Space Photovoltaics:

illustration of the thin-film preparation for perovskite based single, tandem and triple junction photovoltaics
Picture: Felix Lang
Preparation of perovskite based multi-junction photovoltaics via spin-coating

Perovskite single- and multi-junction solar cells promise cost-efficient, flexible, and ultra-lightweight space photovoltaics (PV). While terrestrial PV systems require high power-to-area (W/m2) ratios, space PV systems also require low weight and high specific-power (W/g), a metric in which perovskite-based thin-film PV can outperform commercially available space PV based on expensive III‑V semiconductors. Cost-efficient perovskite-based single and multijunction PV can be processed on flexible ultrathin foils allowing novel form factors, including flexible solar panels that can be unrolled or unfolded in space. Private companies are currently revolutionizing space economics, and ten- to hundred-thousand of small satellites are to be deployed into Earth’s orbit in the years to come. Novel cost-efficient space photovoltaics, therefore, is a significant enabler for sustainable commercial space travel, future deep space probes as well as Lunar and Martian stations. Even sustainable energy harvested in space for earth is imaginable.

We study and optimize tolerant soft semiconductor based space solar cells to tolerate the harsh radiation- and temperature environments in space and further develop highly efficient perovskite based multijunction photovoltaics. Together with the chair of space technology of the TU Berlin, we further aim for first tests in space to demonstrate and evaluate the suitability of soft-semiconductors as reliable material for the most extreme environments.

 

References:

  • Lang F., Eperon G. E., Frohna K., Tennyson E.M., Al-Ashouri A., Kourkafas G., Bundesmann J., Denker A., West K. G., Hirst L.C., Neitzert H.-C., Stranks S. D. (2021):            
    Radiation Tolerant All-Perovskite Multijunction Solar Cells for Space Applications, Advanced Energy Materials, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.202102246
  • Lang F., Jošt M., Frohna K., Köhnen E., Al-Ashouri A., Bowman A. R., Bertram T., Morales-Vilches A. B., Koushik D., Tennyson E. M., Galkowski K., Landi G., Creatore M., Stannowski B., Kaufmann C. A., Bundesmann J., Rappich J, Rech B., Denker A., Albrecht S., Neitzert H.-C., Nickel N. H., Stranks S. D. (2020) Proton radiation hardness of perovskite tandem photovoltaics, Joule, DOI: 10.1016/j.joule.2020.03.006