Colored solar cells could solve aesthetic integration problem of PV systems
Findings from a group of scientists in Singapore have shown that these approaches are ideal for producing colorful, opaque, and semitransparent perovskite solar cells.
After a full review of methods to achieve colored solar cells for installations in BIPV and urban environments, external and internal modifications were concluded to work best. In order to maintain the aesthetics of urban settings, low cost, customizable solar cells would provide the key to broad adoption and commercialization.
In a study at Singapore’s Energy Research Institute of the Nanyang Technological University, the pro and cons of possible coloring methods were analysed in regards to transparency, efficiency, commercial feasibility, scalability and color tunability. The goal was to find a method which could avoid the trade-off of aesthetics and energy efficiency – colored perovskite solar cells would need to maintain the same level of power conversion efficiencies, simplicity, scalability, and transparency of regular solar cells.
How does it work?
This method targets the internal layers of perovskite cells, for the purpose of colorization – the absorber, the electron transporting layers (ETLs), the hole transporting layers (HTLs), or the electrodes. Other approaches would include external modifications such as the use of dielectric mirrors or colorful coatings. However, this method could compromise absorption and efficiency of the panel, even if this effect is expected to be minimal.