Oxford PV’s technology combines a thin layer of perovskite, a synthetic solar conversion material, with mainstream silicon solar cells to create more powerful solar panels that can generate around 20 per cent more electricity than silicon-only cell technology.
The latest Oxford PV solar panel was produced in partnership with Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems. Using the Institute’s Module-TEC (Technology Evaluation Centre), the Oxford team optimised the existing production line for its tandem technology, producing a silicon perovskite tandem solar panel that delivered an output of 421W on an area of 1.68m2. Oxford PV claims the 25 per cent efficiency achieved makes it the world’s ‘most efficient perovskite silicon tandem solar module in industrial format’.
“Our record-breaking solar panels demonstrate that we are on the cusp of the next solar revolution, which will be delivered, in part, by our tandem cell technology,” Chris Case, chief technology officer at Oxford PV said in a statement.
“Solar energy is currently among the most cost-effective and sustainable energy sources. Our continuous advancements in technology will further enhance module efficiency – producing more electricity from the same area – and extending their use to all market sectors from residential, commercial through to utility scale.”
Perovskite-on-silicon tandem solar cells have a theoretical maximum efficiency of over 43 per cent, compared to around 30 per cent for silicon solar cells. While the new record marks just a one percentage point rise over the 24 per cent commercially available today, it could still have an enormous impact when extrapolated across the rapidly expanding solar industry.
Solar power accounted for three-quarters of renewable capacity additions worldwide in 2023, with China in particular ramping up its solar output. Oxford PV is planning to tap into this clean energy boom and has its sights set on a new factory to produce its tandem solar cells in high volumes.
“This new world record is a crucial milestone for Oxford PV, proving that our tandem solar cells can deliver record-breaking performance when assembled into solar panels,” said David Ward, Oxford PV CEO.
“It is the first step in what will be a transformative 2024, as we begin to deliver market-ready panels from our factory in Germany and continue our global search for a new high volume manufacturing site which will enable us to bring our technology into the mainstream.”