Nano-electronics research centre imec continues to tout its solar cell R&D work in the PV industry but is also focusing efforts on new areas such as PV energy yield predictions at the European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC) in Hamburg this week.
According to imec, optimisation of energy yield production of future smart grids will require accurate predictions of the output of PV power plants across all types of weather conditions so that the information can be used to stabilise the grid.
However, such analysis would also help develop smart PV modules that react to the environment to optimize their energy generation yield.
To tackle these issues, imec has developed a simulation model that combines its knowledge of solar cell technology with short term weather predictions providing energy yield data analysis from PV module under non-homogeneous irradiation such as the impact on modules of temperature gradients resulting from wind, with an accuracy that is said to be 20% greater than the current available models.
Presenting a total of 19 papers, 12 of which are oral presentations imec is highlighting its new record conversion efficiency of 22.5% for a six inch n-PERT solar cell, which has benefited from material and architectural optimisations.
In another presentation at EU PVSEC, imec’s perovskite solar cell with 17% conversion efficiencies. Integrated into a module, a 12.5% record module efficiency was demonstrated.
Although organometal halide perovskites remain a promising material for thin-film solar applications as well as integrated with silicon heterojunction (HJ) cells, stability issues, leading to rapid degradation remain major challenges, according to several presentations made on the first day of the conference.
Jef Poortmans, scientific director of PV at imec, said: “Imec continues to push the boundaries of PV innovation beyond cell technology towards modeling and system aspects. We invite industrial companies to join us in this endeavor.”