed to increase the technology readiness level (TRL) of graphene-based technologies. Each Spearhead Project is led by an industry-leading company and has specific commercial goals. They each aim to produce a high-TRL prototype or market-ready product by the end of the current phase of the Graphene Flagship in 2023.
The Graphene Flagship’s commitment to the Spearhead Projects is unshakeable: a total of one third of our funding is invested into these ventures, a bold move to maximise the impact of the Graphene Flagship in the innovation ecosystem and the European economy.