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Issue 2, 2020

Roadmap for cost-effective, commercially-viable perovskite silicon tandems for the current and future PV market

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Abstract

A techno-economic analysis of perovskite-silicon tandem solar modules is presented, outlining the most viable pathway for designing cost-effective, commercially viable tandems. We explore the cost-performance trade-off for silicon bottom cells in perovskite-silicon tandems, and evaluate the potential of using low-cost, lower-efficiency silicon bottom cells, on the basis of levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), compared to the higher-efficiency, higher-cost bottom cells that have been the primary focus of most perovskite-silicon tandem research efforts. We fabricate a cost-effective four-terminal silicon-perovskite tandem using a low-cost multicrystalline bottom cell and calculate the device LCOE. We then extend this analysis by modeling performance and LCOE of similar tandems instead using high-efficiency silicon bottom cells, enabling direct comparison of a low-cost and a high-efficiency tandem. Lastly parametric analyses are performed to more broadly examine the bottom-cell cost-performance trade-off. We show that low-cost silicon, even at the detriment of efficiency, is the more likely path to make perovskite-silicon tandems commercially viable and enable future reductions in LCOE, given both current and near-future silicon technology. We lay out a clear economic motivation for pursuing low-cost silicon bottom cells in perovskite-silicon tandems, showing that they can achieve a 15–20% relative LCOE reduction compared to the single-junction sub-cells. This is a 2–3 times greater relative LCOE reduction compared with using high-efficiency silicon. Furthermore, we show that the advantage of using low-cost silicon bottom cells is robust to and benefits from expected market trends, such as falling system costs and advanced, low-cost manufacturing. This work provides a clear pathway to cost-effective tandems, outlines the benefits for existing multicrystalline silicon manufacturers to investing in tandem development, and points out a clear mismatch between commercial viability and current research efforts.

Graphical abstract: Roadmap for cost-effective, commercially-viable perovskite silicon tandems for the current and future PV market

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
30 Jul 2019
Accepted
01 Nov 2019
First published
11 Dec 2019

This article is Open Access

Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2020,4, 852-862
Article type
Paper

Roadmap for cost-effective, commercially-viable perovskite silicon tandems for the current and future PV market

S. E. Sofia, H. Wang, A. Bruno, J. L. Cruz-Campa, T. Buonassisi and I. M. Peters, Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2020, 4, 852 DOI: 10.1039/C9SE00948E

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