Hanwha Solutions has taken a step closer to becoming the first company in the world to mass-produce perovskite-based solar cells. Perovskite cells are called a game changer in the photovoltaic market because they are superior to silicon photovoltaic cells in terms of efficiency, price, production cost and shapes.
Hanwha Q CELLS, the solar energy business division of Hanwha Solutions, recently successfully developed a 6-inch (M6) tandem solar cell. While regular solar cells are made of silicon, tandem cells have thin perovskite cells stacked on top of silicon cells. These perovskite cells absorb light of different wavelengths, greatly increasing luminous efficiency.
Hanwha Solutions has overcome the drawbacks of small area cells, which were a constraint for the mass production of perovskite batteries, paving the way for the mass production of next-generation solar cells. The company is currently working on improving the performance of the tandem solar cell, aiming to begin mass production of perovskite batteries in 2025.
Perovskite solar cells are lighter and more flexible than silicon solar cells. The manufacturing process of these cells is relatively simple, which can significantly reduce production costs. Their manufacturing cost is also about a quarter of that of silicon solar cells. Although perovskite solar cells are vulnerable to humidity and high temperatures, they can be used as the sole material for solar cells in the future if this problem is solved by technological development. Perovskite batteries can be used in a variety of places, such as building windows and car sunroofs.
Under these circumstances, Hanwha Q CELLS is preparing for the mass production of tandem cells, which can be considered as an intermediate step before moving to 100% perovskite cells. The theoretical efficiency limit of silicon solar cells is 29.1%, but tandem solar cells can increase this efficiency to 44%.
Most of the tandem cells developed by large companies and organizations around the world have a small area (one square meter). For mass production, it is necessary to increase the area of this cell. Hanwha Q CELLS successfully extended the cell area to 15.24 square meters (6 inches). If Hanwha Q CELLS outperforms its rivals in perovskite technology, it will be able to lead the next-generation solar power market.
Perovskite technology will help Hanwha Q CELLS break away from a silicon-centric structure. Silicon is only produced in certain countries such as China, Hanwha Q CELLS will thus be freed from supply chain problems and benefit from the improvement of its financial structure thanks to lower production costs.